Family affair sets up Forest Rally Classic

A trio of iconic cars will be fighting it out for the Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) Classic Cup at next weekend’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally with a family-rivalry headlining the class.

Regular competitor David Thompson will be going up his son Ivan Thompson during the second ARC round of the season – with the duo having not competed against each other in more than 10 years.

Tasmania-based David will be making his way from the Apple Isle after a solid outing in March’s Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston alongside Matt Thompson in his Mazda RX7.

On the other hand, Ivan lives in WA and will know the roads well far more than his father, who unlike the other three Tasmanian crews, will be making a long-awaited return to WA.

Behind the wheel of his David’s London-to-Sydney Marathon-completing Ford Falcon XT, Ivan and co-driver Nathan Quartermain will be looking to get bragging rights over his experienced father.

Regardless of the result, this month’s Forest Rally is going to be special for David, who has faced a number of different challengers in the Classic Cup since the start of 2022.

“We haven’t done the Forest Rally for about 10 years when we were in a GT Falcon and it was a different era, but the rally is one of our favourites and I am looking forward to it,” Thompson said.

“At the end of the day, you want to do well in championship you want to finish. And as high as you can. We will have a crack, but we need to finish.

“The Mazda is particularly quicker to what are used to, but we’re still learning the car and the suspension and how it goes, however we are improving which is the main thing.

“We have come up 75 seeding places since we have had the car and we’re getting good results as we learn it, so I am happy in the class.

Photos: DMAC Photography

“I have faced a few different competitors over the past 12 months, but this round will be special because I am looking forward to the father-verses-son rivalry with Ivan.

“Ivan is more of a charger than I am, and the last time we competed against each other was in the 2012 Rally Calder where he had had monstrous crash in my rally car – hopefully history won’t repeat itself.”

Of course, the ARC Classic Cup isn’t all just about the Thompsons with WA locals David Thomas and Amanda Lister entering as a potential favourite.

The duo will be behind the wheel of a Ford Escort and will know the stages and roads better than anyone else – something David was mindful of.

“I am not sure about David and where he stacks up, but local knowledge will be especially important this round so he will be strong,” Thompson added.

“Escorts are always fast, light and quick and I am sure David is a talented driver so I am looking forward to the challenge.

“Obviously no quarter given by either myself and Ivan, however I wouldn’t be surprised if David snuck in for the win.

“I am just excited to the weekend – especially the Friday night stage where we can put on a show for the spectators in Bunbury.”

Get more information on the event here. 

The Make Smoking History Forest Rally takes place in and around Bunbury, Busselton and Nannup on 19-21 May.