A bumper field of 58 crews will contest the seventh and final round of the Focus on Furniture Victorian Rally Championship (VRC) at the George Derrick Memorial Rally in Boisdale on Saturday.
Speculation that the VRC was done and dusted after the Akademos Rally, with Ben and Cathy Hayes claiming the title, proved premature once more points calculations were done. With the championship pointscore based on the best 11 heats, Matt Lee is still in with a slim shot at the title once each competitor’s three worst results are dropped.
The Hayes husband-and-wife team come off a busy week, having competed at Kennards Hire Rally Australia last weekend.
They completed the gruelling event in their Holden SS Commodore, claiming tenth outright in the Australian Rally Championship field and third in the 2WD class.
The pair will step into their Subaru WRX STi for the George Derrick Memorial Rally, aiming for at least a top four finish in the two remaining heats to keep the Victorian title in their grasp should Lee, with Cathy Elliot in the co-driver’s seat, claim two heat wins.
The one-day event will be much more than a two-horse race with Hayes and Lee also needing to keep on eye on Ivan Regester and co-driver Paul Humm, with in the WRX STi pilots sitting third in the championship and just outside of title contention.
Jesse Robinson and Adam Wright, Wayne Stewart and Lucas Zinsstag and Ian Martin and Joe Brkic are all likely to be in the mix, the three crews campaigning Subaru WRXs while Tod Reed and William Murphy will be pushing all the way in their Lancer EVO III.
Classic favourites Grant Walker and Steph Richards will be out in their Ford RS1800 Escort, while David Lawrence and Darren Davison, in a Datsun 1600, and Phil Thomas and Ken Radnell, in the Ford Mk2 Escort are sure to be crowd pleasers.
The ‘George Derrick’ will start at the Boisdale Hillclimb at midday, before heading to the forest north-east of Briagolong for 55 kilometers of fast and furious action over five special stages.
Competitors will make a second pass of the five stages for heat two, starting at the Boisdale Hillclimb at 3:30pm.
Spectators can get up close to the action at Boisdale Hillclimb and at the spectator point on the second stage from 12:25pm. Spectator guide is available here.
The George Derrick Memorial Rally has a long history, first run in July 1959 by Car Club of RMIT (CCRMIT). The event was created to honour the club’s first President, George Derrick, a welding lecturer at RMTC, a motorbike racer and a keen car racing enthusiast. Derrick was President of the “Car Club of the Royal Melbourne Technical College” from its inception in 1954, until his passing of Leukemia at just 42 years of age in October 1956. The club has decreed that it will always run a “Derrick”, and has managed to do this 52 times consecutively in the years since.