Luff optimistic for the 2024 ARC season

Despite a challenging start to the 2024 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC), Jamie Luff is pleased with the progress of the season so far.

After facing some technical issues in round one, the young Yass driver made a strong come back behind the wheel of his Toyota GR Yaris AP4 at the most recent Forest Rally.

Jamie and his co-driver, and brother, Brad Luff had a solid weekend of rallying. The duo finishing the weekend in eighth place outright, and securing a bonus point in the Galvaniize Insurance Power Stage.

Luff currently sits inside the top 10 of the outright Drivers’ Championship standings, providing him with a significant confidence boost as he heads into the third round of the ARC season, this month’s Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland.

“We were very happy with the weekend [in Western Australia]. We had a faultless weekend besides a right-hand rear puncture on Stage Three. The car was awesome and it was our first rally in the new car where we could pull together a whole event without any little issues,” Luff said.

“Keeping it in the top 10 is a great confidence boost, especially with the great competition we are competing against.

“We are a very small team compared to most, so it’s awesome to be mixing it up with the best drivers, navigators and teams in Australia.

“We have had power stage points previously in the Subaru, and we had a fifth on the power stage in Canberra in 2023. Ending the weekend with a fifth on the power stage [in Western Australia] was a bonus.

“It was a disappointing end to Canberra at the start of the year with our issue five kilometres from the end of the event. So I was very happy to make it through Forest Rally and bank a few points.”

Last year marked Jamie Luff’s debut driving in Western Australia and Tasmania with his Toyota GR Yaris AP4.

Whilst the Toyota GR Yaris AP4 has gone on to win two ARC titles in 2022 and 2023, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing aboard the locally built machine for the Luffs. With the small, family-run team now well acquainted with the top-flight GR Yaris AP4, having come from production machinery in a Subaru WRX.

With a strong showing last time out in Western Australia, Luff is looking ahead to another successful showing in Queensland as the GR Yaris proves more reliable and familiar.

“I feel more and more confident, and comfortable, with every kilometre I do in the vehicle. We have still done very minimal [running] in the vehicle, so the more time we spend in the car, the faster we will get.

“Having the ‘you break it, you fix it’ mentality does not help when competing in a car of this level. We would love to get more seat time in other rallies than the ARC, but the time and cost of maintaining the car is very demanding. So at this stage, we are only sticking with the six rounds of ARC,” Luff said.

“Queensland is quite tight and technical, which we always seem to do well in. So we are very much looking forward to it. The car is looking good with just some general maintenance and repairs after WA.

“I am happy with how we are progressing within the ARC and with the Yaris. Since we stepped into the Yaris in 2023 we have had plenty of teething issues and driving issues on my behalf, but we have made it to the power stage finish at every event! I think that shows our determination and teamwork is top level with how small our team is.

“I am very lucky to have a very supportive family and friends who help out at the events.”

The next round of the ARC will be the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland in Gympie on 28-30 June.

Photos: Dakar Press Team Australia