James Dimmock made a successful return to the Bosch Motorsport Australia Australian Rally Championship (ARC) last weekend, claiming a top-10 finish at The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally.
The 27-year-old returned alongside co-driver, Larisa Biggar for the first time since an engine failure in the opening round of the championship back in March, with a simple goal of finishing the rally in their Toyota Yaris AP4.
Not only did Dimmock and Biggar successfully complete their first full rally event of the year, but they did so while exceeding any expectations they had in the lead-up.
Consistent results across the weekend’s 16 competitive stages saw the duo finish ninth outright, with their best results coming in SS7 and SS8.
Dimmock was pleased with his return to the championship and thoroughly enjoyed the gravel roads around Gippsland.
“Very happy with that, we learnt a lot,” Dimmock post-event said.
“Overall, it was a very positive event for us. Larisa and I gelled as a combination.
“Getting the kilometres in the Yaris gave us more confidence and allowed us to push more the further we got into the rally.
“Building up as we went, our second pass through each stage, we were much faster.
“Saturday’s stages were extremely enjoyable, but we learnt more on the technical stages on Sunday.
“It was a mix of conditions over the weekend, with fog and a lot of dust throughout the whole rally. It was very intense, there was a lot going on.”
Despite the top 10 finish, Dimmock believed there were a few more places he could have made up after a power-steering failure dampened a near-perfect weekend in the final stages.
“Unfortunately, we had a power steering failure with three stages to go and lost a little bit of time,” Dimmock explained.
“We lost over a minute on the second last stage alone. Luckily, we had enough of a margin in front of the next competitors that we didn’t lose a position in those final stages.
“The result is a huge credit to the work of the team. And I also need to thank the guys at Neal Bates Motorsport for their help getting us back on the road after the engine failure during Rally Launceston.
“That was our first full rally in the Yaris, so we’ll consolidate our learnings and take them into the next few events.”
The next round of the Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will be the PowerPlay Adelaide Hills Rally on 13-15 October.