Although Jamie Luff has had a mixed start to the Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season on paper, the young Canberran couldn’t be happier with how 2023 has gone so far.
The Canberran purchased and built a new Toyota Yaris AP4 in the off season and will be using this year as a learning year to get himself prepared for a proper crack at the 2024 season.
Unfortunately, it’s been a challenging opening two rounds so far for Luff and his brother/co-driver Brad, despite the duo producing a collection of good stage results.
Luff currently sits just outside the top 10 on the overall Championship standings, with his best result being seventh in Heat 1 of the Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston and eighth in Heat 2 of the Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
Problems in the other two heats prevented Luff from making more inroads in the standings, however the driver himself wasn’t too concerned.
“It’s been a really good start in my eyes and I have been really happy with some of our stage times – even though we have been unable to put a full event together,” Luff said.
“We have had a few flat tyres, beached the car and electrical gremlins have caused us to lose time and stages here and there, but I am okay with that.
“For us, we are learning a brand new car, which has only done 400km so far, so we’re really happy with where we are at right now.
“Honestly, the times have been there and we’re not here to win anything, so I guess that’s why we are happy. Our focus is purely learning the car and getting more confidence. The good times have been a bonus.
“I look back to that first stage in Tassie, which certainly sticks out to me because I was nervous doing my first stage in the new car, and then to see us produce solid time was really cool.
“I was telling myself to be happy with a top 10 time, but that stage just showed how quick we could make progress. I was blown away.”
The first stage in Launceston was just the start for Luff, who has continued to produce top 10 times over the course of the year.
Not only is the car new for Luff, but the opening two rounds were also new for him too with the rookie having never been to WA or Tasmania before.
While Queensland will be the same for him, Luff was looking forward to learning about another event.
“Our plan for WA was to just get through it and we made no mistakes, which is a huge positive – it was just the electrical gremlins that stuff us around,” Luff explained.
“We were a bit disappointed, but it’s to be expected for a new car and we were happy with what we achieved.
“For Queensland, it will be again just about surviving the weekend and learning both the car and the event.
“And that’s what this year is all about – learn as much as we can with the car and for all the rallies that we do. This will help us in the future.
“With that said, the second half will be much better for us. We will be more familiar with the car and the events themselves as they are ones we have done before.
“It’s kind of worked out well because we will have had more seat time by the time we reach Gippsland.”
The next round of the ARC will be the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland in Gympie on 21-23 July.
Feature Photo: Dakar Press Team Australia