Luke Anear is eagerly anticipating the 2020 Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season and believes he realistically could challenge Australia’s top drivers.
The Queenslander enters the 2020 championship having just one full season under his belt and three rounds in 2018, while he has only had his AGI Sport prepared Ford Fiesta R5 for the past three rounds, 2020 will allow him to take on his first full year in the world class car.
Since his arrival to the ARC, Anear has showed a lot of promise and has gradually improved with each round – the best result of his career being a podium finish at the 2018 Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
Due to the cancellation of 2019’s Rally Australia, Anear was unable to continue his solid form in the new car and the 2019 ARC2 winner admits he is now itching to get a full crack in his R5.
“I’ve been trying to do a few test days and get some practice in before Canberra in March and get familiar with it all again,” Anear said.
“Competing in the ARC is the most fun I have had in the world. Gravel rally in such a unique experience. It’s very intense but I couldn’t imagine life without it. I can’t wait to get started.
“After five months break, it’s hard to jump back in a car to go really fast and be consistent, especially since it will be the first full season in the Ford Fiesta R5. I can’t say the car is holding me back anymore.
“The Fiesta doesn’t look like much on the outside, but it’s an angry little car that wants to roar. I can’t wait to get back in it and have a full year where I can focus on doing really well in the Championship.
“I am just itching to get back. I just can’t wait. I drove the Fiesta recently around Tasmania and it got me really excited.”
Ahead of the ARC’s opening round in Canberra, a confident Anear believes that he is starting to find rhythm quicker than his past two seasons and hopes to stir things up throughout the year.
“My aim will be to just do as well as I can in the Championship and try to get more time in the car,” Anear added.
“I think if didn’t have the mindset of trying to win the Championship, then I don’t know what we would be doing so I will be definitely be going for results.
“Obviously Harry Bates will be hard to beat, but I have to consider that I have the car now so I have to work on my ability to be able to get it to the top of the podium.
“I also felt I was giving Lewis something to think about last year so I will continue that rivalry with him which will be a lot of fun.
“Each time I get in the car now, I get used to it quicker. It used to take me a full day to find my rhythm but now it just takes me an hour. We’re also getting more consistent with each round and I expect to improve over the course of this year as we do more events.”
On top of his attainable desire for a top three finish in the ARC, Anear also has his sights set on a stint in Europe, which he believes can help him develop his talent, as well as his love for the sport.
“If I could go for a top three finish in the ARC this year, I’d be pretty happy and then I can try and build on that, but I would also like to experience more in Europe,” Anear explained.
“I have spoken with M-Sport about going to do some drives over there, which will be very helpful. If the opportunity comes to do Europe, I will try and do that. With the R5 being left hand drive, it’s one less thing I have to adjust to.”
The 2020 Motorsport Australia Rally Championship season begins with the Netier National Capital Rally in Canberra on 21-22 March.