The AGI Sport Adelaide Hills Rally is considered one the biggest rally events in South Australia and on the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship calendar, and while the ARC won’t run there this year, it remains just as exciting.
More than 50 crews have entered this weekend’s rally across three different competitions, with the headline act being the Motorsport Australia South Australia Rally Championship.
Six crews will compete for the new 2020 Hoosier Challenge, with free entry to an ARC event next year up for grabs.
Making the rally even more exciting is that there is double the reward on offer for SARC competitors with this weekend run as two separate rounds.
The competition kicks off on Saturday with the first round seeing crews take on 83 competitive kilometres over 10 stages – two of which will be run as Super Special Stages at the Mid Murray Motorplex.
During Saturday evening’s Super Special Stages, one of the event’s minor classes will begin with the 10 entries from the MC Automotive AHR Rallysprint to feature in all four runs throughout the evening.
On Sunday, everything restarts as teams get another chance at gaining maximum points on 10 stages, both new and old, only this time the competitive distance is increased to 106 kilometres.
It is during the second day of action where the rally’s other event takes place with Adelaide Hills Introductory Rally to give six amateur crews a chance to experience rallying through three of Sunday’s stages.
With 16 crews making up Saturday’s rallysprint and Sunday’s Intro rally, it leaves 36 crews contesting the full event, and while each day will run as separate rounds, both results will contribute to an overall UME Classic Cup for those who are entered.
Of the crews tackling the full event, just two are not vying for state championship points with ARC regular Luke Anear and Andy Sarandis running their AGI Sport Skoda Fabia R5 and Queenslander Thomas Monaghan teaming up with 2018 ARC runner-up Steve Glenney in the AGI Sport Subaru WRX R5.
While both crews are competing solely for 4WD honours, the entry list for the SARC remains just as impressive with a host of local stars and former champions taking part in the event.
The likely crews to be battling out for top spot are reigning state champions Zayne Admiraal and Matthew Heywood, Aaron Bowering and Heath Weedon and Jamie Pohlner and Adam Bradfod – all of whom will be running in Subaru WRX and who enjoyed success in their own right over the years.
Bowering is also part of the six-car Hoosier Challenge, with ARC regulars Stephen Mee and Kevin Raedel, as well as Stuart Bates, Rick Powell and Ryan Poel also running.
However the crew with the biggest chance at taking down Anear in the R5 is Guy Tyler and Mike Dale in their Independent Air Solutions Mitsubishi Evo 9 with the MT Compass based driver having won the SARC leg at last year’s Adelaide Hills Rally SA.
With the duo having won the state season opener earlier this year, Tyler will also have the opportunity to win the championship this weekend.
“I am really excited for the weekend because any rally is good rallying at the moment,” Tyler said.
“It’s a privilege to race but a bit of a shame it’s not an ARC event, although it’s great because we still have Luke in front of us.
“The two rounds is a bit of a weird one but the whole rally is going to be a bit strange. While my aim is to wrap up the SARC, I would still like to win the event outright and it’s going to be a bit of a challenge with Luke in the R5.
“We match up well together, especially after having a good battle last year in the ARC here where we finished equal fourth.
“On the Saturday, it’s fairly comfortable roads that we have run before but on Sunday, I am really looking forward to some new stages. There are some Iconic pieces of gravel on the edge of the Adelaide Hills. They’re bery loose stages, they have good character and are scenic.”
The AGI Sport Adelaide Hills Rally takes place around Birdwood on 17-18 October.