A bumper field has been confirmed for the return of the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship’s (ARC) in Victoria, with 53 crews entered in this month’s Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally.
Hosting both the ARC and the Till Hino Motorsport Australia Victorian Rally Championship (VRC), there is a good number of crews spread across both components.
Headlining the overall entry list is Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia’s Harry and Lewis Bates and both drivers will be alongside regular co-drivers John McCarthy and Anthony McLoughlin.
Joining the Bates brothers in Victoria are a handful of outright contenders, including Shamrock Motorsport’s Richie Dalton, Up & Go’s Troy Dowel, Reality Lane’s Daniel Gonzalez and Curiosity Learning’s Taylor Gill.
The Victorian round also welcomes a number of drivers back to the ARC, the most notable being local star Brendan Reeves, whose last event alongside co-driver Kate Catford saw them on the Netier National Capital Rally podium.
This time round, the duo won’t be running in the same Hyundai i20N from Canberra but will instead be behind the wheel of the Reeves Earthmoving backed Datsun P510.
Reeves isn’t the only driver to make his first ARC appearance since Canberra, with Independent Air Solutions’ Guy Tyler to bring back the popular Mitsubishi Magna, along with Pedders Suspension & Brake’s Scott Pedder and youngster Jamie Luff.
Both Luff and Tyler are entered in the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup and will be up against ARC regulars in Gill, Glendun Group’s Cahal Carey and Ronald Bustard, as well as Lennane Racing’s Jason Lennane, Daniel Traverso and Max McRae, who is back from his international tour for his first ARC round since May’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
Like McRae, Molly Spalding is also running for the first time since WA and will continue her charge in the Glendun ARC Junior Cup against fellow youngsters in Peterson Motorsport’s Aidan Peterson, Camper Trailers Australia’s James Dimmock and R’n’B Motorsport’s Ryan Williams.
Williams, Dimmock and Peterson have all shown lots of promise this year and all three are cross-entered in the Shamrock Haulage ARC 2WD Cup, going up against the ever-experienced Dean Ridge of Ikon Signs.
The trio won’t be the only juniors challenging Ridge though, with Wilmour Motors’ Nicholas Seymour also entered in both the 2WD and Junior Cups. Seymour will have Gordon Grant in the Ford Fiesta R2 calling the notes for his debut.
Rounding out the national championship’s 21-strong entry list is Tasmania’s David Thompson, who will be behind the wheel of his Mazda RX7 in the ARC Classic Cup.
The VRC component of the event also has its fair share of starpower just doing state level, including Adrian Stratford, Lock & Load’s Warren Lee and SRP’s Luke Sytema – all three capable of taking out top state honours.
Clerk of Course, Andrew Roseman was proud to have such a large entry list for the national championship’s return to Victoria.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the amount of interest shown in the event – 53 entries is a great number and we’re really pleased we could attract so many crews,” Roseman said.
“It’s actually very exciting to see such a strong response from the ARC field after our long hiatus and the team looks forward to seeing the best of Australia competing on our roads.
“There are quite a few VRC crews, who normally do just state rounds, entered in the ARC too, which is great to see from a development point of view, so we wish them the best of luck.
“I think there is a great mix of crews entered in the event and we can’t wait to put on a show for everyone. I am very much looking forward to it.”
The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally takes place in the east Victorian region of Heyfield on 26-28 August.