The entry list for this month’s Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland has been confirmed with 21 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) crews to contest the event.
Headlining the entry list is current ARC leader Harry Bates, who will be re-joined by regular co-driver John McCarthy after he missed out on calling the notes at the Shannons Rally Launceston due to COVID-19.
Bates’ Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammate Lewis Bates will also contest the event, as will Shamrock Motorsport’s Richie Dalton, who will be in the third Neal Bates Motorsport prepared Toyota Yaris AP4.
ARC regulars Proto Group’s Troy Dowel, Curiositi Learning Technology’s Taylor Gill, Realty Lane’s Daniel Gonzalez and Glendun Group’s Cahal Carey will also make up the impressive list of outright crews.
While there are quite a few entires who have completed all three rounds so far, there are some big names to make their return to the championship – most notably Winpart Group’s Nathan Quinn and Getting The Band Back Together’s Glen Brinkman.
Brinkman will also be part of a massive White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup contingent, which will welcome returning Queenslanders Ronnie Bustard (Glendun Group), Automotive Repair Centre’s Simon Jansen and Virtual Security Guard’s Cameron Henry, as well as New South Welshmen Clayton Hoy, who last competed at the Netier National Capital Rally in April, and Max Cases’ Sam Hill, who hasn’t had an ARC appearance since 2018.
ARC regular Aidan Peterson of Peterson Motorsport will also again be running in both the Shamrock Haulage ARC 2WD Cup and the Glendun Group ARC Junior Cup.
Up against Peterson in the 2WD Cup will be the likes of R ‘N’ B Rally Team’s Ryan Williams, IKON Signs’ Dean Ridge, Jason Lennane and Link ECU’s Josh Weidman.
Peterson, Williams and Weidman, who makes his ARC debut this month, will also run in the Glendun Group ARC Junior Cup, while David Thompson and Forth Luck Premium Gin NZ’s Ian Griffin make up the Classic Cup crews.
Event Clerk of Course, Brian Everitt was pleased to see a strong field despite being smaller than last year.
“We had 27 crews in 2021, but there are plenty of differences between the now and then with the biggest factor is that we were round two last year as opposed to round four this year,” Everitt explained.
“And we have looked at it from that point of view, which is why we are ecstatic with having 21 national crews competing.
“We had a tough first half of the year in regard to floods and excessive rainfall and up until six weeks ago, we had no idea whether we would be going ahead or not – so taking all of that into consideration, 21 crews is fantastic.
“It’s also a fairly competitive field and a good mix to have.
“Of course Team Toyota will certainly be leading the pack, but I am hopeful that there will be some other teams and drivers who will give them a good challenge.
“Honestly, I don’t think Harry and Lewis will have it too easy here and I think someone like Nathan Quinn may give the Bates brothers a serious run for their money.”
Crews will be tackling 180 competitive kilometres spread across 14 stages, with 91km and eight stages to be run on Saturday and the remaining 88km and six stages, including the EROAD Power Stage, will be run on Sunday.
The 2022 Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland takes place in Gympie on 22-24 July.