The entry list for the 2023 Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland continues to grow with 19 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) crews already locked in.
Already, a number of title contenders have confirmed their entry with Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood Smith looking to make it consecutive round wins.
Among the competitive list of names eager to beat the New South Welshmen are the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia duo of Harry and Lewis Bates, both of whom will have regular co-drivers in Coral Taylor and Anthony McLoughlin by their side.
Others who will be keen to claim maximum points at the event and have secured their entry are Daniel Gonzalez, Tom Clarke, Troy Dowel, David Thompson and Jamie Luff, as well as Dean Ridge, who will be behind the wheel of the ex-Richie Dalton Ford Fiesta.
With the event also hosting a round of the KickAss Motorsport Australia Queensland Rally Championship, there are plenty of Queensland drivers cross-entered in both components of the rally.
Event sponsor Glenn Brinkman, young gun Josh Wiedman and veteran Simon Jansen will be leading the local charge, while Ryan Williams has expressed his desire to contest his home rally and will enter shortly.
Another expected entry includes that of Eddie Maguire, who recently acquired Dowel’s former Skoda Fabia R5 and announced his commitment to the remaining rounds on the calendar – Maguire’s brother Stephen has confirmed his place though.
With the total number of crews sitting around 40, Clerk of Course Brian Everitt was looking forward to the event and seeing more crews joining before the 7 July closing date.
“We’re quite happy with the amount of entries that have come through so far – almost 20 for the ARC and around 18 for the QRC, so we’re on track for a strong field,” Everitt said.
“On our end, everything is ticking along nicely and the roads are all in good nick, we have made sure to add in a few challenging sections that will keep everybody on their toes.
“We are still waiting on a couple of final permits, but there are no worries there and we are expecting some dampness next week, which will be good as it will add some moisture to the roads.
“Both the (Friday night) Wheels on Mary festival and (Rally Central) Gympie Showgrounds are also coming along nicely, so we’re looking forward to welcoming more of the best rally crews from around Australia.”
Serving as the third round of the season, the rally will see ARC crews tackle 216 competitive kilometres over 14 stages.
The Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland takes place in Gympie on 22-23 July.
Feature Photo: CH Images