The entry list for the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season finale has been confirmed with 22 crews to battle it out at next month’s Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Stages Rally.
With the ARC linking up with the Canberra Light Car Club for the final round of 2021, the event will have around 90 crews all up with the majority competing in the general component of the one-day rally.
Headlining the ARC contingent are championship leaders Harry Bates and John McCarthy and the duo are in the box seat to secure their second consecutive ARC title having won both rounds to date in 2021.
The 2019 champions are joined by their Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammates Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin with the younger Bates brother still searching for his maiden round win.
Shamrock Motorsport’s Richie Dalton has also entered the event, despite regular co-driver Dale Moscatt unable to attend due to commitments overseas.
After spending time testing M-Sport’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) spec Ford Fiesta in the United Kingdom, Luke Anear will return to Australia just in time as he reverts back to his more than capable AGI Rallysport Fiesta R5 alongside Andy Sarandis.
Alongside the battle for the overall title, there is plenty to look forward to in the ARC Cups with a number of contenders registering their positions for the Monaro Sprint Rally.
White Wolf Construction Production Cup leaders Arron Windus and Daniel Brkic are entered in the event and will be fresh off a run in the Hino Motorsport Australia Victorian Rally Championship’s Gippsland Rally, which runs on the weekend prior.
While the Western Victorian Crane Trucks duo have a comfortable lead in the Cup, there are still a few crews entered in the event who could steal the title at the death, including White Wolf Racing’s Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston and Midstate Freight’s Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith.
Quinn and Winwood-Smith will be itching for a big result in their home state after losing their lead in the Production Cup from the Netier National Capital Rally thanks to a trouble plagued run Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland in May.
The 2017 ARC champion won’t be the only driver looking to finish the season on a high, with Independent Air Solutions’ Guy Tyler running the intriguing entry of a Mitsubishi Magna with Chris Simmons.
The highly touted South Australian steerer has yet to score any points in 2021 after a huge crash at Canberra resulted in him missing out at Queensland, however he is back and would be keen to play a part in the make up of the final standings.
Another driver returning to ARC after missing the Gympie round is young gun Adrian Stratford and co-driver Kain Manning.
The Victorians enjoyed a highly successful effort in Canberra, topping both the Shamrock Haulage ARC 2WD Cup and ARC Junior Cup, but lost their well-deserved advantage due to their non-attendance in Queensland.
Replacing them at the top of both Cups were R’n’B Rally Team’s Ryan Williams and Brad Jones after they enjoyed a stellar performance in Queensland.
With the Queensland duo entered in the finale and West Australian rookie Max McRae out of the fold, the battle for the 2WD and Junior Cups will be one to watch throughout the weekend between both crews.
Another big name to look out for in the round will be a driver making his first ARC appearance for the year in talented steerer, Peter Nunn.
Nunn will be behind the wheel of the second AGI Rallysport Fiesta R5 and has Alan Stephenson alongside him – the duo tipped to provide a big threat to some of the top contenders.
Taking place over one day in December, crews will tackle 153 competitive kilometres and eight special stages spread across three sections.
The 2021 Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Stages Rally and Monaro Sprint Rally takes place in Bombala on 11 December.
Photo: Epic Sports Photography