Tasmanian Jaidyn Gluskie will make his Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) debut this year as he looks to develop his rallying career.
Inspired by the performances of fellow Tasmanian young gun Bodie Reading in 2023, Gluskie is targeting four ARC rounds this year, three of which will be run on mainland Australia.
In addition to his home rally in Launceston, Gluskie is aiming to run in Canberra, Victoria and South Australia and contest the ARC Junior Cup.
The 22-year-old will be behind the wheel of a recently purchased Subaru Impreza RS, upgrading from the Hyundai Excel he campaigned at state level over the past two years.
While Canberra won’t be the first time he has run at an ARC event, having featured in the previous two Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston rounds, it will be the first time Gluskie has competed at national level.
“The plan is to be at Canberra 100 per cent – in fact I am currently on a diet of two-minute noodles to save every penny for the opening round of the ARC,” Gluskie said.
“I’ll definitely be doing Launceston and Gippsland is highly likely at this stage, so the only event that I am unsure about is South Australia, and that will be determined closer to the day.
“With that said, I feel this year will purely be a learning season as I come to grips with the harsh conditions of all the mainland events – especially Canberra. My main intention is the ARC Junior Cup though as I feel the car and I will be competitive.
“I have always wanted to go into the ARC and push myself to the next level because it’s always been on my bucket list, but I have never been in a position too. I love the Tasmanian roads, but there are only four rounds a year and I feel a bit deprived with a lack of events.
“I have fantastic support from my family, especially my dad who is working on the car in Tasmania, and Wayne Nichols of Nichols Automotive, who I am incredibly grateful for his backing. Hopefully, this year we can establish that their faith is well-placed.
“Glen Raymond has also told me when competing interstate for the first time is when you first really challenge yourself outside of your comfort zone. I respect Glen a lot and I think that’s true, which is why I’m taking the leap from Tasmania to the mainland.”
Gluskie may not have had any experience rallying at the top level yet, but he has enjoyed a number of strong results in state competition over the past two years, including attending the FIA Rally Star Asia-Pacific Final in 2022.
Despite facing some minor setbacks, Gluskie ended the 2023 Motorsport Australia Tasmanian Rally Championship in seventh overall, second in 2WD and first in the P2 class.
Now with his new set of wheels, the young rising star has already noticed progress and was hopeful of carrying that momentum into the 2024 ARC season.
“Last year was an interesting season because even though results got better and we got faster, it was a big year of learning lessons on car prep and writing pace notes,” Gluskie explained.
“Something went wrong at every rally, but we still managed to finish all but one rally, so I know the skill is there, it’s just about getting a decent car, which I did over the holidays.
“The Subaru is so much better than the Excel in every way. It’s such an easy car to drive. It’s stable, confidence-inspiring and makes me feel at one with the car. Every night when I go to sleep, all I think about is driving that car.
“We ran the first event in the Subaru at the Isandula Rallysprint late last year, and our results improved over the course of the event. We started out 12th, but by the end of the day, we were putting in top-five times.
“I finished seventh overall and was the second fastest non-turbo car, so I think it went well. I was also pleased with my own performance – I wasn’t taking risks and I was being sensible. Honestly, by the end of the day, it felt like I’d driven that car forever.
“I have one more rallysprint in February and then it’s straight into the deep end at Canberra – I can’t wait and I am counting down the days until my ARC debut.”
The opening round of the 2024 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will be Rally of Canberra in the nation’s capital on 5-7 April.