ARC talent to contest tarmac Adelaide Rally

A host of RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) regulars have confirmed their place for the 2021 Shannons Adelaide Rally.

Taking place over four jam-packed days in November, a record 412 cars have already committed to the event, which features a monster 230 competitive kilometres across 34 stages.

While ARC rounds have been few and far between over the past couple of years, it hasn’t stopped many of the crews from keeping themselves busy at state and local levels where possible.

For South Australia, the Shannons Adelaide Rally is one of the biggest events on the calendar, as well as being one of the most popular around the country.

Making their way from Western Australia will be young gun Max McRae and 2019 Western Australia Rally Champions John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver – with the former to run his 2019 Ford Fiesta R2 used at his ARC debut in Queensland.

Thomas Dermody will team up with prominent co-driver Ryan Preston, who campaigns the ARC with White Wolf Racing’s Tom Clarke.

Another co-driver switching gravel for tarmac is the highly respected Bernie Webb, who will contest the event alongside Motorsport Australia TARGA Championship veteran Mark Cates.

A number of crews who aren’t currently competing in the ARC will also run the event, including 2018 ARC 2WD champions Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney, and 2019 2WD champion co-driver Lisi Phillips.

Rounding out the notable names of ARC talent is local driver Ben Calder, who has secured the services of one of the biggest co-drivers in the game in Steve Glenney.

Calder has had a mixed 2021, having had one of the biggest crashes of his career during the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland this year.

Despite the major setback, the 46-year-old is still keen to compete in the ARC and will be using the Shannons Adelaide Rally, where he has enjoyed much success, as another event to keep active.

Geared up with a brand-new TARGA spec Audi TT RS, Calder was looking forward to a big event in November.

“After a year of cancellation after cancellation, I am looking forward to finally competing again and I’m very excited for this year’s event,” Calder said.

“We had a big crash in Gympie but that is all sorted and I am pretty keen to compete again. ARC is still new for me, but I have really been enjoying it after completing seven events.

“Luke (Anear) and Andy (Sarandis) had success in Cairns (TARGA Great Barrier Reef), and just like them, a lot of us are doing tarmac events in between gravel rallies to keep ourselves busy.

“I’ve done most of the other tarmac rallies around the country, but there isn’t much like the Adelaide Rally because it’s so close to the city and there are always a massive amount of spectators.

“We have won the event twice and had good success in our old Mitsubishi, but we felt it was time for an upgrade, which is why we bought the Audi – it’s a great little car and will be comfortable for the event.

“It doesn’t feel as fast as the Mitsubishi, but we’ll just have to wait and see. It would be great to get another win at this event, which I am really excited for.”

Click here to view the provisional entry list.

The 2021 Shannons Adelaide Rally will take place in and around Adelaide on 25-28 November.

Feature Photo: CH Images