Tassie ARC2 welcomes new kids on the block

The 2018 CAMS Australian Rally Championship ARC2 title fight is taking shape, with just two rounds left for crews to claim their place in the winner-takes-all final at Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

With three rounds down, Victorian Glen Raymond leads the pack, just four points clear of West Australian Brad Markovic. Rally newcomer Haowen Chu currently sits in third, a fantastic effort in his two-wheel-drive Ford Fiesta, and Andrew Penny is in fourth.

For the top four, who have completed both their home and nominated ARC2 rounds, it’s now a waiting game to see if they can hold onto their top five spot and finals berth.

This weekend ARC2 welcomes some new kids on the block, with Kevin Raedel, Mark Butcher and Matt How set to make their ARC2 debuts. For Butcher and How, Subaru Rally Tasmania is their home round but for Raedel, this weekend will be the prelude to his home event at the Adelaide Hills Rally in September.

“I’ve never been to Tassie before, it was a bit of a bucket list thing,” said Raedel of his reason for nominating Subaru Rally Tasmania.

Raedel, who has been competing in state and club rallying in recent years, made the decision to enter ARC2 about eight months ago.

“We are trying to get to Coffs Harbour, that’s the ultimate plan, but we will see how we go, just try and get through this weekend first,” he said.

Piloting a Ford Falcon XR6 with Lisi Phillips in the co-driver seat, Raedel is non-plussed about getting the big beast around the tight and twisty Tasmanian stages.

“My navigator calls it The Boat,” he jokes.

“We should be pretty right, we’ll just drive it sideways in and out of corners I guess.

“The crowds like it because it throws lots of rocks, and it’s got fluorescent pink on the sides, so the kids love it.”

New South Welshman Adam Kaplan and Victorian Ben Hayes have also nominated Subaru Rally Tasmania as their second ARC2 round – Kaplan is currently fifth in the points after a strong run at the Netier National Capital Rally.

Hayes, currently in seventh, will be hoping for a better result in Tassie after hitting a tree in his Subaru WRX on day one of his home event at The Courier Eureka Rally. Hayes and co-driver wife Cathy will compete in their Holden Commodore SS.

Steve Glenney will also be competing for ARC2 points at his home round, eligible due to his extended absence from gravel rallying as a driver.

ARC2 was introduced in 2017 to help rally drivers transition from state to national competition. Competitors eligible for ARC2 in 2018 are automatically nominated for their home round, where they receive points towards the ARC2 series.

Drivers nominate their second ‘out of state’ round at least 10 days prior to their selected event.

The top five ARC2 drivers after round five will receive free entry to Rally Australia and a set of MRF tyres to take part in the winner-takes-all ARC2 final.