The final standings for the 2023 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season have been confirmed following an epic finale in Canberra.
The biggest story to come out of the Subaru Canberra Rally of Canberra was Harry Bates and Coral Taylor’s thrilling two-second victory in the EROAD Power Stage, which helped them win the event over Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin by six seconds.
The winning duo scored 110 points thanks to their Power Stage win, taking them to a total of 531 points to beat the 2022 champions by the smallest of margins -only one point.
Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey ended both the EROAD Power Stage, the event and the Championship in third place, taking their overall total to 357 points – an impressive result considering they didn’t score any points in the opening round.
On the contrary, enjoying their best result at the season-opening Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston were Luke Anear and Malcolm Read, with the driver’s continued signs of improvement in 2023 earning them fourth overall on both the Driver and Co-Driver standings and a point score of 303.
While it was an unchanged top four after Canberra, Bodie Reading slotted into the outright top five after passing the absent Nathan Quinn on the standings – as did Troy Dowel, whose P6 on the weekend helped him climb an impressive three places to end the year in sixth.
Very little separated Reading and Dowel on the overall season standings, with Reading’s total of 239 just eight points more than Dowel, while Quinn ended the year in seventh on 227 points – just seven more ahead of Peter Rullo.
Although Quinn missed the season finale to drop to seventh, his regular co-driver in Ray Winwood-Smith attended the finale alongside Josh Redhead and scored enough points to secure fifth over Mark Young and Bernie Webb in the Co-Drivers’ Championship.
Rounding out the top 10 drivers overall were Steve Maguire and Daniel Gonzalez, with both having had different co-drivers in 2023, allowing Bradley Luff and James Marquet to make up the Co-Drivers’ Championship top 10.
Both Reading and Maguire were the main protagonists in what was the most exciting Cup battle for the year, while Reading managed to take out the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup title by just 16 points.
With Maguire needing to win Canberra to elevate him above Reading due to the drop round system, Taylor Gill’s victory and Molly Taylor’s second place prevented him from taking out the Cup win.
In the end, Reading finished with 342 points to Maguire’s 320, while Gandewa Sanders rounded out the top three on 228 points, beating Ben Hayes by 19 points.
Mark Young finished the year as the Production Cup Champion Co-Driver, beating Cathy Hayes by a comfortable 133 points.
The Hayes may not have won the Production Cup, but they comfortably took out the ARC 2WD Cup, beating Canberra winners Josh Wiedman and Nick Reid by 80 points.
The husband-wife duo finished on 390 points each, while the young Queenslanders finished on 310 points to grab a respectable second place.
Wiedman and Reid also easily took out the Shamrock Haulage ARC Junior Cup having scored 350 points in their four rounds for the year.
Wiedman will now enjoy a test drive in Richie Dalton’s Toyota Yaris AP4 as part of his prize for winning the Cup celebrating Australia’s rising rally stars.