It’s been 160 weeks since the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) last competed in the Adelaide Hills and as crews gear up for round six of the 2022 season in South Australia, re-live the 2019 Adelaide Hills Rally.
A solid field of 36 crews took part in the 19-stage South Australian rally back in 2019, battling it out over 204 kilometres across two heats.
Securing their fifth consecutive victory in the ARC was Harry Bates and John McCarthy, who dominated the event to win an impressive 15 stages.
Finishing in second place was 2016 ARC Champion Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read, who were placed 17 points behind the leaders, whilst Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin rounded out the podium in third.
The first heat saw competitors contest 107.5 competitive kilometres and 10 stages, which began with bang as Harry Bates took out the opening stage by three seconds over Taylor.
The ARC leader went on to comfortably win the next six stages, before Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammate Lewis Bates ended his streak, winning stage eight by 30 seconds.
However, his brother was hardly phased as Harry went on to win the eighth stage by sixth tenths of second and then the first pass of The Bend Super Special Stage.
Although he didn’t end up winning the final stage of the afternoon, an honour belonging to the ever-improving Luke Anear, Harry had still done enough to win the stage over Lewis and Taylor.
The second heat comprised of nine stages after SS16 was cancelled, with crews rallying across 97.3 kilometres and it was Harry who picked up where he left off – adding a further six stage wins to his tally.
After finishing the first heat in third, Taylor and Read were able to maximise their pace in the second heat to notch up three stage wins on stages 11, 12 and 20.
Remarkably just two tenths of a second separated Harry and Taylor at the conclusion of the final stage – further continuing the duo’s entertaining history.
Their mighty effort in the second heat landed them a well-earned runner-up finish after Lewis and McLoughlin had difficult runs on those same stages.
With Taylor jumping him for second, Lewis had to settle for third place in the Heat and third place overall.
Heat two proved quite challenging for many crews, with four crews forced to retire including the likes of Jamie Pohlner and Jason Lennane – the two of which had finished the previous heat in 10th and 13th respectively.
Simon Hoff and Renee Hoff were also forced to retire on the following stage whilst Damian Reed and Dale Neighbour were unable to complete any stage in the second heat after hitting a tree stump.
Adelaide Hills Rally top 10:
1. Harry Bates/John McCarthy
2. Molly Taylor/Malcolm Read
3. Lewis Bates/Anthony McLoughlin
4. Luke Anear/Andy Sarandis
5. Guy Tyler/Mike Dale
6. John O’Dowd/Toni Feaver
7. Zayne Admiraal/Matthew Heywood
8. Ben Calder/Steve Glenney
9. Matthew Selley/Hamish McKendrick
10. Wayne Mason/David Langfield
The RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will take to the Adelaide hills region for round five of the 2022 Championship 22-23 October.
The 2022 Adelaide Hills Rally takes place in and around the forests of Adelaide and The Bend Motorsport Park on 21-23 October.
Photo: Wishart Media.