The Make Smoking History Forest Rally has announced a bumper field of 59 entries for the West Australian event, which will visit Busselton and the forests of Nannup later this month.
Entries are up in all fields, with the event hosting round two of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) and the West Australian Rally Championship (WARC) along with the Clubman Masters and Clubman Cup Series.
Following their win at The Courier Eureka Rally in March, Toyota Genuine Parts Harry Bates and John McCarthy will have the challenge of sweeping the slippery, ball-bearing like roads, with Contel Communications Steve Glenney and Tankformers Eli Evans not far behind in second and third.
After his surprise switch to the driver’s seat at The Courier Eureka Rally, Glenney welcomes new co-driver Andy Sarandis in Western Australia.
Sarandis made his ARC debut back in 2011 at Scouts Rally SA and has had success on tarmac, winning at Targa North West as co-driver in 2018 and is the current Australian improved production hillclimb champion.
After placing fifth overall at the The Courier Euraka Rally, Subaru do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read move up a spot on the field to run fourth.
Adrian Coppin and Erin Kelly will have their first outing in the Yes! Optus Skoda Fabia R5 at the Forest Rally. The pair have already enjoyed a test of the car in WA with Coppin describing it as “the best day I’ve ever had in a rally car.”
Ryde Auto Group’s Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney will also be settling into different surroundings in their Nissan 370Z. While it will be their competition debut in the car, the 370Z is no stranger to the ARC, having run in the 2WD era in 2013.
The 2018 Forest Rally will also welcome back Ross and Lisa Dunkerton, who last ran at the event in 2016. The Dunkertons will run as part of Dean Herridge’s Maximum Motorsport stable.
Contesting ARC2 at the Forest Rally will be locals Brad Markovic and Dylan King, both in the Subaru Impreza WRX Sti, along with Haowen Chu in the Ford Fiesta.
Victorian Glen Raymond will trade his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX for a Subaru Impreza WRX Sti to also compete in the ARC2.
Fresh from Targa Tasmania in the lead up to the event, Kate Catford will take on co-driver responsibilities with Raymond in WA, as the pair do battle with the ex-Cody Crocker APRC car thanks to some generosity from a friend and mentor.
“I wasn’t going to enter until an amazing offer from Pete Schey from Sky Refrigeration came up,” Raymond said.
“Pete has been a huge help and encouragement over the last five years, even to the point of me driving a Mazda RX7 he owned in an ARC round in 2014.”
The Make Smoking History Forest Rally will kick off in Bussellton on Friday, 27 April with a ceremonial start and super special stage at Barnard Park from 5pm.
The Competition will then move south to Nannup, with over 200 competition kilometres of rally action on Saturday and Sunday.