Adrian Stratford has a huge fortnight ahead of him as he competes in both the Till Hino Motorsport Australia Victorian Rally Championship (VRC) this weekend and the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) next weekend.
Stratford currently sits third in both the outright VRC and the ARC Shamrock Haulage 2WD Cup in what has been a challenging season and will be hoping for some good luck if he’s any chance to take out either championship.
Sitting 52 points behind Darren Windus in the VRC and sits 56 points behind Ryan Williams in the ARC 2WD Cup, and 62 behind Williams in the ARC Junior Cup, Stratford admitted his focus will be on next weekend’s Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Stages Rally – the final round of the ARC.
“To be honest we’re in two minds with our intentions (for the Gippsland Rally), we’ve got this weekend which is the final round of the Victoria championship and next weekend we have the final round of the Australian Championship, so we’ve got to keep our heads screwed on,” Stratford said.
“If we play it safe and just get to the end, I think that’s all we have to do, and whatever happens will happen.
“We’re basically going to use this rally as a bit of testing, just as we have to change some things on the car. We would love to go out there and go for the win, however pushing that hard comes with a lot of risks and I think the smartest thing to do would be to treat this rally as a testing event.
“It is a bit stressful, we do most of the work ourselves as well, so just prepping the car in a way that should get through two rallies.”
The Victorian young gun won’t be the only ARC regular competing in both the Gippsland Rally and Monaro Sprint, with Nathan Quinn, Richie Dalton and Troy Dowel all listed to compete in both events.
“We won’t have a lot of time between the events to prep the car so we almost need to double prep it for this one, hopefully we finish the event, we come back, we basically put some different tyres on it and go again, but to be honest it has been quite stressful and busy,” Stratford added.
“We’re going to use this Rally basically as a bit of testing, just as we have to change some things on the car. We would love to go out there and go for the win, however pushing that hard comes with a lot of risks and I think the smartest thing to do would be to treat this rally as a testing event.”
The Gippsland Rally will take place 4 December in Gippsland while the Monaro Sprint Rally will take place in Cooma on 11 December.
Photo: Peter Norton