VRC set for thrilling Akademos Rally
- 13th October 2016, 10:02pm
Following the cancellation of the Spring 200 last month, the Victorian forests will come alive again this Sunday for the MRF Tyres Akademos Rally on October 16.
Based out of the Alexandra township, approximately 140km NE of Melbourne, the event marks the penultimate rounds of the Focus on Furniture and Bedding Victorian Rally Championship (VRC) championship and Noted Rally Series.
This year sees the competition take on a reverse of last year’s route, across six stages covering approximately 100 competitive kilometres. A sensational field of 47 crews has entered for the event including Nathan Berry/Rian Calder in a Fiesta R2, Neil Cuthbert/Sue Evans in a Datsun 200B, and the tail happy VL Turbo of Jeremy Coleman/Tim Watson.
A late withdrawal last time out, Darren Windus returns with a slender championship lead and a new set of wheels, having leased Irishman Charlie Drake’s Mitsubishi Lancer for the weekend.
Hot on his heels will be his son, Arron, who made history 12 months ago when he became the youngest round winner in the VRC, winning the Akademos Rally. Coming off the back of a tight victory at the Pyrenees Rush against Will Orders, he and co-driver Joe Brick will be looking to continue their hot form and defend their Akademos title.
Taking up the challenge to the Windus’ this weekend are the Mitsubishi’s of Wal Lee/David Lethlean and Tod Reed/William Murphy, and a host of Subarus led by the returning Glen Raymond/Kate Catford. Raymond returns behind the wheel of a 4WD for the first time since winning Rally Victoria in 2010 in preparation for tackling the full season in 2017.
One of the highlights of the 2016 season has been the incredible depth and close competition in 2WD. Throughout the year there has been an intense battle between the three Ford Escorts of Grant Walker, Neil Schey, Michael Conway and the Datsun/Nissans of Brian Semmens and Andrew Daniell.
The latter will miss this round, but taking up the fight will be Classic Outback Trial winner, Andrew Travis, who has made the trek from Bathurst in his spectacular V6 powered Nissan Gazelle.
Joining the fight will be Rowan Woollard/Rob Parry (Mazda RX7), Justin Walker/David Neill (Ford Escort) and a pair of quick front wheel drive Fords, piloted by Tony Moore (Focus) and Steven Mackenzie (Fiesta).
Meanwhile nine Hyundai Excels will contest the Our Auto Rally Series. A full entry list and spectator guide is available at www.vicrally.com.au
- Craig O’Brien
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