The second round of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship is shaping up as an exciting one with a lot on the line for the Netier National Capital Rally.
The one day format
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the event’s new slick one day format, which should prove beneficial to competitors, crews and fans a like.
With two heats spread across one day of action, there will be no opportunity for competitors to take it easy with every stage crucial for a good result.
Both heats will cover 88 competitive kilometres each, with four special stages accounting for approximately 72km. The catch for competitors will be that entry into the second heat will be determined on if their vehicle started the first heat.
Outside of the familiar regulars featuring in Canberra, including Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia’s Harry and Lewis Bates alongside John McCarthy and Anthony McLoughlin, Subaru Do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read and Snickers Racing’s Luke Anear and Steve Glenney all in the mix.
After taking part in four rounds last year, Adrian Coppin returns to the ARC for a special round under the Abode Hotels banner and will be paired up with Dare To Be Different ambassador and Channel 10 personality Kate Peck.
Other major inclusions for the Netier National Capital Rally is White Wolf Racing’s Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston and AMS TechResource’ Peter and Katrina Dunn.
It’s been two years since Repco Rally Team’s Mick Patton’s last outing in the ARC, but the Canberra local is back in the driver’s seat and will be joined by co-driver Bernie Webb. Rounding out the crew list is debutant Ethan Pickstock from South Australia, with the Mitsubishi Mirage pilot driving alongside Lisi Phillips
Last time they Met
It’s a very different looking field compared to the last time the ARC visited the nation’s capital with only five drivers in Harry and Lewis Bates, Molly Taylor, Adrian Coppin and Haowen Chu returning. Out of the five drivers, it was Coppin who ended the event on top, finishing behind only eventual 2018 champion Eli Evans.
The only difference being Coppin was steering the world class Skoda Fabia R5 last year. Behind the wheel of the Contel Communications Subaru WRX, Glenney and Andy Sarandis finished the event in third ahead of both Harry Bates and Taylor.
While Glenney will back at the event in 2019, he has taken on co-driver responsibilities alongside second-year driver Anear. For the others, Chu managed to finish the event in seventh outright, while Lewis Bates’ campaign alongside legendary co-driver Coral Taylor was cut short after crashing out early on in the first heat.