SARC ready for Heartlands takeover

The 2021 Motorsport Australia South Australian Rally Championship (SARC) season gets underway this weekend with the AGL RallySA – Rally of the Heartland in Burra.

Almost 70 crews from around the country have entered the popular South Australian rally and will tackle 430 competitive kilometres across in the Hallett, Burra and Terow regions.

Headlining the entry list is a driver who is currently in irresistible form – 2017 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Champion, Nathan Quinn and co-driver Ray Winwood-Smith.

The New South Welshman has enjoyed lots of success at club and state level in recent years, however last month’s Netier National Capital Rally may have been one of his finest outings – guiding a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to a well-deserved podium, against the odds, behind the dominant Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia GR Yaris AP4s.

Reigning SARC champions Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood lead the charge for the South Australian competitors, while Wayne Hoy, Matt Selley and Jamie Pohlner are some of the other drivers who could be in contention for a victory.

As for the course itself, the picturesque roads of South Australian heartlands will play host to the event with a number of new stages to form part of the rally.

The major highlight for the blind rally comes in the form of one of those new stages – a mammoth 38km run through the wind farm, while classic competitors will be running in an even bigger stage of 80km on the Saturday evening.

With the healthy entry list almost at capacity, Clerk of Course Ivar Stanelis was looking forward to the fourth edition of the rally.

“We have entries from every state of Australia, even Tasmania, which is fantastic. I hope it all goes well and I am sure it will,” Stanelis said.

“It’s been put together through of a lot of hard work from around 200 people, so we’re really excited for this event, especially after missing last year.

“We also won a special Community Achievement award for the 2019 edition after being nominated by the Regional Council of Goyd, which gives us a lot of confidence of running a really strong event.

“The course is fairly unique too. There is a mixture of stone and red sand, as well as the stages themselves being really challenging – especially since it’s a blind rally.

“There are some really big names competing too and outside of the obvious names, people like Jack Monkhouse and Stuart Bowes are major drawcards who could do something special.”

While it will be hosting the first round of the SARC, the event will also be running a round of the East Coast Classic Rally Series.

The AGL RallySA – Rally of the Heartland takes place in the regions Hallett, Burra and Terow regions on 8–9 May.

Photo: Bruce Keys