*Note – the pre-season test has now moved to Victoria. Click here for more information.
The 2020 Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) is drawing ever closer and crews will get an early taste of the action early next month at a pre-season shakedown in Canberra which doubles as a launch for this year’s Netier National Capital Rally.
Based at Kowen Forest, the crews will tackle a shortened gravel stage as they look to dust off a few cobwebs ahead of the season opener in March.
While reigning champions Harry Bates and John McCarthy will be eager to get into gear quickly, there will be plenty of other competitors to watch including, 2017 ARC champion Nathan Quinn.
Quinn recently spoke about his intentions to potentially compete in this year’s championship, but he will first make a return at the shakedown with co-driver Ray Winwood-Smith in a Ford Fiesta and a Peugeot 208 AP4.
Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt will also give their Shamrock Motorsport Fiesta a run during the event, while Luke Anear will be behind the wheel of his own Fiesta R5 after making some positive modifications over the summer. Anear’s closest rivals in Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin will also be in attendance.
Both Troy and Justin Dowel will be running their G4 Volkswagen Polo and Hyundai i20s, while JJ Hatton and Damien Long will also be running in the Hyundai.
Championship regular John O’Dowd and co-driver Toni Feaver will also be in action in the Truck Wholesale WA Skoda Fabia R5.
Mick Patton, Taylor Gill, Chris Higgs, Jason Lennane, Stephen Mee and Brian O’Neill make up the entry list.
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport and Commercial Operations Michael Smith said their was plenty of excitement for the launch ahead of the new season.
“We have a really good turnout for this pre-season shakedown and it just goes to show a lot of people are getting excited for both the Netier National Capital Rally and the ARC season as a whole,” Smith said.
“Hopefully the launch event inspires the competitors who are still undecided to confirm their place in the season opener. It should be a great day and we are all really looking forward to seeing how this diverse group of competitors start off their respective Championship charges.”
The testing and launch date takes place in the Kowen forest on 4-5 February