Rallying's version of Young Talent Time will make its debut in the opening round of this year's Bosch Australian Rally Championship, the Quit Forest Rally, when this country's fastest rising stars of rallying will fight it out in the Rallyschool.com.au Junior Australian Rally Challenge.

So far 17 of the country's fastest '20 somethings' have registered for the Challenge as they fight for the prize of a fully paid drive in the final round of this year's Bosch Australian Rally Championship in Victoria.

The Rallyschool.com.au Junior Australian Rally Challenge will run across four rounds of the 2011 ARC for drivers under 28 years and with categories for both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive cars.

For the Quit Forest Rally seven of the 17 young guns registered will be challenging the South Western forests including local rising star Tom Wilde, the flying cheese maker who lives and works within a few kilometres of the forests just outside Nanup, where the opening round will take place.

Wilde will drive a Subaru WRX and will be co-driven by his sister Nerralie battling   three other four wheel drive mounted opponents for a single qualifying spot at Rally Australia in Coffs Harbour in NSW in September.

Wilde says that while he has local knowledge it will still be a tough fight with the other 4WD opponents and it will not be easy to qualify for the final.

"The moment you think it is easy it will turn around and bite you, you have to be fast and you have to finish and I won't relax till I have that place in the final in my grasp," said Tom.

In the four wheel drive section only the highest point scorer from each of the three qualifying rounds, plus a 'wildcard' to be chosen by an Bosch ARC appointed panel, will be eligible for the four positions available for the category final in the ARC section at Rally Australia, while in the two wheel drive category the three highest points scorers from each of the qualifying rounds along with a 'wildcard' will be eligible for the ten spots available in the two wheel drive final in the Bosch ARC section at Rally Australia.

Fighting for that  one spot on offer for 4WDs in the Challenge at Quit Forest Rally will be 21 year old James Rodda in a Subaru 26 year old Luke Page in a Lancer Evo 6,  20 year old Tristan Kent from NSW in an ageing Lancer Evo 2 and Wilde in his Subaru.

Wilde has nominated  his home round plus July's Rally of South Australia as his potential qualifying rounds and after putting in a fine top ten placing in last year's Quit Forest Rally is hoping he can beat the other 4WD runners to be the first to qualify for  the final in this years inaugural challenge.

Entants in the two wheel drive category of the Rallyschool.com.au AJC will be able to enter either a Group N or PRC car of unrestricted age and engine capacity so long as it adheres to Group N and PRC requirements.

The competition amongst the young guns in the 2WD section will be just as fierce with 25 year old Victorian Will Orders in a rapid Nissan Silvia shaping as the favourite up against 21 year old West Aussie Jack Flanagan in a Nissan Sunny and 24 year old Victorian Ross Allan in yet another Nissan, this time a Bluebird.

Although there are just three entrants for the 2WD category in the Challenge at Quit Forest Rally and all three could potentially qualify they still have to get their cars to the finish to ensure a birth in the final in September.

Will Orders says he and his team have put in a giant effort to build the Nissan Silvia but he is under no illusion the battle for the coveted drive in a 4WD unrestricted machine at Rally Victoria will be fierce.

"All of the young drivers who have entered the Challenge know what they are doing, they're experienced despite their youth and it is going to be tough, we all want to win and we all want that drive so we might come to the notice of a bigger team or perhaps a factory operation," said Will Orders.

Jack Flanagan is a WA Clubman Champion while Ross Allan is a former winner of the Victorian Hyundai Excel one make series and Orders has thrilled fans around the country over the past year with his exploits in a full house Mazda RX7 in the Classics category of the ARC.

The winning RJARC two wheel drive crew at Rally Australia will receive a fully paid drive in a Rallyschool.com.au unrestricted ARC Car in the outright section of at the final round of this year's ARC - Rally Victoria along with a full day's tuition with reigning ARC champs Simon and Sue Evans.

The overall four wheel drive winner in the RAJC at Rally Australia will receive a free entry in this year's Rally Victoria, with eight rally tyres from control tyre supplier Kumho $2000 to assist with conversion of their car from PRC/Group N to ARC Car and a full day's tuition from Simon and Sue Evans, a total package worth more than $6000 in assistance.

Crews can enter one, two or three of the qualifying events and at each round crews will be scored on a mix of speed (stage and overall results) and consistency (overall). Crews can only qualify once. The cars will naturally all run on Kumho control tyres (with restrictions on the total number used per event) and on pump grade BP Ultimate 98 octane control fuel

According to ARC CEO Scott Pedder the Rallyschool.com.au Junior Australian Rally Challenge is a way of encouraging and identifying new driving talent to help the continued regeneration of the sport.

"The backing of Mick Ryan and his Rallyschool.com.au organization has been tremendous and enabled us to bring the whole Junior Australian Rally Challenge to fruition," said Scott Pedder.

"Like any sport if you don't encourage and reward up and coming talent the sport will wither and die," he said.

"It is not a new idea but it is one we felt necessary to reignite, because in the past Rallysport News ran a junior challenge and uncovered talent such as three times Australian Champion Cody Crocker," he added.

"We are very mindful that rallying can be expensive which makes it difficult for young talent to show itself but with the help of Rallyschool.com.au and some great incentives we are confident future champions will be uncovered in this year's ARC," he said.

Proprietor of Rallyschool.com.au Mick Ryan says the Junior Australian Rally Challenge is a chance for his company to showcase up and coming talent and to encourage more people to get involved in rallying.

"Our business is teaching people how to drive a rally car and if we can help the next young champion to come to prominence it will lift the entire sport's profile," said Mick Ryan.

"Victorian based Rallyschool instructor Brendan Reeves recently finished first in a shootout of 17 young hotshots from around the globe, winning a place in the 2011 WRC Academy, what we would like to uncover is the next generation ready to take it to the world stage, and we are proud to be able to play a pivotal role in that happening," said Mick.

The Rallyschool.com.au Junior Australian Rally Challenge will have  more  than four and a half hours  of dedicated television coverage across the series on Channels TEN and ONE combined including a dedicated one hour program on  the final Junior shootout at Rally Australia  with the overall TV coverage worth better than  $1million in 2011.
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