The RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will return to Western Australia with 69 entries confirmed for the Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
Of those 69, 27 are ARC registered, the biggest national field at this event since 2004.
Championship leaders Harry Bates and John McCarthy will take on road sweeping duties in their Toyota GR Yaris AP4, while former ARC Champion Eli Evans, and co-driver Adam Wright, with their Mini Cooper AP4 repaired and ready to go after an engine fire saw them end their Netier National Capital Rally event prematurely.
Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin will also be at the event based out of Nannup, south of Perth, along with Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt.
The new Ford Fiesta G4 of Arron Windus and Daniel Brkic will take on its second event, while Arron’s father Darren makes his ARC return in his Western Victorian Crane Trucks Subaru Impreza WRX.
Young WA gun Max McRae will be cross-entered in both the ARC and Dunlop Tyres Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship, as will John O’Dowd – driving the Skoda piloted by Shane van Gisbergen in Canberra.
Former Supercars driver Alex Rullo has confirmed his entry into the Make Smoking History Forest Rally, with the WA entering his first ever ARC event.
Daniel Gonzalez and co-driver Caleb Ash will also be among those entered in both state and national Championships.
Event Director Ross Tapper was excited to see the event come to life on 20-22 May.
“There’s been plenty of hard work in putting this event together and we can’t wait to welcome some of the best rally drivers from around Australia to take on WA’s best in our backyard,” Tapper said.
“The Make Smoking History Forest Rally promises to be great for competitors and spectators alike, with a number of spectator points to catch all the action.
“We also know a lot of our local crews who are cross entered in both the ARC and WARC will be looking to show that they can match it with the best-of-the best, so we are thrilled to be hosting this event in one of the best rally locations in the world.”
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith said the bumper entry list further highlighted the growing stature of the ARC.
“We are excited to be returning to Western Australia after a couple of years away and after seeing the entry list, we know this will be an event that will draw plenty of interest from across the country,” Smith said.
“After one of the biggest starts to an ARC in recent times at Canberra, to have such a strong field competing at the Make Smoking History Forest Rally is a terrific vote of confidence in the direction of Australian rallying.
“Congratulations to Ross Tapper and the team who have put together what promises to be a great round of the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship.”
The event begins with a Super Special Stage in Bunbury on Friday night, before a massive weekend in the forests surrounding Nannup, near Busselton.
Detailed spectator information will be available on www.rally.com.au/forest in the coming days.
The EROAD Power Stage, the last event of the rally on Sunday, will be streamed live on 7plus, while a 60 minutes highlights show will air on 7mate and 7plus following the event.
The Make Smoking History Forest Rally, round two of the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will be held on 20-22 May in Western Australia.
Feature Photo: Epic Sports Photography