15–18 NOVEMBER, 2018
Coffs Harbour’s own Nathan Quinn claimed his first CAMS Australian Rally Championship in front of a passionate home-town crowd at the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
Quinn dominated the national field in the fifth and final ARC round, winning all three legs, taking 12 of 17 stage wins and claiming first outright by a staggering 13 minutes.
As an added bonus Quinn, with co-driver Ben Searcy, took it to the best rally drivers in the world, finishing ninth outright in the World Rally Championship field in his ten-year-old Mitsubishi EVO IX.
“I’m pretty sure I was born with a dream to go rallying,” Quinn said.
“Watching my dad compete when I was a kid, this day was the goal from the get go and now I’ve finished that for him.”
New South Welshman Tom Clarke and co-driver Ryan Preston came through to secure a stellar second outright. Maximum Motorsport’s John O’Dowd finished third outright – the West Australian claimed his first ARC podium, took out the ARC2 4WD title and slipped into third in the ARC driver pointscore.
McMRallySport’s Stephen Mee worked hard to improve the reliability of his Toyota Corolla prior to Rally Australia and his hard work paid off with a win in the ARC2 2WD final.
In the ARC Classic Challenge, it was the Irish pair of Michael O’Hagan and Owen Moynihan taking the win in the Ford Escort Mark II ahead of Brett Stephens and Tony Brandon in the Datsun Bluebird and Andrew Hitch and Kenneth Polly in their Mitsubishi Galant.
2017 KENNARDS HIRE RALLY AUSTRALIA PODIUM (ARC)
1. Nathan Quinn/Ben Searcy – Mitsubishi
2. Tom Clarke/Ryan Preston – Mitsubishi
3. John O’Dowd/Ken Sheil – Subaru