Entries for the 2023 Make Smoking History Forest Rally are now being accepted.
Serving as the second round of the Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC), the popular event will be run in similar fashion as it has in previous seasons.
Run as a Sprint format once again, the event will see crews take on 179 competitive kilometres across 17 stages, and two heats spread across three days.
The event will begin on Friday night at Bunbury Speedway, where crews will get four passes of the specifically tailored one-and-a-half-kilometre course.
The action resumes on Saturday with a further 113 kilometres over eight stages to round out the rest of Heat 1, before crews tackle 60 kilometres over five stages for Heat 2 on Sunday, which wraps up with the EROAD Power Stage at 2:40pm AWST.
All 17 stages will run on the same roads as last year, with the only differences being three of them being in reverse order – two of which will be referred to as different names.
The three stages run in reverse will be Saturday’s Brockman Stage and Thorburn Stage, the former of which will be now be known as Helium, and Sunday’s Dugite Stage, which is now being called Ridge.
The event also serves as a round of the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship, which had a huge field entered in the recent season opener.
Entries are being accepted via the Motorsport Australia member portal and are being accepted until 11:59pm AWST on Friday 5 May.
With West Australian rallying currently in a strong position, Make Smoking History Forest Rally Event Manager Ross Tapper was expecting one of the event’s biggest fields in recent years.
“We had around a really strong field of around 40 crews entered in the Windvale Park Stages earlier this month, which was fantastic,” Tapper said.
“Many of those crews will again be in attendance for the national round, so if you add the ARC, which is in a strong position itself, we could be looking at a field of around 60 to 70 crews all up.
“We would be absolutely chuffed if we got those numbers – we haven’t had an entry list like that for a very long time, so it would be amazing to achieve that this year.
“As it stands, the Roadbook is complete and the roads are in sensational condition, so we’re really looking forward to a big weekend and look forward to seeing a good mix of WA and interstate crews battle it out.”
The Smoking History Forest Rally takes place in Bunbury and Nannup on 19-21 May.
Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia