Tom Monaghan will enter the 2021 RSEA Safety Motorsport Rally Championship (ARC) behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta R5, after making his national debut at last year’s Netier National Capital Rally.
Having competed in November’s standalone event behind the wheel of a Subaru WRX and alongside experienced co-driver Steve Glenney, the driver showed plenty of promise for his third rally and finished the 16-stage event in 14th place.
Continuing his introduction into the sport, Monaghan swapped gravel for tarmac and featured in this month’s Targa High Country.
And once again, it was a fantastic showing from Monaghan as he steered the WRX to a more than impressive outright fifth place and Mt Buller GT Outright class podium with Alan Stephenson.
Not showing any signs of being intimidated, Monaghan and Stephenson had a dream start to the tarmac rally- posting the equal fastest time on the opening stage and picking a number of top three stages along the way.
Helping Monaghan quickly adapt the difficult skill that is rally has been RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship regular Luke Anear, with both drivers running under AGI Sport.
Not only is Monaghan learning the ropes from Anear, who is also quite new to rallying himself and enters his third full year, but the 34-year-old has also gained Anear’s Mk1 Ford Fiesta R5 for his debut season. Anear is set to pilot a Mk2 Fiesta R5.
While jumping from the Impreza RS to a world class Fiesta R5 will be a big step for Monaghan, the Queenslander will be looking at 2021 as a learning year and was thrilled with his new wheels.
“The 2020 Netier National Capital Rally was the third event in the little beginner Subaru RS and it has been great fun and a great learning curve,” Monaghan said.
“Now I will be jumping a few steps up into the R5 somehow and I am still pinching myself. I am very lucky.
“I have received a lot of advice from Luke Anear. It’s been an information overload. My brain is about to explode, but the car (R5) does what you tell it to do. Very different to what I am used to.
“I’m hopeful of doing every round. I’ve done lots of research and practice and hopefully getting as much time in the new car as I can.”
Monaghan will enjoy his official RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship debut next month at the 2021 Netier National Capital Rally on 26-28 March.
Photo: Sportz Fotos