The entry list for the Adelaide Hills Rally has been confirmed with 50 crews to battle it out in an epic weekend of motorsport.
Taking place as part of The Bend Autofest, alongside the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships and The Bend Classic, the rally will see crews contesting up to 180 competitive kilometres over a whopping 28 stages.
Serving as the sixth round of the 2022 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) season, there will be 21 ARC crews competing in the rally – a number of which will be eligible to qualify for November’s FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship finale on the Coffs Coast.
The remaining 29 crews form part of a bumper Motorsport Australia South Australian Rally Championship (SARC) and the UME Rally Stadium Sprint.
Headlining the national field will be Harry Bates and John McCarthy, the championship leaders fresh from their point scoring FIA World Rally Championship debut in New Zealand earlier this month.
Toyota Teammates Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin, Shamrock Motorsport’s Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt, Up and Go’s Troy Dowel and Bernie Webb and Dirtfish’s Max McRae and Mac Kierans are amongst those high-profile crews keen to add more valuable points to their season tally.
While there are plenty of regulars who have entered the ARC component of the event, the most notable entry is the return of Arron Windus, who makes his first appearance since a big crash at the Make Smoking History Forest Rally in Western Australia earlier this year.
Behind the wheel of the Activ Rallysport Ford Fiesta G4, Tracey Dewhyrst will be calling the notes for the Victoria with his long-time co-driver Daniel Brkic tied to young gun Taylor Gill, a partnership that’s been in motion since Shannons Rally Launceston.
Other names familiar to 2022 ARC fans include the likes of Reality Lane’s Daniel Gonzalez, IKON Signs’ Dean Ridge and Phillip Bonser, Trailer Camper Australia’s James Dimmock and Paul Bennett and the privateer entries of Aidan Peterson and Mitchell Newton, Jamie and Bradley Luff and David Thompson and Matthew Saunders.
There is a decent South Australian contingent to contest their home rally, some of whom have made multiple appearances in 2022 – most notably Guy Tyler of Independent Air Solutions who will have Steven Fisher beside him for the rally.
Other local crews include SC Racing’s Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood, Daren Herring and Matthew Woods, Molly Spalding and Douglas Johnson and Glenn Campbell and Darren Ambrose.
The all-South Australian crews will be cross entered in the SARC and will up against fellow home-grown talents Jamie Pohlner and Adam Branford and Declan and Zoe Dwyer in the state championship round.
Fellow South Australian Stephen Mee makes his long-awaited return to the ARC – his first for the year – and will have West Australian Nathan Quartermain as his co-driver.
Rounding out the entry list is debutant Jody Mill, alongside skilled co-driver James Ford and Queenslander Ian Griffin, who will be hoping to mark his third appearance with a victory in the ARC Classic Cup.
Clerk of Course Michael Clements was thrilled with the event could attract a strong pool of national and state level rally crews.
“We’re really stoked with the amount of people who will be attending the rally as it’s going to be quite unique compared to the rest of the championship,” Clements said.
“It will be quite challenging for crews, and I am sure there is going to be good competition amongst a very talented entry list.
“Obviously it is also an opportunity for crews to secure a place in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship final in November and I think there will be many crews confident of having a serious crack at a good result.”
The 2022 Adelaide Hills Rally takes place in and around the forests of Adelaide and The Bend Motorsport Park on 21-23 October.