The CAMS Australian Rally Championship reaches its season finale for 2018 when Australia’s best rally drivers hit the Coffs Coast for this weekend’s Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
With both the ARC and the World Rally Championship set to go down to the wire, we have a look at the Australian title contenders and their chances of being crowned Australian champions for 2018.
Eli Evans – 338 points
Round wins: Three
Heat wins: Five
Eli Evans is in prime position to grab his fourth national title after taking out three consecutive rounds in Western Australia, Canberra and Tasmania.
With a solid 57-point lead over his closest rival in Harry Bates and a maximum of 101 points up for grabs, Evans only needs a total of 44 points to claim the title. If he claims a top-three finish in one of the of the legs and third overall Evans will be almost certain to take the cake.
The Skoda Fabia R5 pilot can’t be too comfortable though, failure to score points in each leg would severely impact his title chances, so the aim for Evans will be to have a clean run through every stage and enjoy the Coffs Coast as much as he can.
Harry Bates – 281 points
Round wins: Two
Heat wins: Three
Took out an top honours in South Australia following mishaps to his two closest rivals in Evans and Glenney, adding to his opening round victory in Ballarat.
Bates is in the best position to sneak past Evans but will need win every leg and will also require the leader to score badly in most legs.
The battle between Bates and Glenney will be the one to watch.
Steve Glenney – 273 points
Round wins: None
Heat wins: One
The time to win a round is now for Glenney – He simply has to win the round if he wants any chance to take the title.
Before last round, Glenney was one of the most consistent drivers on the track, but his lack of heat wins has been his biggest enemy for his maiden title.
While the Contel Communications crew will be without their iconic orange Subaru, they have locked in the next best thing – the Skoda Fabia R5, which has helped Evans with his three victories.
Providing Glenney wins every leg, he will finish above Bates.
Glenney needs Evans to finish every heat in at least sixth or lower and two of these heats need to be below eighth.
Now that he has a world-class car in the Skoda, has every chance to take out his victory but it may be too little too late.
The lowest Glenney can finish in the standings is fourth with only 13 points separating him and Taylor.
Molly Taylor – 260 points
Round wins: None
Heat Wins: None
The 2016 champion is still in with a sniff but needs more than a miracle to claim the 2018 title – she needs three.
Before she can hope for her three miracles to take place, Taylor needs to worry about her own form by winning her first round for the year and winning it well.
Once she has won every leg, she then has to hope for Evans and Bates to retire in at least one leg, and finish seventh or lower in the remaining two legs.
It’s not just Evans who needs to fail though, it’s both Bates and Glenney as well, although their results are not as dramatic as the leader.
Taylor just needs to beat Bates by three positions and Glenney by two in every leg for her to surpass the pair and pick up second.
While mathematically it will be extremely difficult for the Subaru pilot to claim the title, her consistent form over the season may give her confidence.
Can finish fifth outright, but Lewis Bates would need to win every leg and Taylor herself will have to retire from the whole event early.
Maximum: 101 points*
Each Leg x three:
*One extra point is awarded to the driver who claims the most stage wins.