The penultimate round of the Focus on Furniture and Bedding Victorian Rally Championship will roll into Alexandra this weekend, with a bumper field lining up to contest the 2018 MRF Tyres Akademos Rally.
Round six of the seven-round Victorian championship, the Akademos Rally, will see 44 crews challenged with 150 competitive kilometres over two heats through the Black Range and Blue Range forests, 130 kilometres north east of Melbourne.
Ben and Cathy Hayes head into the event holding a handy lead in the title race, 33 points clear of Ivan Register and Paul Humm, with both crews peddling Subaru WRX STis.
Strong competition is sure to come from Paul Eccles and co-driver Tom Ruessman, who sit third in the pointscore, along with Matt Lee and co-driver Cathy Elliot in fourth.
While not competing for points in the VRC, Darren Windus and Aaron Windus will be both at the pointy end of the field, piloting the pair of Western Victorian Crane Trucks WRX STis. Aaron and co-driver Daniel Brkic will have plenty of confidence following their win at the Yarra Valley Stages Rally in September.
Along with this year’s Ada Rally victors Warren Lee and David Lethlean in the Mitsubishi Evo IX, the trio will go into Sunday morning’s ballot for positions one to three on the road.
In the Victorian 2WD Rally Championship, Grant Walker and Steph Richards have an almost unassailable points lead, 98 points clear of closest rival Tony Moore, with Moore’s co-driver Troy Hutchins third in the co-driver points, behind Daniel Parry.
A highlight for spectators this weekend will be Walker’s beautiful Ford Escort RS1800, which will be joined by its sister car this weekend, the Luke Sytema and Adam Wrigh piloted SRP/Grant Walker Parts Escort RS1800.
David Lawrence and Darren Davison will be out to cement their lead in the Clubman Award, pushing their Datsun 1600, while Josh Bohm, second to Lawrence n the Clubman pointscore, will also have his sights set on extending his lead in the Novice Award.
The Akademos Rally will also host round six of the Grant Walker Parts Excel Rally Series, round four of the Victorian Ford Fiesta Rally Series and incorporates the Bog-a-Duck Rally as a shorter sub-event.
The Akademos Rally kicks off at 9am on Perkins Street, Alexandra on Sunday morning, with the first car expected to finish at 4pm at the Alexandra Racing Club.
The event offers several spectator points throughout the day. View the Spectator Guide.
The seventh and final round of the Focus on Furniture and Bedding Victorian Rally Championship will be the George Derrick Memorial Rally on 24 November.