After an entertaining opening round earlier this year, the Motorsport Australia South Australia Rally Championship (SARC) returns this weekend with the PMD Race Products Forest Sprint.
Taking place in the forests surrounding South Eastern Automobile Club’s home facility, the event will see 23 crews from around the state take on 13 stages over the course of two days.
The event is made up of four stages on Saturday night, before three passes of three stages and two service breaks in between on Sunday will see the weekend dish up an intriguing battle amongst some of the most talented drivers in the state.
At the top of the entry list are the usual names in Zayne Admiraal, Jamie Pohlner and Dale Cagney – the trio often fighting it out for stage and heat wins at many events.
However as the year has progressed, a number of other drivers have popped up as dark horses who could cause an upset in stages.
The first name on that list is round one outright winner, Rob Hunt, who alongside Jeremy Browne secured his first state championship win since the 1970s in the duo’s Mitsubishi Evo 6.
A young Ryan Poel who grabbed a maiden podium RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship’s ARC Junior Cup at the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland and the super quick Nick Cagney show that the depth of talent in this championship stretches quite deep.
A SA Rally Championship round winner in Aaron Bowering won’t be contesting the round but has been hard at work in setting it all up, believing the second round of the season will offer quite the show.
“We’re really looking forward to getting this event put on and excited for what Sunday’s stages will bring for the Championship,” Bowering said.
“It was a very romantic narrative with Rob winning Heartlands, but I think there are a few guys out there who would be happy to spoil it and restore order in the championship.
“Rob did a fair bit of work in the off season, including spending some time with Brendan Reeves, so I think his win wasn’t too out of the blue. Zayne and Jamie will need to be at their best to get that win.
“As for the likes of the Cagneys, Nick in that Subaru WRX is very quick and I wouldn’t be surprised if he came away with a few stage wins of his own.
“The roads ahead of the race are looking good. They are a bit slippery as we have had some rain recently, however these people are rally drivers so they live for this sort of challenge.
“A big thanks must also be said to all the volunteers who have helped make this happen and the forestry teams who have been great in helping us get our roads secured.”
The event will start on Saturday with reconnaissance before a special car display and the first four stages are run on the club’s autocross track in the late afternoon/early evening.
On Sunday, the action gets underway with the remaining nine stages totalling to around 100 competitive kilometres.
The second round of the 2021 Motorsport Australia South Australia Rally Championship, the PMD Race Products Forest Sprint, takes place in and around SEAC Park on 10-11 July.
Photo: Bruce Keys