Young-gun Brodie Reading will be out to secure his first CAMS Tasmanian Rally Championship at the Les Walkden Enterprises Mountain Stages Rally this weekend, the fifth and final round of the 2018 series.
In just his second season in a rally car, Reading holds a 28-point lead, but with 80 points on offer, no less than four drivers are in with a shot at the title.
Nic Grave holds down second in the title race after four rounds, just 10 points clear of Timothy Auty with Ben Newman a long shot, 73 points adrift.
The 2018 Championship has seen strong performances from a myriad of crews, producing different winners at each of the rounds to date.
Reading and co-driver Alex Malcolm claimed victory at the Lifestyle Builders Southern Safari, completing a clean sweep of heats one and two in their Subaru WRX STi but were forced to settle for third at the Tall Timbers Hellyer Rally, which was won by Jamie and Simon Vandenberg in their Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX.
It was Tim Auty and John Mitchell that took the honours at the Subaru Rally Tasmania in their Mazda 323 GTR while Steve Maguire and Stuart Benson won the single heat at the Rocky Cape Sprint Rally, backing up their second outright at the Hellyer Rally.
Auty will lead the 17-strong field as car one, followed by Reading and Maguire, with Kade Barrett and Melissa Weldon in the classic Plymouth Fire Arrow fourth on the road, Barrett fresh off second at the Rocky Cape Rally Sprint. Stephen Turner and Mitchell Newton will run the number five in the Ford Fiesta R2, the pair currently topping the points table in the P2 class.
In the 2WD class, Mark Kyle and Daniel Davies look the goods in their Datsun 1600, with a 30 point buffer over Nathan Rodam and Nicole Bryan in their Hyundai Excel.
The LWE Mountain Stages Rally has a rich history in the Apple Isle, celebrating its 30th year in 2018. The event was previously run as a trial prior to becoming a special stage rally. Amazingly, Tasmanian rally-legend Les Walkden has been involved since its inception in 1988, the event supported Les Walkden Enterprises each of its 30 years.
Crews will tackle eight stages, with none under 18-kilometres, totalling 175 kilometres of competitive rallying.
The one-day event will start at Mathinna at 10am on Saturday, 80 kilometres east of Launceston, with the service park at the Mathinna Recreation Ground. The first car is due to finish at the St Leonards Hotel in Launceston after 5:30pm.