Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith have won the second round of the 2023 Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) after taking out Heat 2 of the Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
The 2017 ARC Champion had been in second place for most of Sunday’s action until a one-minute penalty to leaders Harry Bates and Coral Taylor ahead of the EROAD Power Stage elevated them to top spot.
Quinn managed to bring his Hyundai i20 G4 home to third place on the final stage of the day – confirming his Heat win over reigning ARC Champions Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin.
Although Lewis and McLoughlin finished ahead of Quinn and Winwood-Smith in the event’s first heat, Sunday’s Heat win saw Quinn pick up the overall round win – a perfect WA debut for the Coffs Harbour team.
“It’s good stuff. Thanks to the team and big ol’ Ray – he goes alright,” Quinn said post-EROAD Power Stage.
“The challenges early in the weekend are part of rallying game. It’s a shame with Harry’s penalty this afternoon as he is an exceptional driver.
“I did my normal thing and plugged away and got through to the end.”
“It was certainly worth a trip,” Quinn added.
“We decided early to come and the decision has paid off. It is a shame the way it happened for us to get win, but overall we had a good event.
“Fabulous drives by Harry and Lewis and one day I will get a Power Stage win.
“I live my life one round at a time. We were always going to Queensland proving we didn’t barrel roll the car. So We will be there. If that round goes good, we will do all the championship.”
Lewis didn’t leave WA empty-handed either as the 26-year-old enjoyed a victory in the EROAD Power stage – his second for 2023 – after beating Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia teammates Harry and Taylor by three tenths of a second. Lewis also leads the Championship heading into round three.
As a result of the late penalty, Harry and co-driver Taylor, who had been leading all weekend after a drought-breaking Heat win on Saturday and four stage wins on Sunday, dropped down to sixth.
Their hopes of securing a first outright win since last year’s Buckby ŠKODA Rally Launceston faded, as they settled for sixth for the Heat and third overall.
Finishing the rally in fourth place overall were Troy Dowel and Bernie Webb after the duo put in a highly consistent shift all weekend – capped off with a third place for Sunday’s Heat.
Rounding out the top five for the weekend in one of the standout performances were Tasmanians Eddie Maguire and Zak Brakey.
Behind the wheel of the Contel Communications backed Subaru WRX, Maguire and Brakey had no issues in dealing with the unique WA gravel surfaces for the first time, as they edged out locals Daniel Gonzalez and Daymon Nicoli by just two points outright.
Despite missing out on fifth overall, Gonzalez and Nicoli had battled hard all weekend, which was highlighted in Sunday’s Heat where they beat Luke Anear and Malcolm Read by just one second to secure fourth place for Heat 2.
The Skoda Fabia R5 pilots also wrapped up the event with an overall win in the Dunlop WA Motorsport Australia Rally Championship, beating Peter Rullo and James Marquet in the Hyundai i20 R2 and ARC debutants Craig Rando and Scott Beckwith – both of whom finished the weekend in the outright event top 10.
Adding to Rando and Beckwith’s impressive ARC debut was the White Wolf Constructions ARC Production Cup podium, which was won by Maguire and Brakey, while Steve Maguire and Dale Moscatt finished second.
Ben and Catherine Hayes continued their strong 2023 campaign with a victory in the ARC 2WD Cup, as they finished second for the class in both heats.
After a challenging Saturday, Queenslanders Josh Wiedman and Nick Reid had a happy ending to their WA debut, taking out ARC 2WD Cup Heat 2 honours and the overall Shamrock Haulage ARC Junior Cup.
Rounding out the Cup wins was David Thompson and Matthew Sanders, the Tasmanians steering their Mazda RX7 to the ARC Classic Cup win, having claimed top honours on Sunday and second in Heat 1.
View provisional results at the Subaru Results Hub.
The Bosch Motorsport Australia Rally Championship continues heads to the sunshine state next with the Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland to take place in Gympie on 21-23 July.