Following his maiden win in the CAMS Australian Rally Championship®, Harry Bates has set his sights on the Make Smoking History Forest Rally in April.
Entries for the Forest Rally are now open and with current and former ARC Champions Molly Taylor and Eli Evans also signalling their intent to make the trek over to Western Australia competition is set to be fierce.
“The CAMS Australian Rally Championship has gotten off to a great start with many of the top teams trading times across the weekend in Ballarat and I can’t wait to get them all over to Western Australia to battle it out on our great roads,” Forest Rally Event Director Ross Tapper said.
Defending ARC Champion Molly Taylor, and her co-driver Bill Hayes, took their maiden ARC Heat victory at Forest Rally in 2016 and will be looking to go one further in 2017 and take the event title.
The Forest Rally is also set to see the Australian debut of the MINI Cooper AP4 rally car steered by Eli Evans and co-driver Glen Weston who won the rally in 2016.
“We all know Eli (Evans) is a great driver, a great Champion, and personally I was looking forward to seeing how the MINI Cooper AP4 faired against the likes of the more well known Subaru, Mitsubishi and Toyota rally cars at the opening round,” Tapper said. “Now it will be hopefully making it’s Australian debut at Forest Rally which is definitely going to bring a new talking point to the event and you won’t want to miss it,” he continued.
Alongside the interstate competitors a host of West Australian drivers and co-drivers will be pushing for ARC honours as well as a victory in the second round of the Onslow Contracting West Australian Rally Championship.
Brad Markovic, whose Forest Rally ended in a firey blaze in 2016 will be back as will the flamboyant Nic Box and current WA State Champion Dylan King.
Competitiors will also line up to contest the Australian Classic Rally Challenge that Neal Bates and Dave Thompson are planning to come over for and the local Clubman Cup
Renowned for its unique red ball bearing roads, which make for excellent competition and imagery, Forest Rally has long been a feature on the ARC calendar.
“The Forest Rally is well established on the Australian Rallying scene and is key feature on the West Australian major events calendar, on top of that it is just a thoroughly enjoyable event, so I would encourage all crews, both local and interstate to get their entries in and see what it is all about,” Tapper said.
In a further boost to the Forest Rally and the ARC the Championship will return to television screens in 2017. The new broadcast package will see each round telecast on Fox Sports and featured RPM on the Ten network which will provide further opportunity and exposure for teams and sponsors.
The Make Smoking History Forest Rally will be held in the picturesque towns of Busselton and Nannup from the 21 – 23 April 2017. The event will be the second round of both the CAMS Australian Rally Championship and the Onslow Contracting West Australian Rally Championship