The ARC2 finalists for next month’s CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) season finale have been confirmed, with five drivers set to battle it out on the Coffs Coast during the Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
The five crews taking part on the Coffs Coast will receive four free MRF tyres to utilise in the winner-takes-all ARC2 grand finale.
While Steve Glenney was the favourite for the ARC2 title, the recent team decision to switch to the world-class Skoda Fabia R5 for Rally Australia made him ineligible to enter the ARC2 final.
Headlining the five-car field is New South Welshman Adam Kaplan, who has enjoyed a solid debut season in the ARC to sit seventh in the outright standings and fourth in the ARC2 standings.
Behind the wheel of the Nissan 350z, Kaplan claimed his best result of the year in Canberra, finishing sixth outright and first in the ARC2, before ending his second nominated ARC2 round, the Subaru Rally Tasmania, in third.
Joining Kaplan in the ARC2 final is fellow New South Welshman, Haowen Chu, who is also competing in his first ARC season.
The Ford Fiesta pilot has taken part in every round this year, his best result coming in Canberra where he finished just behind Kaplan in second, after placing fourth during his first nominated round in Western Australia.
The only Victorian in the five finalists is Ben Hayes, who opened his 2018 ARC2 account with a fourth place during his nominated home rally, the Courier Eureka Rally.
Hayes’ second round came in Tasmania, where he finished ninth outright and fourth in the ARC2, making Victoria’s result the Commodore SS pilot’s best position for the year.
Like Hayes, Canberra based driver, Andrew Penny’s opening round in Victoria was also his best for 2018, claiming third in the ARC2 and ninth outright.
While the Subaru Impreza WRX pilot also finished third during his home nominated round in Canberra, a DNF in the second heat made Victoria his best round to date.
The final driver to make up the five-car ARC2 lineup is South Australian Kevin Raedael, who makes the list after competing in the previous two rounds.
It was a shaky start for the Ford Falcon XR6 pilot, finishing fourth in Tasmania after failing to score points in the second heat, before finishing both heats in the BOTT Adelaide Hills Rally and placing fifth for the ARC2 drivers.
The previous points tally is wiped ahead of the final, with the winner of the ARC2 title to be given to the fastest driver at the event.
The Kennards Hire Rally Australia will also act as the final round for the ARC and the World Rally Championship (WRC), with the WRC recently releasing their 29-crew entry list.
Adam Kaplan NSW
Haowen Chu NSW
Ben Hayes VIC
Andrew Penny ACT
Kevin Raedael SA