Rally officials have announced a very impressive entry for the Eureka Rally, the first round of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship, taking place in Ballarat between March 17 -19.
Heading the field will be 20 of the best rally drivers in Australia all chasing points in this year’s title supported by a further 33 crews contesting the Focus On Furniture and Bedding Victorian Rally Championship.
The leading entry is from the defending Australian Champions, Molly Taylor and Bill Hayes in their Subaru do Motorsport Subaru Imprezza WRX STi entry. Competing in a brand-new car built to be lighter and faster than last year’s title wining car, Taylor will be looking for a strong outing in the Eureka Rally to kick her title defense off.
A major threat to the reigning Champions will be Victoria’s Eli Evans driving a Mini Cooper AP4. Evans is a quadruple Australian Champion, making a return to the sport in a brand-new car at the Eureka Rally. The competition is waiting to see how competitive it will be but Evan’s is out to win!
Another competitor with the ability to cause an upset in the title chase is Canberra driver, Harry Bates. Harry surprised more experienced competitors to finish third in the title last year despite being just 21years old and having competed in only a handful of events. Bates will use his regular Toyota Corolla S2000 mount for the Eureka Rally before debuting a new car later in the year.
A bevy of other championship registered crews are focusing on sizeable points hauls as they start their own title chase in Ballarat. Worth watching over the weekend are visiting West Australian’s Brad Markovic and John O’Dowd in a pair of Subaru Imprezza WRX STi’s and the New South Wales quartet of Tony Sullens, Andrew Penny, Chris Higgs and Andrew Kaplan. Tony Sullens, is the sleeper in the field with the experience and speed to spring a real surprise over the weekend. The leading Victorian ARC competitor will be Wayne Stewart.
At the front of the Victorian Rally Championship field a fierce battle is likely between Brendan Reeves in his Imprezza WRX STI and the runner-up in last year’s VRC, Warren Lee driving a Mitsubishi.
The defending champion and Ballarat local Darren Windus will not be competing, so the battle for local bragging rights will be between Ballarat’s pair Brad Till in a Subaru Impreza and Ross Stapleton driving a Nissan 200SX.