State News: Skoda spreads its wings

After making its debut in the CAMS Australian Rally Championship this year, the Skoda R5 will make a splash at the upcoming AMH Automotive Rally of the Bay in New South Wales.

Richie Dalton and ARC regular co-driver Dale Moscatt will have the benefit of being behind the wheel of the Skoda Fabia R5, the exact same vehicle used by Adrian Coppin in this year’s ARC.

“I was the first person to drive it when Race Torque bought it for Adrian and I drove it at Rally Australia last year, finishing eighth outright which was fantastic,” Dalton said.

“It’s an unbelievable piece of machinery. It gives you a lot of confidence to be aggressive and push harder and it’s very easy to drive. It’s awesome.

“I have my own car for the NZ championship, which has been left over there but one day I would like to get my hands on my own R5.”

The rally will acts as a round for both the NSW and Victoria Rally Championships, East Coast Classic Rally Series, the Victoria Fiesta Series, the Victorian Grant Walker Parts Excel series and the ACT Regional Rally.

The event is also quite special for Dalton, with his local car club, the North Shore Sporting Car Club, hosting the rally.

“I have been a member there since 2006, it’s my home rally and I try to do it every year,” Dalton said.

“With the New Zealand Rally Championship on the week after in Coromandel, I am just trying to get back to speed for the rally after our big accident.

“It has knocked my confidence down a bit some more seat time to try and get back up to speed is fantastic.”

Dalton and Moscatt aren’t the only high profile drivers to take part with Bega’s Ben Barker and Border Ranges Rally winner Glen Brinkman also entered into the event.

Neal Bates Motorsport have also expressed interest to enter up to three of their Toyota, however a decision will be made once the Subaru Rally Tasmania concludes on the final weekend of July.

The Rally of the Bay will see drivers travel blind through 115 competitive kilometres across nine-stages and will be held on 11 August in Batemans Bay.

Click here for more information about this year’s Rally of the Bay.