After almost 30 years away from the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC), Peter Nunn will make his long-awaited return this weekend when he lines up in the Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Sprint Rally.
Having spent the last few decades campaigning in both tarmac and gravel rallies at state level or playing a key role in preparing the cars of ARC competitors, Nunn has finally been given the chance to step into the driver’s seat himself.
And the 56-year-old’s rare opportunity to steer a car in the ARC has been made possible by Luke Anear, who Nunn has been crewing for since the New South Welshman joined the sport.
Locked in to run the second Ford Fiesta R5 of Anear’s fleet alongside Alan Stephensen, Nunn was extremely excited for the weekend, and was hoping to use his most recent experience behind the wheel to have a consistent event.
“It’s really exciting. Getting the chance to drive a car like the R5 doesn’t happen very often,” Nunn said.
“As I help prepare the car usually, I know it better than most, but I am getting old now so I don’t think I will have the same speed as I did 20 years ago.
“With testing now cancelled, it makes it a little difficult and I have definitely been thrown in the deep end, but it just means I have to have a good recce and see what happens, I’ll be relying more on instinct.
“The good thing is I have lots of experience with pace notes, so I can visualise the roads. I don’t expect to be at the front of the pack though, although I do hope I’m not towards the back.”
Nunn has had quite the rally career, which started with rallying in a V8 Commodore and entering his last ARC rally being back in 1992.
Staying within the rally family, the Tasmanian got a gig with Les Walkden Rally where he spent years preparing cars, and although he never really competed on gravel rallies, he still ran in tarmac events.
A few years back, he got the opportunity to drive on the gravel once again, piloting Brendan Reeves’ Subaru at state level.
And having never really left the sport since his final ARC, Nunn believed Anear’s kindness was representative of the rally community.
“I obviously prepare Luke’s car and I have been ever since he got into the sport – in fact I helped build his first Subaru for Targa and we actually competed against each other,” Nunn added.
“So he knows how much I love the sport and generously gave me this opportunity so I am very thankful. I don’t think we will be competing against each other this weekend, as he is far quicker than I am even though we’re running similar cars.
“Rally really is a special community. We all share the same enjoyment and there are so many good people in this sport, people like Luke who like to help others.
“The last ARC round I did was Rally Tasmania in 1992, against Neal Bates and his Celica, so it will be interesting to go up against his sons Harry and Lewis this weekend, but I am really looking forward to it.”
The 2021 ARC season finale, the Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Sprint Rally, takes place in Bombala on 11 December.