The entry list for the 2019 Netier National Capital Rally has been confirmed with 16 crews from around the country set to take part in the CAMS Australian Rally Championship’s second round.
Headlining the healthy field is Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia’s Harry and Lewis Bates, with the brothers securing a one-two finish in the first round of the season alongside their respective co-drivers, John McCarthy and Anthony McLoughlin.
Both Toyota Yaris AP4s showed impressive pace in WA, with the Canberra based team keen to impress on home soil in the new one day format.
Following on from his superb podium place in the Forest Rally, Western Victorian Crane Trucks’ Darren Windus and Daniel Brick make the switch from a Subaru Impreza WRX to the faster Hyundai i20 G4.
Part of Activ RallySport’s four car crusade in Perth, Windus will again be flying the flag for the Victorian team after making a positive return to the ARC last round.
The team will once again continue with its Irish charge for the second round as Shamrock Haulage’s Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt aiming to rebound after a rollover in WA, while J Sport’s JJ Hatton and Nathan Long will be keen for a top five finish after a testing weekend in Perth.
Factory backed Subaru Do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read will also be aiming for a podium finish, with mechanical gremlins costing them a chance to spray champagne at Forest Rally in April.
Snickers Racing’s Luke Anear and Steve Glenney returns in round two keen to build on a strong start to the year, while Haowen Chu and Dennis Neagle will be looking to gain further experience in their Hyundai Lantra in Canberra.
While a number of these of drivers will be looking for a strong result in Canberra, the Netier National Capital Rally also welcomes some familiar faces for their first ARC event in 2019.
After taking part in four rounds last year, Adrian Coppin returns to the ARC with Abode Hotels sponsoring his Mitsubishi EVO9 and will be paired up with Dare to be Different ambassador and Channel 10 personality Kate Peck.
The Queenslander will have high hopes for he and his first-time co-driver after grabbing a runner-up finish in the corresponding round last year.
Other major inclusions for National Capital Rally is White Wolf Racing’s Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston, High Country Motorsports’s Chris Higgs and Daymon Nicoli, and AMS TechResource’ Peter and Katrina Dunn – Peter making his first appearance since a sensational fourth place in the 2018 Kennards Hire Rally Australia.
Clarke’s return will be for the single round, but the New South Welshmen has a lot to prove after failing to get a strong result in Canberra during previous attempts, including three separate rollovers on the same stage.
Higgs most recently took part in the ARC in South Australia in 2018, but his event was marred when his car’s right front ball joint failed and he missed five stages.
It’s been two years since Repco Rally Team’s Mick Patton’s last outing in the ARC but the Canberra local is back in the driver’s seat after a spell as a crew member for ARC Champion Eli Evans last year. Patton will be joined by co-driver Bernie Webb.
Other drivers competing for the first time in 2019 are Right Price Auto Repairs’ Kevin Raedel and Doug Fernie, as well as Café Fez Myrtleford’s Jason Lennane and Amanda Ramia. Lennane’s entry is his first round since The Courier Eureka Rally in March last year.
Rounding out the crew list is debutant Ethan Pickstock from South Australia, with the Mitsubishi Mirage pilot driving alongside Lisi Phillips.
The Netier Napital Capital Rally takes place on 11 May around the forests of Canberra.