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JANUARY 2004 Vol. 15 No. 5

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CODY CODY CROCKER CROCKER -- The The making making of of aa star star

● Evans to Toyota ● New ARC sponsor ● Top 10 drivers ● ARC review ● Subaru snubs McRae

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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Pirelli World Rallying 2003

HOW TO START RALLYING

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You’ll find this new book absolutely enthralling, told by one of the most successful rally car preparers in the business, David Sutton. Bankrupt twice, Sutton details his association with some of the greatest stars of all time. 230 pages.

Internationally recognised as the bestresearched and most informative rally annual in the world. Covers all World Championship rounds, Asia-Pacific series and local championships. Stories, loads of color photos, results and technical information. 200 pages

The definitive book that shows newcomers to the sport the best way of getting into rallying. Over 100 pages of useful tips, ideas and facts gained from many years of rallying. Produced by the editors of ARN.

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2003 British Rally Championship Just-released video of this year’s exciting British Championship. Nearly 4 hours of action. $49.95

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Contact us for a full listing of die cast 1:43 and 1:18 model rally cars. Here are just some of our current stock: Solido 1/18 die cast. CITROEN XSARA WRC. Sainz/Marti Monte Carlo 2003. Latest-spec colours. Opening doors, bonnet etc. $89 Solido 1/18 die cast. 1954 PEUGEOT 203. Celebrate Peugeot’s win in the 1953 Redex Round Australia. Nostalgia unlimited. Opening doors, bonnet. $89 Solido 1/18 die cast. 1962 MINI COOPER S. Great little road version in BRG & white. Opening doors, great detail. $89 Solido 1/18 die cast. SUBARU IMPREZA WRCar. Makinen/ Lindstrom 2002 Monte Carlo Rally. A chance to celebrate Makinen’s rallying now he’s retired. $89 Solido 1/18 die cast. PEUGEOT 206 WRC. Panizzi/Panizzi 2002 Tour de Corse. Original grey/red livery. Opening doors, bonnet, steerable wheels. $89 Solido 1/18 die cast. CITROEN XSARA. Bugalski/Chiaroni 2002 Rally Catalunya. Original red/white/yellow livery. Opening doors, bonnet. $89 Solido 1/18 die cast. 1967 Renault Gordini. Therier Monte Carlo Rally. In French blue with white ‘go faster’ stripes. Great little model 23cm long. $89

The Vatanen Touch Just released on DVD for your enjoyment. Includes new footage. 40 mins. $46.95

Solido 1/18 die cast. PEUGEOT 206 WRC. Burns/Reid 2003 Monte Carlo Rally A fabulous new model in new red Total livery. $89

The Evolution of Rallying Trace rallying’s history from 1950 to 2001. 90 minutes. $46.95

Solido 1/18 die cast. 1979 LANCIA STRATOS Monte Carlo Rally. Sandro Munari. In red/green/white Alitalia colors with yellow wheels. Stunning! $89

World’s Greatest Rally Cars 110 minutes of fabulous action from the best rally cars in the world, including the Group B monsters. $46.95

Autoart 1/18 die cast. NEW MINI road car in red /black with white wheels. Opening doors, bonnet. A real quality model. $129 plus $10 P & P.

World Rally Championship 2002 – Reloaded Action from last year’s WRC features some staggering action, in-car and out. 140 minutes. (2003 WRC DVD expected midFebruary.) $49.95 * All prices include postage

1/43 die cast models. IXO Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.5. Makinen 2002 Monte Carlo. $65 1/43 die cast models. IXO Peugeot 206 WRCar Gronholm 2002 Cyprus Rally silver/red. $65 1/43 die cast models. IXO Peugeot 206 WRCar Gronholm 2003 Swedish Rally. Red/white. $65 1/43 die cast models. IXO Citroen Xsara WRCar Loeb 2003 Monte Carlo Rally. Red/white/blue/. $65

RALLY CALENDARS

Each year the McKlein trio of photographers produce without doubt the world’s best rally calendar. The 2004 calendar measure 670 x 480mm and features 2 fabulous photos per month. Suitable for your office, den, home etc., these calendars become collectors’ items. Very limited stock so get in early. $99 including postage.

1/43 die cast models. Trofeau Audi Quattro Michelle Mouton 1981 Portugal Rally. Black/grey.red. $65 1/43 die cast models. Trofeau Audi Quattro Hannu Mikkola 1981 Monte Carlo Rally. White/grey/red. $65 1/43 die cast models. Trofeau Audi Quattro Walter Rohrl 1984 Monte Carlo Rally. Yellow/white HB livery. $65 1/43 die cast models. Trofeau Toyota Celica GT4 Kankkunen 1000 Lakes. White/red/blue. $65

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Great to listen to at any time - especially when there are no rallies on! 12 tracks featuring all the great cars of the 70’s and 80’s including such legends as Escort BDA, Datsun 1600, Mazda RX7, Monaro, Torana, Galant, Datsun 240Z and more. Rematered from the original recordings onto CD. Runs for approx. 50 minutes.

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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Oh! What a feeling!

Evans heads to Toyota

Globalstar to sponsor ARC

Telecommunications company, Globalstar Australia, is the new sponsor for the Australian Rally Championship. The company have signed a fouryear deal with IMG to support the ARC Super Series which is to be known as the Globalstar Australian Rally Championship. The deal comprises an initial two year period with the option of a further two years. The last time that the ARC had a major series sponsor was in 1990 and 1991 when oil giant BP sponsored the series. In the following 12 years sponsors have only been found for individual events. Globalstar Australia Managing Director, Mr. Peter Bolger said “We are excited and proud to be supporting the Australian Rally Championship. This sponsorship signals a new phase for Globalstar as it seeks to further build awareness of Globalstar’s unique capabilities in providing 100% mobile coverage to Australia and its territorial waters.” Globalstar’s involvement with the Australian Rally Championship comes at a time when the profile of the sport of rallying is increasing as a result of International Marketing Group’s (IMG) involvement in the series. Globalstar joins the Australian Rally Championship as a major stakeholder, complementing a list of supporters including Network Ten, ELF Fuel, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Subaru. Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) Chairman, Garry Connelly, hailed the sponsorship as a major achievement for the Championship. “Having a leading technology and communication supplier such as Globalstar as our series sponsor gives us the opportunity to not only enhance the profile of the ARC, but to also explore some leading-edge technology developments which will make the sport more exciting and more promotable,” Connelly said. “There is obvious synergy between the Australian Rally Championship and Globalstar and we’re

12 year drought ends

DONE DEAL: Globalstar Managing Director, Peter Bolger (left), signs the sponsorship contract with Australian Rally Commission Chairman, Garry Connelly.

very pleased to have them on board.” As part of Globalstar’s sponsorship investment, the company announced that it will be supporting the championship with the provision of a number of its dual band satellite phones. These will be provided to each of the six rallies for use by event officials. The communication and technology provided by Globalstar is

expected to aid event safety, create easier distribution of media information and help the organisers to better run their events. Globalstar will also be working with ARCom, organisers and teams in the championship to develop better in-car communications between the teams and the crews in the forest and has also identified additional business opportunities in the sport. The Australian Rally Championship kicks off in March with the running of the Respect Yourself Forest Rally around Nannup in Western Australia.

Thompson’s big chance

Sydneysider Mark Thompson was preparing to head to Austria as we closed for press to test for a drive in the Production Car World Rally Championship for the Austrian OMV team. After filling in an application form on the internet, Thompson was informed that he was one of 10 drivers who had been accepted to test the team’s Lancer Evo 6 in preparation for next year’s World Championship. He then had four days to get to Austria. Thompson currently plans to contest next year’s ARC in a Lancer Evo 8, but had his eyes firmly on the WRC drive when contacted by ARN.

Simon Evans looks almost certain to be lining up as part of a three-car Toyota team in next year’s Australian Rally Championship. Although final budgets have not been given the okay and no contracts have been signed, it is believed Evans has agreed, in principle, to drive for the Neal Bates Motorsport-run team in 2004. While Evans was unable to comment when contacted, it is believed he has been offered the drive. He is expected to join current Toyota driver Neal Bates and test driver, Ben Barker, in the Canberra-based outfit. Toyota’s Mike Breen could not confirm that Evans would be part of the team next year, but said that they were very keen to have the Victorian on board after a successful test last week. “Simon tested the car last week and was on the pace almost immediately,” Breen said . “His feedback on the car was very similar to what we’ve been getting from Neal and Rick (Bates), and he seemed to fit in with the team very quickly.” Final Toyota budgets for next year won’t be finalised until February 28th,

EXCLUSIVE By Peter Whitten

but Breen was confident of having a fair indication of their rally budget by Christmas. Nevertheless, an official announcement on the Evans drive isn’t expected until early in the new year. “One of the things we are mindful of is having a car that is up to the standard that Simon expects,” Breen added. “If he comes to drive for Toyota we don’t want him thinking that it is a step sideways or a step backwards. Hopefully his positive thoughts on the car mean he thinks it will be a move forward.” He added that while a driver such as Neal Bates will be on the pace and consistently score points, Toyota need a driver like Evans to go out and challenge for victory at every event. The Evans and Toyota teaming puts an end to the chances of him driving for Mitsubishi next year. Evans was scheduled to test a Lancer in the coming weeks, but this is no longer expected to take place.

NEW BEGINNING: Simon Evans tested with Toyota early in December, much to the delight of Neal Bates.

Changes to calendar

The FIA’s World Motorsport Council has made key changes to the 2004 WRC calendar. Greece has been moved back a week and Argentina has moved to July to avoid a Formula 1 date clash. The full World, Junior and Production World Championship calendars are: 2004 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 23-25 January Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo 6-8 February Uddeholm Swedish Rally 12-14 March Corona Rally Mexico 16-18 April Rally of New Zealand 14-16 May Cyprus Rally 4-6 June Acropolis Rally 25-27 June Rally of Turkey 16-18 July Rally Argentina 6-8 August Neste Rally Finland 20-22 August ADAC Rallye Deutschland 3-5 September Rally Japan 17-19 September Wales Rally GB 1-3 October Rallye d’Italia - Sardigna 15-17 October Rallye de France - Tour de Corse 29-31 October Rally Catalunya – Rally de EspaÒa 12-14 November Telstra Rally Australia

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ACCOUNTS MANAGER Carolyn Schonafinger subscriptions@rallysportnews.com.au PHOTOGRAPHERS Martin Holmes, Maurice Selden, Neil Blackbourn, Troy Amos, Andy Kerr, Forest Fotos, Robyn Feaver, Paul Kane, CMW Photographic, Golly Photographix. CONTRIBUTORS Martin Holmes, Michael Cains (VIC), Adrian Morrisby (TAS), Neil Blackbourn (NSW), Tom Smith (QLD), Paul van der Mey (WA), Ray Baker (ACT) PROOF READING Leon Huon PUBLISHED BY: Australian Rallysport News, ACN 060 196 572, P.O. Box 784, Wangaratta 3676. Printed by The Border Mail, 1 McKoy St, Wodonga, Victoria 3990. COPYRIGHT: No material, artwork or photos may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Australian Rallysport News takes care in compiling specifications, prices and details but cannot accept responsibility for any errors. The opinions expressed by columnists and contributors to this newspaper are not necessarily those of Australian Rallysport News.

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driver and we have the resources to provide him with the best car and team to help him develop his full potential,” Team Principal David Lapworth commented. “We’ve been following the

Control fuel for ARC

The Australian Rally Commission (ARCom) have announced that all 4WD turbocharged and supercharged cars in the 2004 Australian Rally Championship will use a control fuel. New series partner, ELF Fuel, will provide WRF which will be introduced as the control fuel for 2004. The ELF Fuel arrangement will not be applicable to the Subaru Challenge or awards such as the Aussie Cup or F16, which have their own fuel specifications relevant to those categories. The new ELF control fuel, equivalent to those that many top teams are using in the ARC, will be available to competitors at $5.50 per litre and is a cheaper alternative to the fuels used by most competitors in the championship. ELF Fuel is a well known company with a proven product and introducing ELF’s WRF into the championship will ensure an even playing field between manufacturer teams and privateers striving for outright victory. Additional to the provision of the control fuel is the ELF-supported sponsorship of the ARC’s Motorsport Safety and Rescue (MSR) - the official emergency safety organisation for the championship. The sponsorship is a significant benefit to the Australian Rally Championship as a whole and to the individual teams competing in the ARC, who will

have significant entry fee savings due to the sponsorship of the MSR organisation. Currently, the services provided by MSR are subsidised by the competitors in the sport and added to entry fees as an additional $400 per event. The aim is to eliminate that cost element completely for teams, generating a considerable saving for them. Motorsport Safety and Rescue General Manager Leanne Stevens says ELF’s support of the series will be an invaluable boost to the safety of the championship. “We’re very excited about the opportunity of having ELF on board as a major sponsor. In the last few years the support from competitors has been amazing and we’d like to thank them for their assistance. “Now, with ELF on board we’ll be able to have a real identity for the rally safety team and ensure we can continue to provide a top quality level of safety for the championship,” Stevens explained. Both elements of the ELF sponsorship are exciting additions to the Australian Rally Championship that will have considerable cost saving for competitors in 2004. ELF’s support of Motorsport Safety and Rescue ensures that Australian rallying will continue to improve the safety standards for those involved in,

as well as those spectating and supporting the sport. The Australian Rally Championship views the ELF arrangements as a vital one that solves many of the concerns teams had about the cost of rally fuel. ARCom considered a range of options prior to marketing group IMG asking for tenders from interested parties, including the consideration of pump fuels and also reconfiguring requirements in relation to restrictor sizes. This option was researched extensively and WRF Fuel recommended to; - maintain the FIA Group N specification this fuel allows - ensure Australian Rally Championship cars continue to perform as well as they do - ensure teams can retain large amounts of engine torque, instead of a high revving engine that ‘pump equivalent’ fuels would deliver when combined with larger (or no) restrictor (which would be necessary to retain performance) -in retaining high engine torque, allowing the FIA homologated gear ratios currently used by Subaru and Mitsubishi to be retained -retain the base level of parity between marques due to the use of a proven specification fuel -avoid cars having to be retuned to a new specification fuel throughout the year.

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EDITOR Peter Whitten peter@rallysportnews.com.au

I must admit that I’d never heard of Globalstar Telecommunications before the announcement of the 2004 ARC sponsor. However it’s likely that before long, not only will rally people be familiar with the company and their products, but those on the fringe of the sport or others who see the passing circus in action will all be made aware of Globalstar’s involvement. We don’t all necessarily drive Ford cars, drink Heineken beer or Coca Cola, connect to the internet using Telstra BigPond or eat Kelloggs Nutri-Grain, but we certainly know of their involvement through tennis, golf, football, V8 Supercars and Ironman events. And that, quite simply, proves the point. While Australian championship rallying may not get the coverage of some of the other higher profile sports, the fact that we now have a high profile sponsor and a marketing firm behind the championship bodes well for the future. Maybe, and that’s a big maybe, we may yet see coverage of ARC rounds in the daily newspapers on the Monday morning following an event. Anything is possible. So congratulations to IMG for landing ‘the big one’. We do have the most competitive national championship in the world and now, with a naming rights sponsor, we should be able to promote it in the way it deserves to be promoted. Roll on 2004! - Peter Whitten

Ne w

MANAGING EDITOR Jeff Whitten jeff@rallysportnews.com.au

progress of many young drivers and we hope this is the first of a number of initiatives with which Subaru will be involved in 2004.” Mikko Hirvonen commented, “This is such a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m delighted I’m going to be driving for the team next year. There’s so much that I want to achieve as a driver in the WRC and I know Subaru’s the team to help me do that. I just can’t wait to get in the car and get going!” Born in 1980, Mikko Hirvonen has quickly established himself as a promising star of the future. Finishing in the points in 2003, his first year as a works Ford WRC driver (he was sixth in Greece), Mikko has already tasted Subaru success having taking three wins in a Group N Impreza WRX in the 2002 Italian Gravel Trophy Series. He will begin his season at Rallye Monte Carlo in January.

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23-year old Finn, Mikko Hirvonen has been named as the second 555 Subaru World Rally Team driver for 2004. Hirvonen, who did all 14 events of the 2003 WRC in a works Focus, will be the new team-mate of World Champion Petter Solberg, and will continue to be partnered by Finnish co-driver, Jarmo Lehtinen. Subaru’s decision to sign the Finn was driven by a commitment to its long-term, young driver development philosophy. Having helped nurture the careers of World Rally Champions Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg, who all joined the team with limited experience of the World Rally Championship, the Japanese marque has established a strong reputation for developing new and promising talent. “We’re very excited to have signed Mikko. He’s a very talented young

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The start of a new ARC era

Subaru takes Hirvonen

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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

2

004 has to be the most revolu tionary season in the 32 year history of the World Rally Championship. Not since 1995 has there been a major change in the way the championship is run (that was the year when servicing restrictions, team registration and limited event time frames began), but for 2004 there will be a much greater raft of changes.

The majority of the changes will be conceptual (which means political) rather than evolutionary, but they add up to quite the biggest variations ever seen. Perhaps the most fundamental change is (1) the shorter total time for each event, Wednesday morning till Sunday afternoon. The theory behind this is that the total time taken up by the championship would be shorter, notwithstanding the increased number of events in the series. There will therefore be (2) 16 events in the World Championship, not 14. (5x16=80 days, compared with 7x14 = 98 days). The two new events are Mexico and Japan. There will also be a change of name for Rally Hokkaido: it is now known as Rally Japan. Both the JWRC and the PCWRC shall continue only to consist of seven events, in the case of the PCWRC drivers elect which six of the seven events they will contest. (3) Japan will qualify also for the Asia Pacific Championship - the only world event also to qualify as a regional championship event, notwithstanding the two series run under different rules, while Cyprus Rally will only qualify for WRC. (4) There is to be a change in the balance of the series. The Italian round of the championship will be, (5) a new event, the Rally Sardinia, held on gravel roads, instead of the all-asphalt Sanremo Rally, so now there will only be four asphalt rallies (Monte Carlo, Germany, Corsica and Catalunya). As a gesture to reduce the costs for the teams, to enable them to contest the enlarged series supposedly without extra costs, a large number of rules were changed. (6) Firstly there are to be only two nominated entries from each team for the world championship, not three. Both drivers can score, and both drivers must drive the latest homologated version. One driver is to be nominated on an annual basis, the other from event to event. The proposed “third driver” limitations announced earlier have been abandoned. This is expected to create a far higher need for reliability, both mechanical and by drivers. As a part of the intention to reduce the time spent at each event, there is a new definition of servicing frequency. (7) Organisers can now have a minimum of 120, not 60km stage distance

By Martin Holmes before the cars have to go to a full service park. At more frequent intervals there can be supplemental “authorised tyre changing zones” in addition to the existing extra locations, those for refuelling. (8) The special dispensation for the Wales Rally GB for a special four-type tyre option instead of the usual 2-type choice rule (in case there is snow) has been cancelled, as the British event is now to be a late summer rather than an early winter event. This option now only applies to Monte Carlo. (9) FIA control fuel to be used by all competitors on every rally. (10) There is to be a reduction on the number of tyres available for each event: a total of ten tyres per tyre changing zone, per crew, per rally. This is normally going to be 70 tyres per crew. Tyres to be marked by bar codes. (11) It was intended that orthodox reconnaissance cars were to be banned from world championship rallies. Drivers were to use “standard cars” (unmodified cars in showroom condition, registered in the country concerned on events held outside Europe) or their own rally cars. At the last moment, the FIA relented and declared that existing reconnaissance cars could continue to be used through the 2004 season. Course checking between the reconnaissance and the rally itself, except in the case of Monte Carlo, is now forbidden. (12) Many of the 2004 rules will not apply until Mexico, so that Monte Carlo and Sweden are to be run (certainly so far as the rule and servicing rules are concerned) according to the 2003 regulations. This was on account of the late finalisation of the new rules, leaving these two events no time to make their plans. (13) In any case, there are to be changes in competitor start order for Sweden and Mexico. On the first three events (not just the first event) the starting order is to be in accordance with the championship classification at the end of the 2003 season. (14) There is to be a different system of competition numbering for the JWRC and PCWRC cars. They will now run 31- 60, not 51 - 80. Non championship drivers shall carry numbers 61 onwards, not 100 onwards. (15) As a matter of principle, there is to be a system of flexi-service to enable both cars from each team to be serviced by the same team mechanics and with the same equipment and thereby save costs. (16) Service times will be changed. When there is service during the day this will be 15 minutes instead of 20,

WRC changes for 2004

and at the end of each leg 60 minutes instead of 45. (17) Some of the most contentious changes surrounded the two alternative formats of events. The officially promoted “1000 Pistes” system allows one pass reconnaissance on Wednesday, with the second pass on the morning in which the stage will be run competitively. The “2+3” system (for which a waiver must be obtained, and is to be granted if the President of the WRCC Shekhar Mehta, the Safety Delegate Jacek Bartos and the WRCC Coordinator Charles Reynolds together consider the reasons for the events concerned to use a “2+3” are “compelling”) in which all reconnaissance is run on Wednesday and Thursday. For last minute route information the crews must rely on advice issued by the organisers. (18) Manufacturers’ cars to be scrutineered by “engineering certificate”, not by attendance at individual scrutineering formalities. This is because the new event timetables will take away the time available for scrutineering. (19) There will be some changes in testing regulations. All testing is now banned outside Europe, also in the country of a forthcoming rally in the four-day period before start of reconnaissance, or in months of August and November. (20) Also on account of reduced available time the official WRC Shakedown is to be two not four hours and the shakedown (if held) for the alternative world championship reduced to one hour only. (21) There are some significant technical rule changes. Principally to cater for the global increases in weights of equivalent production cars, there is to be a minimum weight for the bodyshell of World Rally Cars, which

will include the rollcage, of 320kg. In order to keep the minimum weight for the whole car unchanged there will be corresponding concessions allowing the use of alternative lightweight materials used for panels on the car (aluminium doors and boots, composite materials for fenders). Cars are now to be weighed with crew and equipment inside, for which an extra 150kg above the 1230kg basic rule is granted. For safety reasons there is to be a minimum thickness of the side and rear windows and increased minimum weights for the front and rear bumpers. (22) The only new models of car due to appear at Monte Carlo 2004 are the Mitsubishi Lancer WRC04 and the four-door Suzuki Ignis (for JWRC drivers). It is not yet confirmed when the Peugeot 307 WRC is to appear, but the new Citroen is due in New Zealand and the Subaru probably in Mexico. It is not decided about the debut of the 2004 Ford, while Skoda who have not entered the championship, is banned from homologating a 2004 evolution. In Group N, Subaru expect to introduce their 2004 version (including hydraulic handbrake) at the start of the season, while Mitsubishi hope to introduce their “Evo 8.5” featuring an aluminium roof in March. (23) The Wales Rally GB has been moved to late summer but its insertion on the official FIA calendar is on “provisional” status dependent on a satisfactory report into the speeding penalties imposed on drivers before the 2002 event. The FIA have stated that if so many top drivers were punished by the local courts, there is an inference that the roads used by the rally must therefore be especially dangerous. In reality it is widely believed this is

a political initiative by the FIA to give force to the Welsh government (sponsors of the event) to stop the Welsh police from using dirty tricks to obtain penalties from drivers, as a fund raising exercise. (24) There are a long line of coming technical changes, being introduced in stages. In 2004 springs can not be fabricated out of titanium and twin-clutch transmissions forbidden, also telemetry systems are banned, for 2005 active suspension systems are forbidden. Work on “fly by wire” steering is now forbidden and for 2007 a complete revision of the class system is expected. The basic elements of the technical specifications of the World Rally Cars has been stabilised till the end of 2006. (25) Finally, the costs of rallying are escalating fast. There are increased registration fees for teams, and a fourfold increase in the fee payable by the world championship organisers to the FIA to register themselves as a organiser. Note: The following are the pros and cons of the alternative rally organisation systems: 1000 Pistes Negatives: demands the competitive rally starts late morning at the earliest. Therefore it is very limiting in winter events when daylight hours are shorter. It also means that it is only suitable for events when stages are relatively close to the central service area and there are shorter road sections. Because of the late start (and therefore later finish) to activities each day, it will be unpopular with the media workers, especially at rallies in the Western hemisphere. It means that when stages use closed public roads, they have to be closed for longer than before. It also limits the spectating opportunities and leads to unpredictable traffic trouble when there are cancellation of stages, and spectators immediately move on to a different location. Positives: rally cars are to be seen in the central service park during the middle of the day so better commercial use can be made of Service Parks. “2+3”: Competitors (or their representatives) are denied the chance to check the condition of the stages on the day of the event, and must rely on information supplied by organisers. The new “120km” rule makes “2+3” much more useful on events where stages are not close to the central service park. The problem for organisers is that the choice of “2+3” is considered to be anti-establishment, and politically unhelpful, even though this system is widely preferred. Note: there is still no rule that only one service park must be used for the rally, though this is recommended.

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TOP 10 DRIVERS

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Once again ARN’s Peter Whitten has put his reputation on the line by selecting his top 10 drivers from the 2003 Australian Rally Championship. Often controversial but always thought provoking, our 2003 Top 10 mirrors the ARC results in many ways, showing that the best drivers usually got the best results.

1. Cody Crocker

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he easiest choice of the lot, Crocker’s season was exemplary with six ARC Heat wins, victory in the Rally of Canberra, second placing in Group N in the Rally of New Zealand and his first national title. Crocker’s performances were second to none and, when you consider that he had to take on the mantle of Subaru’s number one driver, the test driver and the main focus behind the company’s rally program in Australia, you realise what a fantastic season he had. The Melbourne driver’s only real lapse came at Rally Australia when he seemed to have trouble getting used to the left-hand drive ’03 Impreza that Possum Bourne had driven in New Zealand, but once back in his favourite ’02 car the results soon followed. A worthy choice, but expect a big push from his rivals to unseat him from his position as Australia’s number one in 2004.

2. Ed Ordynski

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ow the grand old man of Australian rallying, Ordynski often had more a frustrating season than an out and out blistering one. Poor reliability from his Lancer Evo 7 at the start and the finish of the season cost him dearly in the run for the national championship, but to his and the team’s credit, they bounced back brilliantly with a Heat victory in NSW and two wins on home turf in South Australia. The pinnacle in Ordynski’s season, however, was his performance at Rally Australia in September. Against the best Group N drivers in the world, he again showed that he can produce the goods when it really counts, holding a lead of over a minute and a half after two days of competition. The unlucky roll that ended his event did nothing to tarnish the performance and he remains at the pointy end of Australian rallying.

3. Simon Evans

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one are the days when Evans was regarded as the fastest man in rallying, who crashed too often. Exciting? Yes. Desperate? Sometimes. But Evans hardly put a mark on his car all year and was always on the pace. If anything he struggled from using rebuilt rather than new parts which often caused reliability issues, but the driving aspect was never in question. Now more mature than ever, Evans’ drive in the Rally of Melbourne was as measured as you’re likely to see from a rally driver and his first ARC round win was thoroughly deserved. Unlikely to go it alone as a privateer next year, he looks likely to be picked up by either Toyota or Mitsubishi next year and should remain at the forefront of Australian Rally Championship results.

4. Scott Pedder

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ad it not been for two early season crashes, Pedder would probably have been higher on the list. He showed the speed to win right from the start of the season and as the year progressed he became more and more a chance of upsetting the factory cars. Regularly quicker than both Ordynski and Lowndes in their works Evo 7s, Pedder took his just rewards when he won Heat 2 of the Rally of Melbourne in October. Missing the South Australian round of the championship to be at the birth of his first child did his championship hopes no good whatsoever, but he showed that he was more than a match for his rivals when everything went his way. Given that he was driving the now out-of-date Lancer Evo 6 his results were more impressive, and the move to an Evo 7 in 2004 should have his rivals even more worried!

5. Juha Kangas

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Finn in the top 10? Why not! Kangas was magnificent throughout the entire season, winning the first forest stage of the year and winning the final round of the championship. While he struggled on stages that he drove for the first time, when things became more familiar his real talent showed. The Les Walkden team gave him a car capable of producing some great times, and the fact that Kangas led the Rally of Canberra so early in the season says a lot about his ability. Running on BF Goodrich (nee Michelin) tyres, sometimes worked in his favour, sometimes it didn’t, but Kangas’ consistent results proved that should he contest the ARC next year, he may well start as one of the championship favourites. Watch out!


Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

6. Dean Herridge

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till without a Heat win at ARC level, Herridge’s best chance came in the first round when he suffered gearbox failure with two stages to run. Herridge suffered the problem all season of never seeming to have the right tyre for the job. Despite running in a factory team, there never seemed to be enough of the Pirelli tyres that best suited the conditions and, as a result, series leader Cody Crocker usually got first pick. But the West Australian perservered. His best ARC result was second in Heat 2 in South Australia, and he finished a magnificent second in Group N at Telstra Rally Australia against the world’s best – beaten only by eventual Group N World Champion Martin Rowe. Still young enough to make his mark, one senses that 2004 will be the year Herridge really needs to take the next step and became a championship contender.

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7. Spencer Lowndes

ike Subaru’s Herridge, Mitsubishi’s Spencer Lowndes was often hampered by the fact that team leader Ed Ordynski usually got the best choice of tyres. Lowndes somehow managed a great second place in Heat 2 in the first round, despite suffering from Mitsubishi’s infamous fuel problems, but the middle part of his season was less impressive. He really started to shine at the Rally of Melbourne when, with WRC-spec tyres finally fitted to his car, he was able to set fastest stage times and challenge the leaders. A crash in the final round in Tasmania was unfortunate, but he bounced back brilliantly with second placing in Heat 2, showing that he really does have the talent to be regarded as a championship frontrunner. Likely to be a works Lancer driver in 2004, Lowndes is in a similar boat as Herridge, in that next season could be a make or break one.

8. Neal Bates

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ith a brand new car that wasn’t quite on the pace of its rivals, it’s hard to say whether Neal Bates adapted from a World Rally Car to Group N as quickly as Possum Bourne did last year. One thing that was obvious though was that Bates was as committed as every other driver in the field and always looked to be driving the Corolla to its absolute limit. The Corolla’s results were acceptable rather than exceptional and Bates often appeared to be flogging a dead horse, but he never gave up. Development of the car later in the year saw it gain some more speed and his fourth place in Heat 1 of the final round proved beyond doubt that Bates still has the ability and the will to win. Whether the Corolla is the car to make that happen remains to be seen, but the championship is much the richer for having Neal Bates back competing on a regular basis.

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9. Mark Thompson

he ARC’s quintessential privateer, Mark Thompson’s talent behind the wheel was, at times, a joy to behold. The Sydney youngster, who had a wasted year in the UK in 2002, had a shocking year as far as results went, but he was always in the top 10 and was usually the best of the true privateers. Fourth in Heat 1 of Rally SA was his best result for the year, but there would surely have been other similar results had luck and reliability gone his way. Indeed had it not been for Thompson’s mechanical knowledge and ability, he would surely have done even less competitive kilometres during the year. A true family operation, with mum Rita co-driving and dad Steve funding the program, Thompson is one of those drivers who really deserves a break in the sport. In the current climate it’s difficult to see that happening, but if given that chance there’s no question he’d grab it with both hands.

10. Will Orders

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e may have only scored points in three Heats during the year, but Will Orders proved that he has what it takes to make it to the top of the sport. A cousin of Scott and Mark Pedder, Orders benefited from the funding and structure of the Pedders team, driving a third team car, but there was no doubting that his drive was awarded on pure ability rather than simply on family ties. He ran as high as fourth in the Rally of Melbourne before gearbox dramas, and despite the fact that many said his stage times were a result of driving a Group A Lancer Evo 3 rather than a Group N car, there’s no question he has what it takes. Watching young “Willy” on the stages always produced spectacular photos, and while he often looked on or over the limit, he has the no fear attitude to go places in the sport. Definitely a driver who’s made the top 10 on ability, rather than on results.

Stay up to date with all that’s happening in the world of rallying. If you need more of a rallying fix than your monthly copy of Australian Rallysport News, log onto our exclusive website for news, results, features and a full range of rally merchandise. You won’t be disappointed.

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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

TOP 10 DRIVERS

Although we only see a couple of WRC rounds in the flesh each year, we keep a close eye on the world’s leading championship. Like our top 10 ARC drivers, the rankings are the view of ARN’s Peter Whitten and, if nothing else, will create some discussion and debate.

1. Sebastien Loeb

2. Markko Martin

When Malcolm Wilson predicted that his young star would win a round of the WRC in 2003, there was audible snickering. When Martin went and won two rounds, and could easily have won three or four others, even the experts were taken aback. Much of Martin’s form can be attributed to the new 2003 Focus – widely regarded as the best World Rally Car yet – but the Estonian was brilliant behind the wheel. His crowning glory was winning in Finland, but his performance at the next round in Australia was less impressive. Nevertheless, had the new car remained reliable Martin could well have been the champion well before Petter Solberg took the title at the final round.

Anyone who predicted at the start of 2003 that Sebastien Loeb would end the year one point from being World Champion deserves a medal. While both he and the car were always expected to be fast on tarmac, nobody thought the Citroen star would be a threat on gravel. His second place at Rally Australia, where he easily outshone experienced team-mates Sainz and McRae, was his best drive of the year, and he could easily have been the World Champion. If the Xsara improves again in 2004, there could be no catching Loeb.

3. Petter Solberg

4. Carlos Sainz

It would have been a brave punter to pick Solberg as World Champion midway through the year, but the Norwegian came up with the goods when it counted. Both he and his Subaru team seemed to struggle at times throughout the season, but when he wrote off his Subaru in the pre-Corsica shakedown, only for the team to repair the car and for Solberg to win, it seemed to instill the belief in all concerned that they could win the championship. If team-mate Tommi Makinen was the wilting flower in the squad, Solberg was the new growth. His never-say-die attitude and his personality were great to see.

Carlos’ career looked washed up at the end of 2002, but a one-year contract with Citroen revitalised his career – again! As has often been the case, Carlos won the new event on the calendar – Turkey – and his consistency meant that he was a title contender right until the final event in Great Britain. No longer with that out and out pace that will see him dominate an event, Sainz is now the best points gatherer in the championship and heads into the 2004 season with yet another shot at a third world title. It’s getting no easier for the Spaniard, but he keeps coming up with the goods.

5. Marcus Gronholm

6. Richard Burns

Despite leading the championship for nearly the whole season, Burns could well have been higher up the leaderboard, but again he failed to win an event for Peugeot. It’s now over two years since the Brit won a rally, but running first car on the road for much of the year meant he often had the worst of the driving conditions. It’s impossible to know what effect, if any, Burns’ brain tumor had on his late season form, but he struggled badly in Sanremo and virtually said goodbye to his championship hopes there and then.

The outgoing World Champion, Gronholm had his share of uncharacteristic off-road excursions during 2003, but early in the season he seemed unbeatable on gravel. But whether it was the Peugeot 206’s age, a lack of development or something completely different, both Gronholm and Peugeot went off the boil a little as the year wore on. Nevertheless, the two-time World Champion was generally the quickest Peugeot driver throughout the season. His retirement from Rally Australia said a lot about Marcus’s season – he didn’t do much wrong, but it resulted in an early flight home.

7. Colin McRae

There’s not a season in memory where Colin McRae was less impressive, but it was clear that the switch from Ford to Citroen didn’t work for the Scotsman. Many have said that McRae’s driving style no longer suits the active transmission World Rally Cars, but even so, it was clear midway through the year that McRae had lost the will to win. When he found out in August that he had lost his drive for 2004, he seemed to have little reason to push – even on his favourite Rally GB he could only muster a distant fourth.

8. Francois Duval

Armed with the new Focus, Duval’s best result came in Turkey when he outlasted most of his opposition to finish third, but on tarmac the young Belgian was very fast. Still learning his trade and contesting many of the events in the championship for the first time, Duval is in a similar situation to Petter Solberg when he joined Ford several years back. Team boss Malcolm Wilson obviously believes in Duval’s long-term future, and his results proved that he’s on the right track to repay the faith shown in him.


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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

TOP 10 DRIVERS

9. Tommi Makinen

It’s hard to rate a four-time World Champion as only ninth, but Tommi’s season wasn’t anything to write home about. Nearly always outshone by teammate Solberg – even in his native Finland – Makinen may well have treated season 2003 as a farewell party, rather than driving at 100% and risking life and limb. Having said that though, one final battle with Colin McRae in Wales saw the Finn take his final podium place of his career, and he retired in style – gold driving boots and all!

McRae Jnr back in the fray

R.E.D, the Widnes based rally preparation business, which has prepared and ran rally cars for both Jimmy and Colin McRae, has announced that the Team will run Alister McRae in a Prodrive built Subaru Impreza Sti Group N rally car, in the 2004 FIA Production Car World Championship. Confirming the deal, Team Principal Neil Gatt said: “It’s been a while since the McRae name has been on an R.E.D car therefore I am thrilled to be running Alister in the PWRC next year.” R.E.D is planning to run a two or three car team in the 2004 PWRC, but Gatt would not be drawn on the identity of the second or third driver. “My objective for 2004 season is to be highly competitive with strong Driver/Car packages.

“The Prodrive built Subaru has proved it’s capability in this years PWRC and of course to have a driver of Alister’s stature ability speaks for itself,” said Gatt. Alister McRae has not driven a Group N car competitively since 1992, when he drove a Group N Ford in the British Championship and entered the RAC Rally in a Group N Subaru Legacy. Testing for Sweden and Mexico in the latest Subaru Group N car will begin shortly. Commenting on the prospect of competing in the PWRC Alister McRae said: “Clearly a full works WRC drive was my priority for 2004, however in the absence of that, the PWRC for 2004 looks to be the next best thing. I’m really looking forward to what is looking like being a very competitive championship.”

There is a big push underway to find the next German world rally star, with Armin Schwarz, the last German driver to win a round of the World Rally Championship, heavily involved. Schwarz and former VW works driver, Raimund Baumschlager, will act as judges, coach and mentor in the three-year program backed by German TV giant RTL and the energy drink firm Red Bull, among others. The search for a new German star - who must be under 20 years old - will take place in Austria and Switzerland and involve an initial as-

sessment in a road car before the best 100 contenders move on to a Group N Mitsubishi. The final 20 drivers will receive tuition and assessment in a World Rally Car. The two top drivers selected with enter the European Championship from the middle of next year - in a Group N car - before moving on to the WRC in 2005. It is hoped that the winning driver will be a fully fledged works driver by 2006. The last German World Rally Champion was Walter Rohrl, who won the title twice driving an Opel Ascona and an Audi Quattro.

Datsn 1600s on hold

Due to space constraints, we have had to leave the second part of our Datsun 1600 feature until next month. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

10. Harri Rovanpera Sacked by Peugeot after the year ended, Rovanpera has now been left in the lurch for 2004. Peugeot claimed a lack of results after his Rally Finland accident, but in fairness to Harri, even team-mates Gronholm, Burns and Panizzi struggled with the 206 as the year wore on. Indeed had it not been for a fortunate tyre choice in Sanremo, Panizzi wouldn’t have won and Peugeot would have spent the second half of the year winless. The tall Finn has reason to feel hard done by.

2004 Rally New Zealand

Did you miss out on this year’s Australian Rallysport News “New Zealand Rally Tour?” If you did, we suggest that you get in early and book for our exclusive tour next year.

In conjunction with Southern World Vacations (NZ), Australian Rallysport News are hosting the 5th exciting tour which gives participants the opportunity to spectate at the 2004 Propecia Rally New Zealand on our 6 day/5 night tour. Then, after the rally, you have the option of unwinding with the optional 4-day tour to Rotorua, which includes a traditional Maori Hangi and dinner. Both tours depart Australia on Wednesday, April 14th. Full details including itinerary and prices are now available, so register your interest now. Places are strictly limited – all our previous tours have been fully booked and many of our tour participants travel with us each year. You’ll find that these tours are great value, fully escorted and visit as many spectator areas and service parks as we can fit in. You’ll travel by luxury mini coaches right to the heart of the action with minimal walking, and avoid New Zealand’s notorious rally traffic jams. Both tours include accommodation in one of Auckland’s best hotels, just one block away from rally headquarters, cooked breakfasts and your own tour guide. Plus you have the option of paying in 3 instalments. What could be easier?

TOUR PRICES

Rally Tour only - 6 days/5 nights $1985 pp ex-Sydney $2035 pp ex-Melbourne and Brisbane

Rally New Zealand & Rotorua Adventure Tour - 9 days/8 nights $2695 pp ex-Sydney $2745 pp ex-Melbourne and Brisbane

To receive more information on either of these tours and a tour brochure, phone ARN now on (03) 5722 1250 or email us at carolyn@rallysportnews.com.au


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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

The making of a star

t was a chance phonecall that may have started Cody Crocker’s rally career. It was a wet winter’s night when the phone rang at ARN editor Jeff Whitten’s home. Somebody called Barrie Crocker was on the line and wanted details of a rally that was about to be run by the North Eastern Car Club in the Carboor area, south of the town. Barrie and son Cody were on their way to the snowfields for a spot of skiing and decided, seeing that they were in the area, that they’d find out some more details about this forthcoming rally. It was mid-1988 and Barrie was interested in entering his Mitsubishi Lancer with Cody (who was pre-licence age), navigating. Crocker senior had already done a few events as a member of the Ford Four Car Club, and knew a little about rallying and even more about car preparation through his occupation as a mechanic of some note. I met them at Wangaratta Airworld, a now defunct museum that housed dozens of aircraft and was a popular meeting place on the outskirts of town, for travellers. Explaining what the event was all about, the Crockers agreed that they would enter the event the following weekend. If my memory serves me well, the

Photos: Peter Whitten, Spook Photographics, Golly Photograhix, Richard Whitford, Subaru.

By Jeff Whitten rally turned out to be just as wet as the night we met and the Crockers left with a none-too-successful result to remember their first foray into rallying together. This, though, was a young Cody’s first outing as a navigator and it wouldn’t be too long before the urge to drive became even greater than the desire to shuffle maps and call out route instructions. Some years passed and ARN again played a part in the making of Cody Crocker as a rally star. In an effort to provide an incentive for young Australian drivers who had shown potential to make a name for themselves in rallying, Australian Rallysport News introduced a competition entitled “The ARN Junior Challenge” in 1994. The idea behind the Challenge was to find the best driver under 25 years of age in each state, selected after they had competed in a number of events in their own respective states, and to find the overall winner at a shootout in the 1994 Rally of Canberra. Victoria’s entry was Cody Crocker, who, with co-driver Greg Foletta, had amassed enough points throughout the year to be his state’s SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS: Cody acknowledges his win at Canberra in 1994 while co-driver Greg Foletta looks on. Note the designer Blundstone driving boots!

OLD 48: Crocker’s Mazda RX5 was a most unlikely rally car – but a winner just the same.

representative. They were up against Western Australia’s Jason Buchan, South Australia’s Andrew Clayton, Paul Vince from the ACT, Roger Brownrigg from Tasmania and Ben Watkins from Queensland. Driving an old (and ungainly) Mazda RX5, not exactly the ideal rally car, Crocker and Foletta had gained 11th outright in the VIC TV Rally, 11th outright in the North Eastern Rally (both rounds of the Victorian Championship) and 14th outright in the Alpine Rally, so it was obvious that Crocker not only had started to show his ability behind the wheel, but that he and Foletta worked well as a team. It’s interesting to note that Crocker wrote on his CV that his sponsor at the time was “Dad.” In a nail-biting event, Crocker and Foletta went on to win the first Australian Rallysport News’ Junior Challenge in the hot, dry and dusty forests of Canberra that year. It was a see-sawing battle between themselves and Western Australia’s Jason Buchan, with the Victorians finally coming out on top. At that decisive moment, it could

truly be said that as a driver, Crocker had arrived. Of course the winners could not have done it by themselves and both Cody and Greg would be the first to acknowledge the support of their families. I can well remember Barrie Crocker desperately trying to keep the car going during the event, refuelling and re-tyreing it at every

THEN AND NOW: Cody has changed little since his win in the 1994 ARN Junior Challenge. Only the Subaru Tshirt gives a clue.

opportunity while Cody’s mother, Wendy, kept everyone supplied with refreshments in what was an exciting but stressful weekend. Always there assisting in what-

AND THE WINNER IS: ARN’s Jeff Whitten presents Cody with a cheque for $1,500 for winning the Junior Challenge. And that was only the start…


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Australian Rallysport News - January 2004 POWERFUL: Crocker’s first foray into 4WD was in this Mazda 323 Familia, seen here in the VIC TV Rally in Gippsland.

THE CROCKER FILES

Cody Crocker, age: 32 (DOB: 18/10/1971) Lives: Melbourne, Victoria Occupation: Professional driver

Championship titles: Outright Australian Rally Champion 2003 Group N Australian Rally Champion 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Runner up Australian Rally Championship 2002 Australian P6 Champion 1997 ARN Junior Rally Challenge winner 1994 Victorian Novice Champion Driver 1994 Outright wins in Australia: Rally of Melbourne 1999, Forest Rally 2003, Subaru Rally of Canberra 2003, Rally Queensland 2003

ever way possible was Geoff Foletta, Greg’s father, who proved invaluable in their quest for victory. It was this sort of support that enabled Crocker and Foletta to put in a performance that was to be the start of a marvellous rally career, although they didn’t know it at the time. Since that landmark event, Crocker’s (and indeed, Foletta’s) careers have gone on to bigger and better things. Cody’s next move after outgrowing the old RX5 was to get into a Mazda 323 Familia 4WD, in which he not only gained invaluable 4WD experience, but achieved some good results as well. The Mazda made way for a black Subaru Legacy which brought more placings in Rally Australia, Victorian and Australian Championship

Group N Class wins - Pre 2002 Forest Rally 1998, 1999 (equal), 2000, 2001 (equal) Rally of Queensland 1999, 2000 Saxon Safari 1998, 2001 Rally of Melbourne 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Subaru Rally of Canberra 2000, 2001 Rally SA 2001 (equal) 2003 Wins Australian Rally Championship 1st Outright Forest Rally, WA (1st Heat 1, 1st Heat 2) 1st Outright Rally Queensland (1st Heat 1, 1st Heat 2) Asia Pacific Championship 1st Outright Subaru Rally of Canberra SMILES ALL ROUND: The ultimate achievement for deserving Australian Rally Champions – the Possum Bourne Memorial trophy.

BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL: Things moved up a gear when Crocker and Foletta rallied this Subaru Legacy prepared by Cody’s dad, Barrie Crocker.

events. Having well and truly served his

GOOD HAIR DAY: Crocker, Foletta and Jeff Whitten, all more hirsuit then, talking tactics before the 1994 Junior Challenge final.

apprenticeship, he was picked up by Subaru Australia in 1998 to drive one of their Group N Imprezas under Kiwi mentor, Possum Bourne. Of course the rest of the story is now committed to the history books, with the last piece of the jigsaw being put into place with a convincing win in the 2003 Australian Rally Championship. Of course Australian Rallysport News was on hand to help them celebrate their victory, appropriately in the Subaru Safari in Tasmania last November. It’s ironic that we had a small part in the rally careers of both Crocker and Foletta. Even more so that it all started out with a simple phone call on a wet mid-winter’s night in 1988.

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40 years of history goes as Ford set to sell Boreham

Staff at Ford’s historic motorsport operation at Britain’s Boreham Airfield, Essex are relocating to the company’s nearby Dunton Engineering Centre, in a move to consolidate motorsport activities in one site under the leadership of Ford Team RS director, Jost Capito. The move is part of Ford of Europe’s strengthening of its links between motorsport and performance road cars. All Ford Team RS staff based at Boreham will be relocated to Dunton, while the eight acres currently occupied at the Boreham site will be vacated for sale. Motorsport activities will continue in the new home at Dunton. Boreham is one of the most evocative names in rallying, having been home to various Ford motorsport operations since 1963. Several generations of the all-conquering Ford Escort rally cars were built at Boreham, driven to thousands of victories worldwide by rally legends including Roger Clark, Hannu Mikkola and Bjorn Waldegard, and powering Ari Vatanen to take both WRC drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship titles. Ford’s current FIA World Rally Championship challenge continues to be spearheaded by the Cumbria-based M-Sport team, which has successfully handled Ford’s ‘works’ world rally program since 1997 and was recently confirmed to carry the Ford challenge into the 2004 season. Ford Team RS director, Jost Capito said: “Boreham has played a large part in our motorsport heritage and some connected to the sport of rallying may see this as the end of an era, but I believe having the whole team together at our high-tech Dunton Engineering Centre will strengthen our commitment to all our motorsport activities and a single location for Ford Team RS motorsport and performance car activities will start a new era.” Boreham was first developed as a grass surface airfield by the RAF in 1941 and taken over by the USAAF in 1943, as a base for World War Two operations. It later became prominent as a motor racing venue and hosted the 1952 International Festival of Motorsport, which attracted 50,000 spectators. Ford first acquired the site in 1952 for tarmac and off-road testing, with Ford Motorsport taking over the facility from 1963.

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Semmens basks in the Alpine glory Brian Semmens and co-driver Dan Parry took the biggest win of their careers by winning the Alpine Rally in Victoria on November 29 and 30. Driving their V6-engined Nissan 200SX, Semmens and Parry attacked the arduous 500km event like it was a sprint rally, amassing a lead of over two minutes by the end of the daylight stages. But four-time Victorian Champions Graeme Wise and Rob Beekman reeled in the flying Nissan during the two night stages, and finished the event just eight seconds behind after a brilliant drive in their Datsun 200B. The event, which attracted 90 entries, was open only to two-wheel drive, nonturbocharged cars. It was easily the toughest event on the Victorian calendar, with the two night stages 70km and 125km in length. “I drove the daylight stages absolutely flat out, because I knew I had to get a lead that I could protect in the night stages,” Semmens said.—“I drove the night stages quite conservatively to try and look after the rear tyres on the car, but they were nearly brand new when we finished, so I could have gone quicker!” Semmens won all five daylight stages and set up what proved to be an insurmountable lead, despite Wise winning both night sections. Wise lost the event on the first stage when he was only seventh quickest, running on tyres that were the wrong compound for the conditions – despite the best advice of Scott Pedder. Third in the event went to NSW driver Kari Dirickx and Glenn Murray in a Datsun 1600, while John Rawson and Joel Wald took fourth in a Datsun Stanza. Dirickx, from NSW, also put in a charge during the night stages and was second quickest on both tests after dark. Former Alpine winner and 1986 Australian Rally Champions, David ‘Dinta’ Officer and wife Kate, were the first non-Nissan/Datsun home in 7th place. Officer drove a 1600cc Mitsubishi

sion, gearbox problems eventually saw him finish 13th. The event was held in hot and dusty conditions. Temperatures were around the 35 degree mark during Saturday afternoon, and although it cooled down considerably for the night division, dust was a real problem. While the cars near the head of the field had a reasonably dust free run, those further back suffered badly with many reporting at least 75% of the night distance was driven in thick, blinding dust. The 2003 Alpine Rally was organised by Victoria’s Historic Rally Association under the direction of Stuart Lister. Final Results 1. Semmens / Parry (Nissan 200SX)

Semmens and Parry were on the limit during the daylight stages, setting up their win. (Golly Photographix)

A poor tyre choice on the first stage cost Graeme Wise dearly, but he recovered to finish an impressive second. (Golly Photographix) Alpine Rally legend, Frank Kilfoyle, was a special guest at the event. (Golly Photographix)

Galant and used all his experience in the dusty conditions, but like many others, suffered from his road position. “I caught the guy in front on the first night section and had about three tries at catching and passing him,” Dinta said.”“But I went off the road three times, so I gave it away after that!” The expected challenge from Queensland hotshots John Spencer and Alan Stean in a Datsun 1600 failed to materialise. They were fourth after two

NSW driver Kari Dirickx was the first non-Victorian home in his Datsun 1600. (Golly Photographix)

stages, but a broken strut and major gearbox problems saw them miss six major controls. While they were still classified as finishers, they were well down the order. Victorian Clubman Champions Gerald Mammi and Geoff Sheeran were inside the top 10 during the night division, but suffered a blown engine in their Datsun Stanza; Tasmanian Lee Marshall saw his sixth place disappear after a blown headgasket at the end of the daylight stages; and David Brown (Datsun 1600) and Stephen Richards (Escort) crashed on the same corner of SS2. ARN’s Peter Whitten contested the event in a Ford Escort. After lying in sixth place heading into the night divi-

86m37s 2. Wise / Beekman (Datsun 200B) 86m45s 3. Dirickx / Murray (Datsun 1600) 88m19s 4. Rawson / Wald (Datsun Stanza) 94m51s 5. Batten / Batten (Datsun 1600) 95m26s 6. D. Snooks / Johns (Datsun Stanza) 98m05s 7. Officer / Officer (Mitsubishi Galant) 106m35s 8. Eather / Conway (Datsun 1600) 108m52s =9. Cugley / Plenderleith (Holden Commodore) 112m22s =9. Welsh / Alexander (Toyota T18) 112m22s

Dinta and Kate Officer were sixth in their Galant. (Photo: Gordon Douglas)


www.rallyscene.com - 13

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

SERVICE with a smile

Some people get their kicks out of driving a rally car as fast as they can over roads that any self-respecting 4WD off-roader would jib at. Others are content to sit in the navigator’s “silly seat” and be transported around the country at frightening speed while the driver performs his heroics.

There’s a third group of people who like nothing better than to be in charge of a control point or a road closure during an event, watching the action from their own private spectator point. Then there’s a final group of enthusiastic die-hards without whom rallying would be much worse off – service crews. They’re that bunch of rally followers who are either retired rally crews, frustrated drivers, or those who are never happier than when immersing their heads in the heart of a rally car. In my case, I’ve been all three – competitor on both sides of the car, organiser, control official and stage commander, and, just recently, service crew. And what an enlightening experience that turned out to be. When ARN editor Peter Whitten decided that an entry in the Alpine Rally was the way to get an insider’s slant on the event, the little matter of servicing the 2 litre Escort for a total distance of 500 kilometres was the subject of much discussion. Planning the logistics of being in the right place at the right time so that the service crew were there prior to the car arriving, ensuring that there were sufficient tyres on hand to shod the beast, and that enough fuel of the premium unleaded grade was on hand at all times, were of high priority. Then there was the little matter of carrying enough spare parts for items that were likely to fail during the rally – fan belts, spark plugs, lower control arms, alternators, fuel pumps and so on. By the time we’d added all these items to our list, our 6 x 4 box trailer was looking decidedly full. Any space left was filled with tools, a trolley jack, lights, axle stands, ramps, and so it goes on.

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ur pre-event planning re vealed that it was going to be a long haul from our base in Wangaratta to the start location at Lakes Entrance in Victoria’s far east region of Gippsland. There’s a magnificent 300 kilometre road that starts in Wangaratta called the Great Alpine Road, that winds its way through little villages that conjure up visions of Alpine rallies of earlier days – Myrtleford, Bright, Harrietville, Mt Hotham, Omeo, Swifts Creek and Bruthen. The Great Alpine Way has to be one of the best drives in Australia, winding as it does over the top of Mt Hotham, past Dinner Plain and on down through the Tambo Valley to Lakes Entrance. The road is steep, too steep for a Falcon tow vehicle and rally car on a trailer, but ideal for the service vehicle and trailer. The other alternative was for the Falcon and rally car to pound the Hume hotmix to Melbourne, then head east to Lakes Entrance, a distance of 580 kilometres. I drew the short straw this time and took the scenic route while Peter spent 7 hours with a yellow rally car looming large in his back window. One thing that the service stations of Lakes Entrance welcomed was the Alpine Rally coming to town. The sight of almost 100 service vehicles, jerry cans at the ready, converging on the few servos in town, must have made their operators rub their hands with glee. In our case, five jerries filled with Mr Caltex’s best at 95 cents a litre,

RAISING THE DUST: Peter Whitten and Terry Godde in action during the Alpine Rally. (Photos: Gordon Douglas)

By Jeff Whitten

three times over, worked out as a considerable sum. One thing I was to discover early on is that servicing is never as easy as it seems. The need to constantly be one step ahead of the rally car was uppermost in my mind. If this means taking the long way around to a service point while the rally car goes the more direct route, then that’s the way it is. You just have to be there first. The first service point of the event was about as far east in Victoria as you can go without being in another state. Nowa Nowa is renowned for being an old timber town so it was quite appropriate that the service area was on the site of an old sawmill. Arriving about 30 minutes prior to our car, we made mistake number one. It’s all very well laying a plastic tarpaulin down on the grass to make servicing of the rally car easier, all you need to keep in mind is that the wind can get underneath, and when a hot rally

ate occasion, curse often and generally look like I was in control. I wasn’t, but with the help of a few others, the job was soon done and the starter motor back in place. The sump guard, unkindly likened by one nearby service crew as an industrial-strength barbecue plate, would have to wait ‘till the next service break to be re-fitted. Fortunately, one thing that Escorts do possess is adequate ground clearance. Rally competitors have one distinct advantage over service crews, as I was

ESCORT AGENCY: The Fords of Peter Whitten and Gerald Schofield before the start of the 2003 Alpine Rally.

car drives onto the tarp, the combination of hot exhausts and plastic tarps certainly do not mix! With one stage down and two to go before the next service, back towards civilisation, we packed up our goodies after emptying a full jerry into the Escort and doing a visual check of the car’s vital organs. Stowing everything back in the trailer was to become a familiar exercise over the next 12 hours, as was unloading just as often. The Escort finally arrived, right on cue, at the second service, but what we had hoped would be a routine going-over, turned out to be a mad dash against the clock to keep Peter and codriver Terry Godde in the event. Not for the first time in the car’s history, a wire to the starter solenoid had broken off, causing a misfire and the eventual draining of the battery. Of all the cars in the world that you would least want to remove the starter motor from, an Escort would be on top of the list (other possible “worst case” examples being a VW Beetle or a Mini). After removing the sumpguard and three inaccessible red hot starter motor bolts, the equally-red hot starter motor has to be coerced out of its hidey hole, past the World Cup crossmember and turned at an angle of 294.3 degrees from the horizontal before it drops out on your head. Once on the ground, the problem was located, an electric soldering iron and a generator (provided by Simon Evans) were pushed into action to rectify the problem.

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ow, for someone used to a desk job punching keyboard keys, writhing around under a hot, dusty, oily and smelly rally car while trying to retain some sort of professional image, is a bit like being the only man at a Middle Eastern ladies turkish bath. Fortunately I managed to writhe at the right time, grunt at the appropri-

about to find out. Just like a child leaving all his toys on the floor before losing interest in them and going and doing something else, rally crews have the annoying habit of jumping into their cars and tearing off into the distance, leaving somebody else to clean up the mess, just like my mum used to nag me about when I was young. But at least our car was still in the event, the 20 minutes extra time taken over the service time, simply coming off the late time. But it did mean that our “team” had dropped six placings on the road and were copping six times more dust. Tired, dirty and hot, we once more went through the packing and loading motions before heading off to the long service break at Bruthen, about 25 kilometres away. With four hours in which to check over the Escort, the Bruthen service break gave us the chance to, yes, you guessed it, unpack again and get everything ready for another visit by our crew. Fortunately this time there was nothing more than regular servicing to attend to but we took the opportunity to give the car a really good check. The diff was leaking oil so we went around the bolts with a spanner, refitted the sumpguard after debating whether to cook some snags on it first, filled the tank with petrol and bolted the Super Oscars on in readiness for the night stages. In the interests of better traction, we fitted another pair of brilliant Silverstone S505 tyres on the rear to replace the ones which were looking decidely secondhand. Then, and only then, did we get the chance to relax before the night division commenced.

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umour has it that the operator of the BP service station at Bruthen went out and bought a new BMW M3 after the Alpine Rally left town – his was the only service sta-

tion in town and his foresight in operating this could be read all over his face as crew after crew rolled up in an attempt to drain his underground fuel tanks. They failed, but not by much! A quick walk around the service park gave us plenty of heart. Broken cars were littering the oval while around its periphery, men with 10 pound hammers were attacking body panels, rebuilding gearboxes and straightening suspensions. Dozens of others were deciding whether to press on, retire gracefully or attempt to fix what was left of their car after the afternoon’s gruelling action. At least our Escort was back in the hunt. From a starting position at Car 17, Peter and Terry were now up into sixth outright, despite the dramas with the starter motor earlier. If only they could keep the pace up in the long night stages, they’d be assured of a good finish. While the rally crew had a 66 km transport stage and a 68 km competitive to cover before we’d see them again, we had to split our team into two. Neville and Rosemary left for Buchan South, 70 km to the east to administer a fuel top-up, while my half (that was only me!) were faced with the 70 km driver’s delight up the snaking, climbing Great Alpine Road to Swifts Creek. Eyes tired from driving and still suffering from the heat of the day, it was a relief when the lights of the isolated timber town (aren’t they all around here?) hove into view.

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he Swifts Creek main street was a hive of activity, service crews taking up every available spare space, but particularly underneath street lights that afforded some illumination when servicing was required. There were all manner of service vehicles that had made the trip up the narrow bitumen. Heavily loaded trucks, trailers, utes and even service buses rumbled into town, all intent on using their combined mechanical expertise to ensure their crew finished the final 125 kilometre marathon stage. Our doubts were raised, however, when one service crew, trailer in town, arrived noisily with the trailer jockey wheel running along the bitumen. All the way from Bruthen, we assumed. Again, the yellow Escort only required fuel and a cursory check over. The crew were now feeling the strain of the long, hot day. This mind-boggling, killer of a stage that was to follow which, at 125 kilometres, was longer than most club events and longer by at least 20% than a whole ARC heat. Staying awake, staying on the road and even staying alive, were priorities which had to be maintained. Service completed, we followed our car back down the bitumen for 28 km. to the start of the stage. As the final stage was one of the longest run in Australia for many a long year, the organisers had provided a mid-stage refuel point 18 kilometres from the end where crews could refill

from their own supplies and in their own time. We figured that a refuel stop would take at least two minutes, time we couldn’t afford to lose. Plan B was quickly put into place. We decided to top up the rally car’s fuel tank right to the brim and in addition, strapped a 10 litre jerry can full of fuel into the boot – just in case! Now in sixth place outright, we had everything to lose and nothing to gain, casting caution to the winds was out of the equation if Peter and Terry wanted to finish in the top ten. We watched as the yellow number 17 Escort roared away from control, clouds of dust already hanging thick in the air. Just how the conditions would suit our crew was one concern, just how the crew were going to stay alert and awake for the next two hours was another. It was uncharted territory. Once again, the service crew pounded back down the Tambo Valley, the road dipping and turning a thousand times in the next 40 kilometres. Our aim was to get to the mid-point refuel break just in case our fuel calculations went astray. The other half of our service crew were already there as we arrived, waiting patiently in the very early morning calm. The leading cars arrived quickly, blasting into the passage control, stopping momentarily then turning hard right up a steep incline before disappearing into the night. Cars came and went, and it became evident that there was a pace to be maintained. It wasn’t long before the whine of our Escort’s straight-cut gears could be heard in the distance, but not at the speed that we had expected. It finally came into view, stopped at the passage control and, with a raucous grating of gears, tried to take off again. It was obvious that there was a major problem. Attacking the turn hard right, the Escort coughed and spluttered in a gear too high, accompanied by the sound of gears in the gearbox desperately trying to mesh. It was then that our hopes of a good finish were dashed. What lay ahead was another 18 km of forest stage of unknown steepness, a howling pack of cars behind who would be desperate to pass the gear-less Escort, and a firstgear climb out of the corner where it had stopped. Summoning all his strength, our driver finally found a gear and with deft slipping of the clutch, managed to get the car off the line, over the hill and into the unknown. So much for a fuel top-up. That was the last thing on our minds – just getting to the finish was going to be the challenge.

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s I raced back out onto the main road and back towards the final control, thoughts of a DNF raced through my mind. Had we come all this way only to suffer retirement after all our efforts? Would the Escort make it to the finish or be stuck, stranded in the stage until the remainder of the 90-car field and the sweep car had passed? Continued page 26


14 - www.rallyscene.com

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

2003 SEASON REVIEW

F

rom almost any aspect, the 2003 Aus tralian Rally Championship was a landmark series that saw an incred ible battle for supremacy go right down to the wire. Six rounds provided plenty of opportunities for crews to show their mettle not only against their local opponents, but several overseas drivers as well.

The arrival of Finn Juha Kangas for the opening round was confirmation that the ARC had come of age, Kangas (after some time contesting Finnish and WRC Championship events) arriving down under to show the locals how it’s done. Later in the season, at the Rally of Melbourne, a number of New Zealanders were attracted to our premier series, hoping to take the spoils of victory across the Tasman. Heavily supported by three manufacturers, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Toyota, the 2003 ARC was always going to be a street fight although Toyota’s new Group N (P) Corolla was an unknown quantity against the might of the red diamond and the blue cars. As it turned out, the Corolla was less of a threat than first thought. As well as the leading drivers like Possum Bourne, Crocker and Herridge (Subaru), Ordynski and Lowndes (Mitsubishi) and the Bates brothers, Neal and Rick (Toyota), there were a number of top privateer teams or factory-supported teams who would liven up the fight at the top. Les Walkden had taken Kangas under his wing and was hoping for big things with his Evo 7 Lancer. As it turned out, Kangas shot out of the blocks in round one and was instantly on the pace. The Pedders empire had cars for Scott Pedder, brother Mark Pedder and cousin Will Orders, an

By Jeff Whitten up-and-comer who would do selected events. Simon Evans, together with wife Sue co-driving, was another privateer hotshot who was determined to make a name for himself. Mark Thomson, the Sydneysider who spent a luckless year in the UK looking for a factory drive, was to

appear again in his Lancer while a number of other drivers – Steve Shepheard, Brad Goldsbrough, Sam Brand, etc., contested selected events. Canberra’s Michael Thompson had a full season as well, his Group N Impreza fronting at every ARC plus the two international events. While the 2003 ARC was full of hope, there was a touch of sorrow on the death of Subaru team leader, Possum Bourne, in a recce accident at New Zealand’s “Race to the Sky”. It was a real wakeup call for Subaru who regrouped their team and installed Cody Crocker as defacto team leader. It was a move that Subaru were not to regret.

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ound One, the Respect Yourself Forest Rally in Western Australia, immediately set the pattern for what was to be a bumper year. Based around Busselton on WA’s south west coast, the RYFR was held in hot and dusty conditions but overnight thunderstorms after Heat One made conditions a little more pleasant on Day Two. Cody Crocker scored top points in the first heat after Possum Bourne’s car blew a motor after being stuck in gear for the first stage. Ed Ordynski’s day came to an end after gearbox problems intervened, leaving the outright awards as a battle between new kid, Juha Kangus, local Dean Herridge, a determined Simon Evans, and Crocker. Scott Pedder had rolled his Lancer out of contention early in the day. With Ordynski’s gearbox repaired, the South Australian joined the fray for the Sunday heat but could only manage fifth after Crocker, Spencer Lowndes (in the second of the Ralliart Lancers), Scott Pedder and Simon Evans. The new Group N (P) Corollas had a forgettable weekend, never being able to make it into the

SO LONG POSSUM: The legendary Kiwi had a bad start to the season in WA, and things only got tragically worse from there. (Photos: Subaru)

top five in either heat, although Rick Bates and Damien Long were as high as sixth on Saturday. Bates won the bitumen Super Specials but Crocker came away from the event with a handy 41 points towards his ARC campaign.

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he second round, the Falken Tyres Rally Queensland, is always high on the list of favourite events for crews contesting the Series. As a result the event attracted a healthy entry list, boosted by the event being a round of the Queensland championship as well. One leading crew, that of Possum Bourne and Mark Stacey, was missing as a result of the Kiwi’s fatal accident, and it was the first time that Bourne had missed an ARC round for over 6 years. Cody Crocker and Greg Foletta proved to be

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SUPER START: Cody Crocker had a faultless start to the season, winning five Heats on the trot and setting up a handy championship lead. (Photo: Neil Blackbourn)


www.rallyscene.com - 15

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

the class act, again taking victory on both days although Saturday’s one and a half minute advantage was narrowed to 10 seconds on Day Two by a hard-charging Ordynski. Simon Evans finally managed to get some reliability out of his Hella Subaru on Saturday, but retired with gearbox problems the next day. Dean Herridge was as consistent as ever – third in both heats - and always a perfect back-up for Crocker. Still unhappy with his car, Ordynski nevertheless managed to take a fourth and a second place in a car which was still giving him cause for concern. Juha Kangas had gearbox problems on Saturday but redeeemed himself to take fourth on Sunday. Scott Pedder was the leading privateer on Day One, with Mark Thompson getting into the record books in the second heat.

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he troubled Premier State Rally suffered from the loss of the previous year’s Clerk of Course, Glenn Cuthbert, who drowned in a boating accident on Lake Eildon, but managed to get off the ground thanks to the dedication of a huge contingent of volunteers under Safari Tasmania C of C, Brian Richardson. Held in some of NSW’s favourite rally country around Gosford, the Premier State Rally was a fast and rugged addition to the championsip. Centrally-based just north of Wyong, the rally commenced with two special stages around Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney. Simon Evans proved to be the master on the night, just ahead of Neal and Rick Bates who used their bitumen experience to good effect. Crocker

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The works Corollas of the Bates brothers had a steady start to the season, but would show more speed as the year wore on. (Photo: Neil Blackbourn)

opened up the following day, recording his fifth straight heat win but Ordynski, now more happy with his Mitsubishi, was to be a thorn in Crocker’s side. Ordynski closed to within 5 seconds of the Victorian at day’s end and wasfeeling very positive as a result. The Lancers of Scott Pedder and Juha Kangas were third and fourth, taking the priva-

teers battle up to Evans, who was fifth in his Impreza. Not much separated Herridge, Mark Thompson and Lowndes for the minor placings, while Brad Goldsbrough and South Aussie Jack

Monkhouse put in stirling drives to round out the top ten. It wasn’t a good day for Toyota – Neal Bates crashed during the morning, retiring, while brother Rick finished in 14th after a “characterbuilding” day. If Crocker thought he was to continue his winning run the following day, his Subaru’s gearbox had other ideas and he was delayed, eventually finishing the day in eighth. This left the battle to be fought between Ordynski who was now comfortably in charge at the head of the field. The second works Subaru of Herridge retired with an oil fire, leaving Simon Evans the task of becoming the first Subaru over the line. Kangas, now more familiar with the roads after a previous pass on Day One, took third and Lowndes backed Ordynski up by securing fourth. Privateers Mark Thompson, John Mitchell and Craig Neale recorded strong finishes in their Lancers (fifth, seventh and ninth) and Neal Bates recovered from his accident to take sixth, one minute 42 seconds off the lead. So, at the mid point of the season, Crocker, despite his Heat 2 retirement, still led the points chase on 104, well ahead of Ordynski (74) and Evans (71).

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ext month we’ll complete the champi onship, with exciting rounds in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Don’t miss it.

ARN’s Possum Bourne Collection PLEASE NOTE: The Possum Bourne 1/18th scale model cars have totally sold out in Australia and New Zealand. We are unable to get any more stock. A FANTASTIC READ!

The official Possum Bourne autobiography “Bourne to Rally.” It’s an enthralling story on the life of one of the world’s most well-known rally drivers. 260 pages, 20 pages of photos. A great read that you won’t want to put down. $39.95 plus $7 post & packing.

VICTORY LOOMING: Simon Evans showed plenty of speed from round one and it seemed inevitable that a Heat and round win would soon be the Victorian’s prize. (Photo: Neil Blackbourn)

“THE DOMINATOR” Wall Plaque

A magnificent reminder of Possum, these glass-covered teak-framed wall plaques measure 465 x 385mm and feature Possum’s signature over a superb photo of his Subaru Impreza over a blue background. They list all his Australian Rally Championship victories up to 2002 and come with a certificate of authenticity (only 500 produced) to maximise its value. Great for hanging anywhere and the ideal gift for that Subaru fan. $129 plus $10 postage and insurance.

SPECIAL OFFER ● Order two or more items from the Possum Bourne Collection and take 10% off the total cost.

CASH STRAPPED: South Australia’s Jack Monkhouse was one of many young guns whose talent was severly restricted by a lack of money to fund their ailing programs. (Photo: Neil Blackbourn)

* Offer valid until 14/01/04

POSSUM POSTER

Evans wins top award

Simon Evans has been named the CAMS Motor Sport Personality of the Year at the 2003 Australian Motor Sport Awards, held by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport. Another motor sport personality, Peter Brock, presented the award to Evans in front of over 200 people at the Pumping Station at the ScienceWorks Museum in Melbourne. Hosted by Bill Woods, the evening also honoured the 2003 Australian Champions and National Series’ winners. CAMS President, Colin Osborne, was thrilled with the success of the night.

“What a spectacular way to end the CAMS 50th anniversary year by paying tribute to those members of the motor sport community who have dominated in their relative categories throughout the year.” “I would like to congratulate all 2003 Australian Champions on their efforts this year and look forward to another fantastic motor sport season in 2004,” Osborne concluded. Victorian rally scrutineer, Graeme Palmer, was also honoured, being named the 2003 Australian Motor Sport Official of the Year. Congratulations to all award winners.

Celebrating the achievements of

Possum Bourne 13 April 1956 — 30 April 2003

Championship titles:

Event titles in Australia:

New Zealand Rally Champion – 1991 Australian Rally Champion – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 ARC Class Champion – 1992 Group A Asia Pacific Champion – 1993, 1994, 2000

Forest Rally – 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 (equal), 2002 Coffs Harbour Rally – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Rally of Queensland – 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999 (equal), 2000 (equal), 2001, 2002 Rally of Melbourne – 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002 Subaru Safari Tasmania – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 (equal), 2000, 2001, 2002 SA Rally – 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, 2002 Subaru Rally of Canberra – 1992, 1996, 2000, 2001

A reprint of our famous poster which we printed in our June 2003 edition. Measuring 600 x 400mm and printed on glossy paper, these single-sided, unfolded posters are ideal for framing under glass, on board backing or just to hang on a wall. Order yours today in time for Christmas giving. $15 each posted in a strong mailing tube or two for $20.

Use the order form on page 2 of this issue.


16 - www.rallyscene.com

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Shepheards: Youth and experience

Steve Shepheard took a slender seven second win over father George. (Photos: Wayne Reed Osella Photographics)

The Keema Classic Rally was once again the final round of the Queensland Rally Championship for 2003, with Craig Porter as the Clerk-of-Course for the last time (no more Mr Nice Guy).

The Queensland Rally Championship was to be decided in this event and George Shepheard and Dom Corkeron or Paul Andrews and Ashley Bolt would walk away with the state title for 2003. At the end of a tough rally, it was a Shepheard 1-2 finish but a mature and measured drive by Andrews and Bolt gave them a ‘safe-as-houses’ fourth outright and sufficient points to take the Championship. Steve Shepheard was present to finish off the year in a home-state event, and maybe cadge a place at the end from his dad’s main rival. The GSA/Falken team looked and sounded the part, as usual, and put their reputations on the road, dominating from the outset. This event had been brought forward by a week to try to avoid some of the debilitating hot weather that usually strikes Queensland in December. Thankfully, it was a relatively mild day awaiting the field of 39 starters which was broken down into 19 cars for the full QRC route and 20 Clubman and Gemini Series crews. The pointy end looked quite good with an array of serious 4WD cars, interspersed with a couple of crews capable of ruining anyone’s party. Steve ‘Yorkie’ Berry enlisted another of his countrymen, Barrie Burr, to call the route in the Cyborg, while Dave Gaines/Nikki Doyle were in their Datsun 240K and itching to do well. Stewie Reid was a non-starter in his ’03 Subaru, after appearing on the entry list. All eyes, however, were on the battle which was expected between the ‘old fox’ (George) and the

By Tom Smith ‘young buck’ (Paul, in his Evo. 1 Lancer). Paul’s performance so far this year showed his capabilities and outright speed, so barring tragedy, a good run would net enough points for the crown. Nine stages were in the route book this year, for a total of 156 kilometres of rally roads. Once again Craig Porter had chosen carefully, making good use of the old favourites in the area, and presented a testing rally which would show chinks in the occasional armour. With a 1.00pm start in the hottest part of the day, the Shepheards matched each other over the 19 km opener, in front of Andrews and Clubman driver Paul Bergmann in his 2 litre Escort who was fourth fastest. Shaun Gill (Evo. 3) and Matt van Tuinen (WRX) were next up and another name from days of old showed what a good Datsun 180BSSS could do – Gary Meehan opening his account with a topten time. It was clear that the route included some rocky

and rough terrain, in addition to the fast sweeping forest roads, and a certain amount of care was required. The Shepheards continued their strategy with Steve winning the next from George by two seconds, and Bruce Fullerton pulling out a great time to pip van Tuinen. Bergmann’s running partner Dave Ovenden (RX2) put up a Clubman-winning performance, even taking 2 seconds from his Ford stablemate, and beating many of the other 4WDs. Ken Samway/Andy De Francis ended their day after SS2 with two flat tyres. SS3 ‘Boundary’ included a few cautioned calls over dips and jumps and it was a pair of humps that caught out Fullerton in his flying WRX. The car was undamaged, handling the terrain quite well, but Bruce ended the stage with severe back pains and even a quick massage from a handy nurse, plus some permissible pain-killers were not enough. He would shortcut the next stage and retire from the event, disappointed. Shepheard and Shepheard stayed in front of Andrews, who showed no signs of putting a foot wrong. Paul reported a couple of electrical issues, but nothing that looked like slowing the Evo.1 Lancer. Usually super reliable, Viv Gees and Brad Wedlock retired the ‘big red car’ (no, not the one from the Wiggles tour) with the Falcon XA reporting engine problems. For the first time in a long time, Viv did not have a time recorded against his name. The longest stage of the rally was ‘Beauty’ to be run twice, and Steven stretched his lead over the 26.50 kilometres by nearly a full minute. Gill reported mechanical problems with the silver Evo. 3 Lancer, losing 10 minutes to the rest of the field and reluctantly withdrawing. Within half a kilometre of the end of the stage, Wes Depper and Peter Clydesdale had a big crash, rolling their previously well-presented Datsun 1600. Once again, down the field at cars 22 and 23, Bergmann and Ovenden were inside the top ten in the ‘help.org.au’-sponsored vehicles. With one stage to go for the first section, “Dad” George took one back with a one second win over son Steve for ‘Barracks’ – the only stage in the rally to be run singularly. Barracks also included some particularly tight and rough stretches. After 5 stages and 84 kilometres, the running results showed Steven Shepheard/Anthony McLoughlin in first place on 54:49, George Shepheard/Dom Corkeron were on 55:31, Andrews/Bolt were on 56:47, van Tuinen/Smith were on 56:59, and Bergmann/Murphy rounded out the top five on 57:43. Because they were not to continue in the night stages, the next QRC crew was Gaines/Doyle on 58:54.

The Clubman event was over, and the Bergmann and Ovenden cars had dominated proceedings, taking first and second in their Escort and RX2 respectively. The next finisher was Trent Dutton/ John Padley in the Gree Air Conditioners Gemini Coupe. Shane and Adam Turner had a quiet event in their 240K but finished the day in a safe fourth while the Suzuki Baleno GTX of Simon and Margot Knowles rounded out the top five. Yorkie Berry/Barrie Burr were off the pace in their Mitsubishi following tyre problems but would continue into the night stages. Dutton/Padley won the Gemini category from Jamie McFarlane/Larissa Skyring, then Ross Cox/ Tony Best. Of the Geminis, only Cox/Best were to continue in the QRC.

Dave Gains finished a remarkable fifth in his ageing Datsun 240K.

A 40 minute regroup then major service followed, before the remaining fourteen cars and crews headed out to Section 2 – four stages comprising 73 kms. The usual benchmark for running the same stages in day or night, is the comparison in times. Steve Shepheard, running first on the road dropped nine seconds to his earlier effort and won the stage. No-one else was close to their previous time, except Matt van Tuinen who matched his run on SS1 and grabbed second quickest! This also moved him into third outright, now in front of Andrews. On SS7, van Tuinen drove masterfully to win the stage, taking 16 seconds from Steve and five seconds from George in a twilight chase. On the penultimate and final stages, van Tuinen was faultless in setting winning times but George, to his credit, did not let up. Steven had dramas on the last stage of the event and this enabled George to close the gap at rally Continued page 25 Gary Meehan and his Datsun 180B SSS were the second 2WD car home, in sixth place.


www.rallyscene.com - 17

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Letters to the Editor

I

Send your letters to: Australian Rallysport News, P.O. Box 784, Wangaratta VIC 3676

n an effort to encourage our readers to put pen to paper (or fingers to mouse!) to tell us what their thoughts are on the many issues facing rallying, for the next 6 months we will be offering a prize for the best letter of the month. Thanks to our good friends at FilterMAG, there’s a great-looking FilterMAG polo shirt going begging each month to the person who we judge as having written the best letter of no more than 150 words, on any rallying subject you wish. Just email, fax or post your letters to us at the addresses listed in the front of the magazine and we’ll get our judging panel organised to find a winner. As well as getting your name in print, you could also be zooming around in a designer polo shirt from FilterMAG. At the end of six months, if your letter is judged to be the best, you’ll win a FilterMAG for your vehicle, not only making you a winner, but protecting your car’s engine as well! So go to it.

Cost of rallying

I have just visited the CAMS website with the intention of filling out the “Cost of Rallying Survey”, but decided against it. The survey is a complete waste of time. It is loaded, and set in a way that will provide meaningless statistics, without constructive comment. It failed me in that I had no avenue by which to address many key issues. Therefore,here is my response. Please factor these comments into your survey results. I’ll keep it simple, because that’s what the survey wasmoronically simple. My name is Jamie Neale. I am 28 years of age. I attended my first rally 28 years ago, which is before Network TEN started covering rallying, before Subaru or Toyota had entered a factory car, and before sports management was even a theory. I have been actively involved in the sport ever since. I started karting when I was in primary school, and began navigating when I was 15. Unlike ARCom, IMG, RallyCorp, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Network TEN, I am active in all levels of the sport, from closed club rallies, Novice, Clubman, State, ARC and International events. My family has been involved in rallying for almost 40 years, and our family business “Rallyequip”, provides services for the rallying community. Rallyequip is active at all levels of the sport as well, and acts as a “Rally Registration” centre for the RTA in N.S.W. My two brothers and father, along

with most of my friends, are all involved in rallying. We enjoy the sport for what it is, and are prepared to make large personal financial sacrifices to compete in rallying. We are no different in this regard to the Herridges, or the Evans’, Thompsons, Pedders, Lintotts, Swans, Orders, Whittens, Stillings or Tirants, amongst others. We are all no different than the Kings, Barretts or Battens running Datsuns or Geminis. We are rally people. We are rallying. The reason why the cost of rallying is increasing is plain and simple. Rally people like the ones mentioned above are not able to direct our sport. We are the people with the knowledge, the passion, and the vision that can provide for rallying across a range of classes, levels and states. However we are far removed from any decision-making process. The decision-making power of our sport is in the financially driven hands of IMG, Network TEN and Manufacturers, who are working for the good of themselves, or their product, rather than the good of the sport. ARCom has allowed our sport to change dramatically at the hands of these organizations, simply because neither party understands the true issues of Australian rallying, but are ignorant enough to think they do. I would like to see a “competitors committee” formed, with independently voted representatives derived from car clubs, established as a safeguard against ARCom and IMG’s decisions. This committee will act as a

review council of all decisions they make, much like the Senate does in Australian politics. I would like to see any “agreements” between ARCom, IMG, RallyCorp, Network TEN, ELF, Pedders, Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Toyota (or any other associated parties) tabled and made public knowledge to all competitors through the established competitors committee. We can argue about the small points as much as we like, and we may even take some minor victories, but the plain reality of the situation we are faced with, in regard to cost, is that ARCom, CAMS and IMG are responsible for allowing the costs to escalate. They are the issue - they are our target. I would like to see these administration issues factored into a competitor survey, instead of spitting out mindnumbing statistical crap. In order to serve the Australian rallying public, it is my opinion that this survey must draw the conclusion that

ian rallying. In a media release, the ARCom Chairman, Garry Connelly stated, “The review of the costs of rallying will be exhaustive and leave no stone unturned”. It’s my disbelief of these comments that have led me to forward this response to Australian Rallysport News for publication. Jamie Neale Penrith, N.S.W.

ARC fuel woes

Every one should know that all ARC competitors could have saved another $1.50 per litre on the fuel bill for next year and that Elf was not the best option. The ARC could have had the largest manufacturer of race fuel in the world backing the ARC, not only with a premium race fuel, but with further sponsorship. It seems to me that the powers that be at ARCom and IMG have their own personal agendas to look out for, rather than the interests of saving all competitors money. The Neale brothers (Craig and Jamie) believe they’ll struggle to find the money for the new control fuel in next year’s ARC.

the “powers that be” in Australian rallying are accountable for the “unreasonable” cost increase, and that they are ultimately responsible. The second step is to cap the cost at the level it is now, if not lower it. Only a change in thinking will accommodate that. IMG’s and ARCom’s vision of the Australian Championship is expensive, and in my opinion unrealistic. As much as I would love to see Australian rallying prosper, at both professional and amateur levels, I refuse to see our sport as a product or a marketing tool. I don’t measure rallying’s success via TV ratings, or advertising dollars. We are people enjoying our chosen sport and as such our sport’s administrators should be focused on providing competitor-friendly events at all levels. Along with the entire Australian rallying public, I was invited to comment on the costs associated with Austral-

(ARCom chairman) Gary Connelly asked George Shepheard about the different types of fuel that could be used as a control fuel and George had put his stamp of approval on the Sunoco Sun Euro fuel after a lot of dyno work. Yes, some people will say that the Sunoco fuel is new and untested, but with the recommendation of George Shepheard and a price of $4.00 per litre for Sunoco, compared to $5.50 per litre for Elf, you would think they would have at least asked Sunoco what they had to offer. A company such as Sunoco wouldn’t be able to secure a 10 year deal with NASCAR if their fuel wasn’t of high grade, plus they also supply the control fuel for the SCCA Rally Championship in the USA and supply all the fuel for drag racing in the US and Canada. The fuel they supply NASCAR is more than ELF supply world wide.

Who’s looking after who with this deal? Mathew Apps Via email

Fans stay away

Just wanted to drop a quick line to respond to all the questions about the lack of spectators at Subaru Safari Tasmania. I’m a mad keen rally competitor and supporter and have watched this event every year. On most occasions I drop into the local newsagent or sponsor to pick up a spectator guide to check out where I can go to watch but this year could find nothing. Newspaper and TV advertising was also very limited apart from information about the DEC and Bushy Park stages. I would also suggest this was one of the factors in reduced crowds as admission went from a gold coin donation to $5 a head, pretty pricey if taking the family along! I endeavoured to find out through the web how I could get a spectator guide, by searching at rally.com.au, the Safari and the 500 Car Club’s website but nothing was posted, I even e-mailed the event director but got no reply!! I was eventually able to find some downloadable pdf spectator guide files on Saturday morning at the Safari site, which were apparently listed the night before! I was stunned at how spectators this year seemed to have been overlooked. Not only would the majority of spectators not have know where to find the “online” spectator guide, but it was left so late that perhaps many people decided it was all too hard and stayed at home. I was told by some friends outside the rally community that they had also tried all week to find out where to go without luck, so ended up driving to Bushy Park, waited by the side of the road for a rally car to go past and then followed that into the stage. Hopefully event organisers take notice of this year’s failings and remember to cater for all the people that make rallying a success. I’m sure even the top guys would agree, it’s more fun driving spectacularly when someone’s there to see it! Nathan Meyers (Hobart) By email Our Letters column certainly provided an opportunity for some people to vent their feelings this month. These are just a selection of letters we received this month so apologies if we didn’t print yours. The prize for the best letter this month goes to Jamie Neale who wins himself a fantastic FilterMag polo shirt, courtesy of the folks at FilterMag. At least Jamie will look good and feel comfortable when he’s filling out the CAMS competitor survey (not!).


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www.rallyscene.com - 19

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Kremer wins APRC

ON THE LIMIT: Not even driving like this could get Marcus Gronholm over the line at the Race of Champions.

Seb’s consolation

The best efforts of defending champion Karamjit Singh weren’t enough to prevent Germany’s Armin Kremer from snatching victory in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship on last weekend’s very rough and twisty series finale in India. With pre-event championship leader, Geof Argyle, delayed by broken suspension and a puncture on leg one and fellow contender Fumio Nutahara an early casualty, the championship battle quickly became a two-way scrap between Karamjit and Kremer. Using the extra power and strength of his Group A Proton Pert to good effect on the rock-strewn stages near Pune, Karamjit gained a handy early advantage, only to slip to second when he punctured on the final stage of leg one. The Malaysian was back in front within two stages – and stayed there to the end–– but the fact that Kremer was able to take the maximum three bonus points on offer for winning the first leg ultimately decided the championship by a single point. Kremer, the 2001 European Rally Champion, also scooped the APRC Group N title as soon as Nutahara retired, giving his Indian MRF Tyresbacked Lancer team double cause to celebrate their first international championship rally title. Argyle’s disappointment and frustration (as well as suffering suspension breakages, he punctured four times) were shared by his Kiwi team mates Andrew Hawkeswood and Brian Green. The same leg one stage that cost Argyle over four and a half minutes also saw Hawkeswood puncture, break two shock absorbers and his Lancer’s intercooler. Further suspension breakages and the loss of wheel in the extremely rough conditions then forced him out for good, his team having used

Karamjit Singh (above) won the rally, but it was German Armin Kremer who took the title. (Photos: Macspeed Photography)

its full supply of suspension parts. While Argyle battled on to fifth place - behind Singh, Kremer, Nico Caldarola and David Doppelreiter – Green seemed to be on course for seventh place before retiring with mechanical problems on the final stage of the event. Mechanical woes also accounted for Katsuhiko Taguchi, not once but twice. With Mark Stacey in the co-drivers seat, the Japanese driver suffered a broken gearbox on leg one, and rejoined for leg two, only to suffer another transmission-related retirement.

There was better news for Australia’s Chris Atkinson, who guided the Suzuki Sport Ignis Super 1600 to yet another sold result, in this case sixth overall. Like many of the visiting crews, he lost time during the event with a puncture, which seemed almost inevitable given the size of the rocks on some of the stages. Kremer, whose strongest APRC result was his round win at Canberra at the very start of the series, is the first European-based driver to win the outright title since Kenneth Eriksson in 1997.

MRF TYRES INDIA RALLY 31 October – 2 November

1. Karamjit Singh/Allen Oh Proton Pert 3h53m41s 2. Armin Kremer/Fred Berssen Mitsubishi Lancer 3h56m03s 3. Nico Caldarola/Paolo Cecchini Mitsubishi Lancer 4h02m57s 4. Dave Doppelreiter/Ola Fioene Mitsubishi Lancer 4h06m15s 5. Geof Argyle/Steve Smith Mitsubishi Lancer 4h17m55s 6. Chris & Benjamin Atkinson Suzuki Ignis 4h24m21s Rally leaders: Nutahara stage 1, Karamjit 2-4, Kremer 5-6, Karamjit 7-13. Final APRC points: Kremer 53, Singh 52, Argyle 45, Nutahara 37.

This year’s runner-up in the World Rally Championship, France’s Sebastien Loeb, ended his season on a high by winning a re-match of last year’s final at the Michelin Race of Champions, against Finland’s twotimes World Rally Champion, Marcus Gronholm. Loeb defeated Gronholm two heats to nil, both victories achieved by more than a car length. Having narrowly lost last year’s final by two heats to one, and after the disappointment of just missing out on this year’s World Rally Championship title by just one point, Loeb arrived on the sunshine island of Gran Canaria determined to finish on top of the pile. The new ‘Champion of Champions’ was thrilled with his win and what it might mean: “Last year, I finished second here and went on to finish second in the World Championship. After this win, if the pattern continues, I should be a very happy man by this time next year.” Loeb didn’t lose a single heat all day, and was particularly pleased to finish so far ahead of his arch rival, Gronholm, in the Finn’s own World Championship-winning car, the Peugeot 206 WRC. Asked how it was to drive, Loeb replied: “It seems complicated at first, with a lot to learn, but I quickly got the hang of it.” This was Loeb’s fourth visit to Gran Canaria and he clearly benefited from this experience: “I was very pleased with how I drove, above all in the final. To be fast here, you need to know where to be spectacular and where you need to keep it tight. There are a lot of places that you can lose time by pushing too hard.” Having lost the first heat, Gronholm was perhaps unlucky that his opponent’s car sustained a hand brake and then an engine problem, causing a delay where the Finn went off the boil: “Maybe I lost concentration a bit, I’m not sure. Basically, I made too many mistakes and Sebastien was just too hot today.”

The Michelin Race of Champions represents the only opportunity on the rally calendar for drivers to really cut loose on a parallel-track circuit, without the worry of ruining the rest of a WRC round. With all four WRC seeds filling the semi-final slots, the scene was therefore perfectly set for the world’s best rally drivers to go headto-head, in full-blooded fashion. Loeb beat Francois Duval two-nil and Gronholm defeated Gilles Panizzi two heats to one to set up the repeat showdown. Both semi-finals were very closely fought, with Loeb just finding enough in both heats to finish a bonnet length ahead of his friend, and threetimes ROC Junior Champion, Francois Duval. Panizzi, who was looking to add this title to his All Star team’s ROC Nations Cup victory, fought hard, winning the second leg of the contest in a Peugeot 206 WRC. However, Gronholm had saved enough to preside in the third and decisive heat. The quarter finals witnessed some great action and a series of brave attempts to challenge the WRC stars’ supremacy. Never was this more the case than for X-Games star, Travis Pastrana, who, side-by-side with Marcus Gronholm, pushed a little too hard and barrel-rolled his Lancer. Offering an explanation for his dramatic exit, he said: “I was trying to leave my braking as late as possible to keep up, but I guess that was a little too late!” Otherwise, Gilles Panizzi was comfortable against Renato Travaglia, Duval saw off the challenge of local hero, Flavio Alonso and Loeb showed a clean pair of heels to Sweden’s Daniel Carlsson. Rounding off a great day, Loeb was also presented with the ‘Rally Driver of the Year’ Award by event organiser, Michele Mouton, following his selection by a prestigious jury comprising all the WRC team principals. Duval was voted ‘Young Rally Driver of the Year’.

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20 - www.rallyscene.com

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Sp ort

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Australian

Rally

COMING SOON? 4WD’s like Mitsubishi’s Magna could soon be eligible for the Aussie Car class.

Round Up Ampol Trial re-run

Following the success of the Peugeot 50th Anniversary Redex Rerun, the Peugeot Car Club of Victoria have decided to go ahead with a rerun of the 1958 Ampol Trial. The proposed event will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the win by a Peugeot in the first Ampol in 1956 and is designed to relive the five Ampol Trials held between 1956 and 1970. The 1958 event was the third Ampol Trial and lends itself to the re-run format best, according to event organiser, Graham Wallis. It was 12,000km long and travelled through the South East corner of Australia, going as far north as Bundaberg and as far west as Port Augusta. It is planned that event will follow the same format as the Redex Re-run – a touring road event with special tests. There will be a good selection of special tests as the event will pass through many towns that have car clubs and motor sport venues. Car eligiblity will be restricted to cars of a type that entered any of the Ampol Trials or any Peugeots made before 1970. There will be classes for cars from the 1956 to 1958 era, the 1964 era and the 1970 era. The organisers will be encouraging replicas of each Ampol Trial winning make of car - Peugeot 403, Volkswagen Beetle, Holden FE, Cortina Mk1 and the dead-heated cars from 1970 -Datsun 1600 and Citroen DS. Contact Graham Wallis 9859 1412 or gwallis@alphalink.com.au to register your interest.

versary of the Australian Mk.2 RS2000 which was built from 1974. The annual event will take place in the Bundoora Park, Plenty Road, Bundoora (a Melbourne suburb). The day is open to owners of all 4cylinder small Fords including Anglia, Capri, Consul, Cortina, FWD Cougar, Escort, Fiesta, Festiva, Focus, Ka, Laser, Meteor, Mondeo, Prefect, Probe, Sierra, Telstar, Zephyr and Zodiac. Those displaying their cars on the day will pay a $10 registration fee which includes an entrant’s pack, and free entry into the giant show and shine awards. For visitors, there will be the RS Owners Club concours, Capri Car Club concours, Cortina Mk. 1 Show and Shine, Ford Four Car Club display, Sidevalve Club display, trade stands, a huge raffle and food and refreshments stands. Further information is available from the RS Owners Club email rsoc_vic@hotmail.com

CAMS considers 4WD Aussie Cars

CAMS is considering allowing all-wheeldrive cars to compete in the Aussie Car class in the Australian Rally Championship from next year. According to Campbell Andrea, CAMS Rally Manager, the alteration to the class was mooted at a recent ARCom meeting when the matter of opening up the class was discussed. If the changes were adopted, it would allow a range of Australian-produced vehicles including

RS2000 is 25

The Victorian branch of the Ford RS Owners Club are again holding their Small Ford Sunday on Sunday February 1. This year the event will celebrate the 25th Anni-

the Mitsubishi Magna and the new 4WD versions of the Holden and Falcon to compete against the current 2WD versions. According to Andrea, the matter was being discussed in conjunction with the investigation into weights currently on the ARCom table. “As it stands, the new 4WD locally-produced cars are currently eligible to compete against the current 4WD Evos and WRXs but their weight makes them uncompetitive,” Campbell Andrea said. “I can tell you that CAMS are looking into the matter but it is too early to say whether the changes will be adopted. I am hopeful that an announcement will be made just before Christmas or very early in the new year.”

More changes at Rally Australia Bruce Robins, the Executive Director of Telstra Rally Australia, is to vacate his position in January. Seconded from another WA Government department, the Department of Industry and Research, in January 2003, Robins’ contract was for 12 months. His original posting came at a time of great turmoil in Rally Australia after the resignation of long-time Clerk of Course, Garry Connelly. Robins was at least the seventh Executive Director of the event. The vacancy will be advertised early in the new year.

Competition

Our mailbag was overflowing this month with entries in our photo competition, so much so that we had trouble deciding a winner. Most people had no trouble identifying the car as being that of Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya, pictured on the York Railway stage in Rally Australia in 1991. Trish and Gazza even went so far as telling us that the photo was taken on Stage 7 at approximately 1.50pm! And Patrina even included the registration number of the car – KAM 4083. How’s that for being keen! However the first correct entry opened was from Peter Biltoft of Ballajura, WA, who wins a copy of the video “Classic Bathurst Crashes”. Congratulations to Peter and to all those who entered our competition. This month we’re asking you to identify the crew of this RS2000 Escort which competed in the Castrol International. While the car (IMH 895) was the famous Colin Bond-prepared “Snoopy”, the driver and co-driver are not quite as well known as the car’s normal crew at the time – Greg Carr/Fred Gocents or Colin Bond/John DawsonDamer. Send your entries on the back of an envelope to ARN Competition, P.O. Box 784, Wangaratta 3676. The first correct entry opened will win a copy of the new Chevron video of the 2003 Australian Safari, all 105 minutes of action. So go to it – you could be a winner.

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www.rallyscene.com - 21

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

This issue of Australian Rallysport News brings another busy year to conclusion. The competitiveness and closeness of the ARC Super Series which was mooted early in the year has panned out exactly as expected, which, for rallying in this country can (hopefully) only add to the excitement of our sport to growing hordes of TV viewers. Having the Championship decided in the final round is the epitome of an equal and yet varied competition, and from Queensland’s perspective we watched the exciting finales of the state championship, ARC Super Series and the WRC. In the Sunshine State, we have a new state champion pairing, following the Keema Classic Rally and heartfelt congratulations go to Paul Andrews and Ashley Bolt who join the record books for the first time! Despite the fact that the competition year is basically in wind-down mode, I’ve still managed to pull together enough news and views to fill this last column.

KEEMA CLASSIC SUM-UP As mentioned above, Paul Andrews and Ashley Bolt won the QRC title after a sensible drive netted them fourth outright. Their main protagonist for the driver’s title was George Shepheard, although the co-drivers’ scores were a little more settled. Steve Shepheard also had a rare local outing and the two GSA/Falken cars set a dominant pace early. They must be two of the best developed Evo. 6 Lancers in the southern hemisphere. With the early demise of Shaun Gill/Ross Perry (Evo. 3) and Bruce Fullerton/Hugh ReardonSmith (WRX), the front-running QRC battle settled into a four way fight between the Shepheard boys, Paul and Mattie van Tuinen (I was Matt’s guest co-driver). Paul/Ashley sat in third at the end of the daylight stages, but Matt quickly set about establishing himself as the ‘night-master’, winning three of four stages and closing the gap dramatically. After some last minute excitement, Steve won the event from George by just 7 seconds, with Matt third another 51 seconds away. Paul was 2 minutes and 5 seconds back and ever-reliable Dave Gaines/Nikki Doyle grabbed the fifth spot. Special mention has to be made of Paul Bergman and Chris Murphy in their 2WD Escort who easily won the ‘Clubman’ segment of the rally and

WHERE THE SUN SHINES

with Tom Smith QUEENSLAND

PETER PROTON! Yes, he sounds like an action super-hero but he’s just a car dealer and rally driver, fighting for truth, justice and the ‘Proton Cup! Congratulations go to Pete Lockhart and codriver Paul Bennet for their dominance of the 2003 Proton Rally Trophy. Along the way, the guys won the P1 class in the ARC, and took second in the F16 Championship to Lee Peterson in his Mitsubishi Cyborg. Whether the Proton series continues next year has not been widely publicised, and it is unfortunate that numbers seem to be dwindling. Irrespective, Peter has shown that the ARC can be run on a budget with a consistent and reliable small car.

Peter Bergman won the Clubman component of the Keema Classic Rally, which also doubled as the final event of the Queensland Rally Championship. (Photo: Wayne Reed Osella Photographics)

were sitting in fifth outright after the day stages. One day Paul will run the whole QRC event, and seriously throw the cat amongst the pigeons. Congratulations to Craig Porter and his team for another successful Gallangowan event over tough and testing roads. This was a fitting finish to the season, and Craig’s last time at the helm, with David Nash taking over next year. A full report appears elsewhere in this issue.

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of the list is Menzies – two of them actually, with Pete winning the series and Ian taking second. Co-driven by Stephen Kennedy and Larissa Skyring respectively, those Menzies brothers have got the formula pretty well sorted out in their V8 Falcons. Ian had more than his fair share of bad luck this year (Pete will say he just out-drove him!) but the scoreboard says it all and the two ‘HandyForm’ and ‘HandyFit’ Falcons were never headed. At this stage, I assume that if the Aussie Car class is continued the boys will both be out there to continue their sibling rivalry, but you never know what Santa may bring, and unsubstantiated rumours abound.

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it seems everyone is talking about it still, and more entrants are being confirmed for next year. As 2003 draws to a close, the RSs should be soon delivered for the obligatory strip-down and refit over the Christmas break. I’m aware of a couple of likely Queenslandbased teams but that may be enough given the reported extent of interest. If we assume a couple from each state, a bunch of Kiwis, some Japanese teams and apparently a Canadian or two – that’s the series in a bottle! It will be competitive, and hopefully showcase some more of that special Aussie talent.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE ATKINSONS? After achieving what they set out to do for Suzuki Sport in 2003, much is being considered it seems, for the Atkinson brothers, Chris and Ben. Hoping that their Japanese employers would take them to the next step in the JWRC after winning Super 1600 in the APRC, it looks likely that the only confirmed Suzuki deal for ’04 will see them back in the APRC again – not so bad, after all. However with Chris getting older (he’s no spring chicken at 23!!), they simply must be seen at a higher profile to justify their desire for a ride in the WRC. With this in mind, it appears some feelers are out for a few selected European WRC events, but not necessarily in a Suzuki. I understand this option sits reasonably well with Suzuki Sport, who understand the situation. If Chris and Ben can compete against the current crop, then it should do little damage to their competitive reputation in the next couple of years. Stay tuned! KAHLER TO STEP UP? Peter Kahler has listed his reliable Gemini for sale after being pretty much a fixture in the Gemini Series for many years. I’ve spoken to Pete about his options in the past, and he is the first one to realise the enormous costs of running a serious 4WD car. That said, he obviously is planning to take a forward move out of the Gem-ster and into a more powerful and competitive vehicle. Essentially, what he thinks he needs is a quicker Gemini with better brakes and much more power. Pete’s car appeared in the ‘For Sale’ column in the last issue of the Brisbane Sporting Car Club magazine, so 2004 may see a new mount for young Mr Kahler. MENZIES’ AUSSIE CAR TITLE Unfortunately the Aussie Car category in the ARC Super Series has probably not received the coverage it has in the past, but the efforts of the competitors chasing the mantle of ‘best local’ should not be discounted. It goes without saying that the name at the top

WORLD GEMINI SERIES The team from Bryce Racing Developments on the Gold Coast seemed to be mixing their passion for rallying with the local Gemini racing series throughout 2003. John Eddy, Steve Wall, Nick Creswell and about three or four others hit the series big time this year as a distraction from the pressures of highlevel rallying. Sadly, it seems that outright success has eluded John, and despite about 13 engine rebuilds in the week before the final round (looking for that elusive 1.5 bhp) he could not get up on the day. He is therefore runner-up – that’s the first loser, right?? Z CAR FOR COLIN Colin Ugarte from Charters Towers in the north of the state has been an occasional competitor locally over the past few years in his Subaru Legacy RS. After a quiet period, he has now acquired the Datsun 240Z of Phil Mason in nearby Townsville. Another strip and rebuild over Christmas should keep the team busy and we may see more of Col next year in selected rounds of the QRC. RALLY DINNER 2004 It looks like the date will be around April 3 (hey, that’s my birthday!).Write it in your calendar no, the Rally Dinner, not my birthday! PHOTOGRAPHER WANTED With the new full colour format of Australian Rallysport News, I have to confess that brilliant words are not going to be the content that sells every issue of the magazine any more. The Editors (ruthless, both of ‘em) want pretty piccies to accompany the stories, and sadly when I’m in a rally car, taking snaps is not foremost in my mind. Competing is a great way of being close to the action, but we need a committed photographer (amateur or pro) to provide good action shots to accompany articles. If you are interested, please contact Peter Whitten at ARN. MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL I have to take this opportunity to thank all of those people who have helped my job through the year in supplying information and press releases for their respective teams. As a ‘journo’ I find that you can never make everyone happy, and with the natural space limitations for a great magazine like this one, not everyone will always get a mention. Nonetheless, I will continue to try to fill my allocated space each month and invite readers to contact me with feedback or snippets of news. Thanks also to those who’ve had me in the hotseat this year. Steve Wall, Mark Griffith and Matt van Tuinen. I’ve enjoyed every ride! I sincerely hope that everyone has a restful and rewarding Christmas period and that you all remember what Christmas is really about - gettin’ pressies!! Catch you all in ’04.


22 - www.rallyscene.com And the word for last month is – Alpine! If you need to know more then read on, or read Peter Whitten’s article elsewhere. Another year in motorsport and the only constant is change itself. I’ll comment on the ARC side of things later but in Victoria that means the usual struggle to get events together to make up various series and championships. It is always a struggle to get events to run as organizing teams burn out and the lag in getting new teams to run events often sees flat spots form from year to year.

2004 SEASON Next year’s Racetech Victorian Rally Championship has been reduced to a possible four rounds, including Bega, as Alan Mackay has advised that the lack of key people prepared to do more than front up for the Strzelecki on the day means that he doesn’t have an officials co-ordinator or people for other key roles. So we have another area that is apparently crying out for a rally that no-one is prepared to run. The good news is that we have Chris Diffey taking over the David Nutter Ford Rally in Morwell (VRC-1) and Andrew Roseman doing the same with the Autumn Midnight in the VCRS. The first Yokohama/Traction Tyres VCRS round is FFCC’s Camcrusher on March 13, resurrected by the indefatigable John Roberts, who for a few years has run two rallies a year from his Autosport business in Croydon. This event is being prepared as a future VRC with approval to run a couple of daylight stages. And for once the first rally isn’t Glad Fish’s “George Woods”, but the Mirboo Meander on February 7, the ultimate test of keeping down dinner, apparently. But the GW is still a great place for novices to give rallying a try – highly recommended. Round 1 of the Racetech Steel VRC is the DNFUC Rally on March 27 (look up what it stands for). Optimism remains that the NGK Rally of Melbourne organisers will find a way to reduce entry fees in order that the event can be included in the VRC, as organisers have managed in other states. All in all the calendar is looking lighter. We need some more Roberts, Diffeys and Rosemans please. Or maybe another CCRMIT. Stuart Lister is checking six events and directing one. Thought he had retired didn’t we?

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

OF T OU

L O R T N O

C

By Michael Cains

CONTROL FUEL When I first read the official CAMS press release about the ELF control fuel, I thought it was a mistake but then the criticisms started rolling in and only limited amounts of justification from ARCom’s Steve Ashton. One of the simmering issues for rallying has long been the cost of the most suitable fuel to run a highly tuned turbo at peak performance and if you were serious, and had the money, or even if you didn’t, you ran ELF anyway. The rest of the competitors dropped 2 secs/km and kept hoping for Tattslotto or some form of bulk buy, watching with interest the legal wrestling between CAMS and ELF. Instead what comes out is not a cheaper way of getting the best fuel but a control fuel which seems to lock anyone running a turbo car and registered in the ARC, works sponsored or otherwise, into $5.50 per litre, payable over the internet if you please. So if you didn’t have the money and had been perfectly happy to run PULP, suddenly you find yourself having to find a lot more money per event no matter what they might tell you. Of course, one could hope that ELF’s very generous sponsorship of the company providing safety services to ARC’s would result in a $400 reduction of your entry fee, but I for one wouldn’t hold my breath although ARCom appear confident organisers will reduce entry fees. I suspect that organisers will use this wind-

fall to offset other costs, assuming that the capacity to pay entry fees of $2,000 or thereabouts has already been established. And what about the occasional ARC competitor who is not registered? I used to think vehicle continuity was a cornerstone of ARCom philosophy, but re-mapping an engine to run the control fuel seems to fly in the face of that and now we have more reasons for crews not able to step up a level. This may be addressed in the costs review commissioned by ARCom and headed up by Penny Swan. Now that’s going to be an even tougher job, but I’ve spoken to Penny and as a self-funded ARC competitor she is in a good position to do this. You can complete the survey form on CAMS.com or email Penny on penny@penelopepitstop.biz with any worthwhile comments. We all know rallying is expensive, but knowing what is reasonable or avoidable is the issue. Costing in food for the weekend when you would have had to eat anyway is not a real cost and what you drink is your problem. Finding a way to subsidise air fares, accommodation or fuel would be a start in my book.

ALPINE RALLY Stuart Lister’s love/hate relationship with the Alpine continued, directing what is fast becoming a biennial tradition, this time moving to the heat and dust of East Gippsland running out of Lakes Entrance on November 29 and 30. I was proud to be one of the 83 crews who drove down the Princes Highway, not from as far as some, to be part of this very different event. How many rallies can you complete in the daylight to then have to come to grips with the fact that you have the equivalent of two VRC’s to do in two stages, one of which is 125 km long, with a mid stage fuel stop if required? I really don’t think the majority of current ARC competitors could hack this, although the rules for this event specifically banned 4WDs and turbos, concentrating on capturing the spirit of Alpines past in line with the HRA credo. You only have to look at the leader board to see the representation of old stagers, has beens, and wish-they-weres to realise that the hair greys, the middle expands but the talent remains. Names like Watson, Officer, Davis, Reynolds, Hodgson and others acquitted themselves more than admirably and there are far too many tales to capture outside of a HRA meeting. The Alpine lost three stages due to lack of officials but this was only due in part to the lack of volunteers as there were some minor internal is-

sues. It was always going to be a tough ask given the field size although it disturbs me that some VRC crews appear not to have been prepared to travel for four hours and put some effort back into the sport. Future Alpines may see the supply of an official as a condition of entry. At the outright end it was a titanic struggle that saw Brian Semmens and Dan Parry finish a mere 8 seconds in front of Graeme Wise and Rob Beekman. Semmens, in only his second rally since major back surgery sidelined him for the VRC 2WD championship, went out hard and took many by surprise with a sprint pace and a host of stage wins. He aimed on setting a buffer, not knowing if he could hold it together in the night. The brilliant last 125 kim stage saw Wise/ Beekman make an all-out effort, failing by the slimmest margin and making the most use of a slight dust gap. Semmens and Parry had driven the first 40km conservatively to preserve tyres but didn’t need to in the soft earth and sand, finishing the stage on near new rubber on their hard compound Yokohamas! Kari Dirickx and Glenn Murray from the ACT finished third in a battle of concentration, fitness and attrition where the challenge was often staying awake (11 km between calls!) and ignoring imaginary noises. Seven out of the top ten cars home were Datsun/Nissans. I had a ride in Gerald Schofield’s immaculate Group G Escort, and despite the lack of power which turned out to be a rapidly disintegrating motor, we had a ball and it was great to be in an Escort again. I’ve only done Alpines in Escorts – my own personal tradition. We were third Escort but only because I had to let the boss (Peter Whitten) win, although his starter motor and gearbox problems gave him other ideas. Rob Plenter flew in from Colorado to run his Fiat X1-9 for three stages before the suspension lowered itself. Being the optimist that Rob is, it is only the distance that stops him returning to run the Racetech VRC in this unique car and run for a class win. Others like Mike Welsh spent a lot of time rebuilding their cars. Mike put in new struts, brakes, camshaft, carburettors, etc etc in his Toyota T18, and just managed to finish with the brakes burned down to the metal and the exhaust welded at the Swifts Creek Mobil garage. This was how hard you had to run to drive a marathon and finish in a proud 8th place behind the Officers like Mike did. A result he is going to remember as a highlight in 30 years of competing. Alpine’s are really all about tradition, plus a chance to catch up with old faces. It was great to see Frank Kilfoyle at the event as I haven’t seen him for years, and the man can still recall a great story and make them sound even better. As for Bob Watson, the bugger beat us in Penny Swan’s cast-off 1600. We won’t mention Dinta Officer who came a fine 7th in an evil handling Galant. An unfortunate incident where Steve Richards was unable to see David Brown’s triangles in the daylight saw both cars virtually totalled. I think this issue of using reflective red triangles in daylight events has gone far enough and I am pushing to have the high quality reflective tape on corflute introduced in all rallies through ARCom. If they won’t approve it we will introduce it in Victoria anyway. Graeme Palmer has videoed all types and it is a lay down misere (a what? Ed.).

AWARD WINNERS Talking of Graeme Palmer, congratulations Continued page 26

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www.rallyscene.com - 23

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

A lot has happened in the last month, what with the National Capital Rally being cancelled due to rain and flooding on the stages, and the bumper field in the Rallye des Femmes, so there’s plenty to write about this month. With the NATCAP cancelled, the ACT series points are now final and we have a new champion for 2003, John Stilling.

ACT Series Final pointscores for ACT series are as follows Gold Cup John Stilling 106 Graham Thompson 82 Rob Nunn 66 Clubman Russell Winks Peter Vlandis Nathan Senior Novice Fro Horobin Marty Holberton Patrick Malycha Silver Cup Mark Sessions Peter Ewing Peter Vlandis

84

Ray's Canberra Corner By Ray Baker Neal Bates and Coral Taylor ran as course car on the Rally des Femmes, gaining vaulable testing experience. (Photos by Peter Norton)

97 76

98 76 71 77 76 68

Rallye des Femmes This recent event saw a bumper field of 22 cars which is the largest field for quite a while. There were some very strong car and driver combinations, headed by Jenny Austin and Ray Baker in Car 1 and the Kelly Caruana/ Chris Warwick combination in Car 2. Neal Bates had agreed to run as zero car, a bit of late season testing for him. A few ARC regulars were having a run but in the opposite seats. Brad Goldsbrough was sitting in the navigator’s seat for Victoria Courtenay in his Datsun 1600 and Lyndall Drake was hav-

ing her first run in her Camira with husband Tim Batten doing the navigating duties. With Jenny Austin competing in Nathan Senior’s RX7, it was going to be an interesting event. Jenny had relinquished her RX2 that she had run in the Alpine. The day started quite well although there were an abundance of flies at the Urriara Service Park. A mower would also have been good, due to the rains and then some warm

weather, as the service park was quite overgrown. The eventual winner of the event was Lizzy Ferme in Geoff Stewart’s Celica. Lizzy has not had a lot of time in the car but it is very well prepared by Geoff. Lizzy was ably co-driven by ARC regular John-Paul De Sousa. Event favourite, Jenny Austin. had exhaust and turbo issues on stage 4 and had to withdraw, while car 3, Sophia Moody, had a woeful day with a

flat tyre on the way to the first stage and then major gearbox dramas in the first stage. She also had to withdraw. There was an interclub challenge held as well, with the top-placed club being the NSSCC on 59 points closely followed by LCCC on 54. Host club BMSC came in last with 19 points after having their two top contenders DNF. Having a large field for the event was great, with some media coverage from the ABC and a spot on the news on Saturday night, which was good for rallying in the community. Congratulations to all the girls for having a run and we hope that everyone will be back next year.

Alpine Rally The ACT guys had a mixed event with Jenny Austin finishing 39th and Matt Thompson finishing 40th. Nathan Senior had a horrible run in the RX5, but still ended up finishing, albeit in last place after missing so many controls. The team had an absolute ball but found it tough on the longer stages. They will be looking for a better shot at it next time around. While on the Alpine subject, there is talk at the moment in the region of forming a NSW “HRA” (Historic Rally Association). If you are interested in the HRA type of rallying check out the BMSC forums for all the chatter on this subject. ACT Presentation night 2003 The ACT Regional Rally Series presentation night will be held on January 17. Tickets are available from Peter Kobold on 0422 001 242 or by dropping in and seeing Ray Baker at Super Cheap Auto, Tuggeranong. The night will be held at the Hotel Heritage in Narrabundah and will be followed by the BMSC presentation. If you have any stories or info for me, I can be contacted on 0417 057361 or ray@bakermotorsport.net - Ray Baker

Lyndall Drake behind the wheel, with husband Tim Batten calling the shots.

Lizzy Ferme drove to victory in Geoff Stewart’s Celica - an impressive performance.

2003 WA Rally Championship series placings Congratulations to the winners! 2003 has been a long season with an uncharacteristic gap in the middle after the Sotico Safari Rally date had to be changed. The battle for the lead in both the WARC and the Clubman Cup series has been interesting and presented a challenge for those involved, leading to a worthwhile result. Competition was strong across many classes and for 2004 the changes particularly to the 2-wheel drive section of the WARC should again result in some interesting competition. Standings after the last round of the WA Rally Championship showed two competitors drawing away from the field and a healthy fight for the minor places: Outright Driver Co-Driver 1 Robert Herridge 79.0 Bill Hayes 79.0 2 Craig Bignell 73.0 Joan Percival 73.0 3 Dennis Dunlop 52.0 Jacquie Dunlop 52.0 4 John Macara 50.0 Dianna Madlener 29.0 5 Tolley Challis 36.0 Jon Mortimer 28.0 Formula 2 This is the final Formula 2 award for the WA Rally Championship. For 2004, a 2WDchampionship is in place. Final standings: Driver Co-Driver 1 Darren Schultz 54.0 Scott Beckwith 54.0 2 Leo Iriks 48.0 David Jenkins 42.0 3 Blair Pugh 40.0 Glen Martinovich 40.0 Class Winners Driver Co-Driver Novice Graham Furness Peter Lindsay PRC1 Justin Kinnear Robert C Fisher PRC2 Nigel Anderson Michael Rowston

Paul's Pacenotes By Paul van der Mey

PRC3 PRC4 PRC5 N4

Darren Schultz Murray Cornish Craig Bignell Robert Herridge

Scott Beckwith Jemma Cornish Joan Percival Bill Hayes

2003 Clubman Cup series placings With the Clubman Cup series winding up after the Darling 200 on November 15 the final series placings look like this: Driver Co-Driver 1 Chris Gerdei 92 Matthew Richards 92 2 Lea Welch 46 Jemma Cornish 46 3 Murray Cornish 46 Ros Foster 38 4 Kingsley Foster 38 David Jenkins 36 5 Leo Iriks 36 Paul Bazzica 32 Rally Encouragement Award Ralph Foster Ralph embodies most of the traits that are considered important in the ‘Rally Family’. Involved in rallying at a number of levels, Ralph set about returning his Escort to its former glory. The Mk 2 Escort is always displayed in pristine condition, despite having spent time waiting for

recovery after off-road excursions. Ralph is also an official at events he is not competing in and gladly helps out. On events and at social functions, he is always happy and shares his sense of humour. Even his team name shares his sense of humour - “12 Inch Rally Sport” because Ralph only has one foot! What Ralph does is to get involved, have fun and help out with a smile. Most of all he is a friend to all. Thank you Ralph.

2004 WA Telstra Rally Australia Competitors All WA Rally entrants are advised that a new promotions group has been established to specifically promote and assist WA competitors to compete in the 2004 Telstra Rally Australia. This is a private project and includes a pooling of resources, with everyone helping each other to reduce costs. Part sponsorship will be available. Participation will by invitation only and all likely competitors who already own or can demonstrate the likelihood of owning a late

model, tidy and eligible rally car, are invited to register their interest by calling 0408 038 262 or by responding to auto06@eon.net.au Serious enquires only, please, as this project is already under way with several senior WA competitors already registering their interest and places will definitely be limited. The first meeting of the project group was scheduled for Thursday December 11.

Respect Yourself Forest Rally Preparations for the first round of the Australian Rally Championship are steaming ahead. The second meeting of the Forest Rally committee was held recently. Some aspects of the 2004 ARC are still to be settled and Clerk of Course Ross Tapper attended the ARC Organisers forum in Melbourne in mid December. Wish Foundation Ride At the Darling 200, Ron Rigby arranged a special event for Jon Cairns who had the opportunity of experiencing what it is like to be in a rally car on a rally track. This opportunity was a result of the thoughtfulness and efforts of a handful of people. John takes up the story: “It all started when my wife enquired about the Paul Liddle Wish Foundation that she read about while we were at an appointment on Oncology ward (I have a brain tumour). “To make a long story short, I then received a surprise call from Robin Kovack who is a representative of the Wish Foundation. She said that she had received a letter from my wife who explained that I have a love of rally races. Robin had organized with Ron Rigby of the Light Car Club of WA for me to go in one of Continued page 25


24 - www.rallyscene.com Dunlop Gemini Series Final The final round of the Gary’s Motorsport Dunlop Tyres Gemini Series was held in conjunction with the Port Panthers State round onOctober 25. The series leaders, Luke Anderson and Michael Ryan, needed only to finish fifth to ensure they wrapped up the title. With a field of only six combatants, this should have been a relatively easy task however an early off-road excursion made the boys a little nervous and they cruised around in the slippery conditions, doing just enough to finish fifth and take a welldeserved series win. The event was won by Paul Batten and Felicity Anderson, who set a blistering pace over the yumps on SS1 to beat the next best Gemini by over a minute. They went on to set another fastest stage time on their way to the win. Second place went to last year’s series winners, Dave & Ted Witherden, who took the fastest times on the other two stages in the weather-shortened event to finish second. Their only drama seemed to be a misplaced road card which caused a bit of aggro on the way to the last stage. Damian Watson and Tommy Flegl needed to take the win to have any chance of winning the series, however a blocked fuel filter slowed their pace early and this saw them finish in third. As usual the series was hard fought until season end, with a tie for second in the Co-drivers Series and a three way tie for second in the drivers. Series results: 1. Luke Anderson, =2nd: D Watson, =2nd: D Witherden, =2nd: P Batten. Co-Drivers 1st: M Ryan, =2nd: T Flegl, =2nd: T Witherden All the Gemini competitors would like to thank Dunlop & Gary’s Motorsport Tyres for their support of the Gemini Series this year. A LITTLE WET Oh, couldn’t the rain hold off for a week? Everyone made their way to Canberra to run on some of the best roads for the year, only to find the place, and the state as a whole, being deluged with rain. The order to go home again wasn’t all that surprising, but the end of year run was a little sad – drive to Canberra, drive home again! Congratulations to all NSW Rally Championship class winners and to outright champions, Chris Giddins and Ken Holwell, who took the series by the smallest of margins. A full rundown on class winners will appear in the next issue. DJ HOLSTER It appears that a little error on my part was to blame for a misrepresentation of the retirement of a team from the Port Panthers Rally. DJ Holster’s Evo 4 had a small breathing problem – oil in the engine compartment was nothing more than the dipstick not being replaced as the manufacturer specified! The cause of the retirement at the 2GO and in Port was a fuel pump failure. DJ assures me that the problem is now rectified. The familiar yellow Evo 4 may not see the gravel stages again. DJ has suffered through this year with a shoulder injury, which we can all imagine made it hard in preparing the car, let alone driving it in the NSWRC this year. DJ will still be around, just not at the pointy end of the field entertaining the spectators. (Check out ARN’s classifieds for details of the car which is now for sale.)

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

who in turn beat home the Datto 120Y of Rae and Jamie Waterhouse. Notable names in the field included Vicki Courtenay with none other than the outgoing NSW Rally Champion, Brad Goldsbrough, navving in the 1600 (fourth outright), Jayne Annabel (Mrs Gnome) in eighth in another 1600, and Lyndall Drake and Tim Batten in Lyndall’s Camira who took ninth. With no less than 22 starters, the event was a roaring success.

N.S.W. notes

By Neil Blackbourn DAVE KING It also appears that the way that my article on the same event read may have misrepresented one of the biggest chargers of 2003 – Dave King and Jamie Neale’s adventures on the Port Panthers event. The pair had a strut failure and ended up with the rear end tied up with a standard seat belt that was fortunately still in the car. With the stage held up for Howard Grove’s accident, the pair made their way out of the stage after the field had been let through, and back to the service area. Finding the rest of the event in turmoil, Jamie sought out the Clerk of Course and asked whether they could continue. And with the stage they stopped in not a part of the event, the answer came back ‘yes’. So they continued. There have been situations of this kind in the top end of the sport, and yes their situation was fortunate. But no rules had been broken. My apologies if this situation was misrepresented. Speaking of Dave, there have been rumblings that he may make the move to a 4WD in 2004. I am assured this is not the case, and in fact the yellow ‘Evolution 200B’ will be out there again (with or without the vinyl roof, I’m not too sure). The team are looking at a warmup in the Southern Cross in March, and then into the NSWRC for another crack at the 4WD’s! Dave’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed by his brother Jason either, who is a front-runner in the AMSAG series with a 1600. Most people close to the Kings are saying it’s only a matter of time before Jason enters a CAMS rally to take his little brother on. I’d pay good money to see that. The yellow 200B was seen recently on an event with an unusual number of lady drivers, being driven to 10 th place, with Dave and Jason’s mum, Jeanine, in the driver’s seat. She was trying to unsettle Dave, who had misplaced the steering wheel and had a book in his hands with directions! RACEQUIP Speaking of Jamie Neale, the Racequip team will be seen once again on the ARC trail in 2004. Craig and Jamie had a ball on the pacenoted events in 2003 and their interest lies in getting towards the front in the big league. With results such as those on the 2002 and 2003 NSW ARC events, the guys are sure to make a splash as long as they have a budget to make it through the year. The Evo 5 may make a re-appearance although this has not been decided as yet. The brothers’ results have not gone unnoticed either, with a drive in an Audi S3 being offered to

them for Targa Tasmania in May! It will be an excellent opportunity to see how they stack up on tarmac, giving them more experience and what should be, on paper at least, a competitive car. We should see another good result from the Sydney pair.

EXCEL RALLY SERIES IS GO! Pending State Executive approval, it looks like this will be up and running for next year. Approval has been given by the NSW rally panel for the introduction of a new one make rally series, which could start as early as 2004. The series will be based on the popular Hyundai Excel X3 model which shipped over 300,000 units in Australia. A committee of current Gemini competitors has evaluated various options and drawn up a draft set of regulations. Two cars will initially be constructed to finalise the rules and develop a build manual to simplify construction for other competitors. The Excel series will compete at the same events as the current Gemini Series and Michael Ryan will join the NSW rally panel as the Excel Series representative. The cars will be allowed only restricted modifications to keep costs down, engines must be standard & will be measured and sealed. The regulations will allow competitors to build cars for the Excel series which can be easily adapted, later, for the ARC F16 rules. Michael Ryan, the Excel Series Committee Chairman, commented “It was important for us to select a vehicle that could attract younger competitors and is relevant in today’s market of front wheel drive and four wheel drive cars.” A series naming rights sponsor is already being sought and a number of suppliers have expressed keen interest in supporting the series and providing control components. It is also hoped that Queensland may adopt the new rules as previous attempts to start an Excel series in that state did not come to fruition. For further information contact any member of the series committee - Mick Ryan, David White, Luke Anderson, Peter Haggstrom or Craig Franklin. RALLYE DES FEMMES The rally I alluded to earlier was the final event of the year – the Rallye Des Femmes, which seems to pit the girlfriends/wives/mums and the usual driver of the a rally car into a spin, with the lady appearing in the driver’s seat. This year’s winner was Lizzy Ferme, who has spent much of the year guiding a certain Stanza through the forests! Lizzy and co driver, John Paul De Sousa, took their Celica to victory ahead of the Datsun 1600 of Rebecca and Philip Rodgers,

THE RUMOUR MILL The Subaru ranks in the ARC are to be bolstered in 2004 with the RS Impreza One Make Series. And two NSW competitors have registered their interest, one a current ARC team, the other a NSWRC regular. Stay tuned. Also, look out for a louder, faster Evo 2 in 2004. The blue and orange Lancer at the front of the field may be just a little faster next year. The recent control fuel decision for ARC competitors has some ramifications for state competitors as the Premier State Rally will be a state round, and will be over both days. The control Elf fuel must be run if you are a registered ARC competitor, but it appears that requirement will not apply if you are just running the NSW series round. The Rally Panel is looking at a control fuel for 4WD turbos running in the NSW State series but the current thinking is more toward the PULP (premium pump unleaded) rather than Elf or similar. The NSW Rally Championship calendar has just about been finalised, and I will have the whole thing for you next month. The second event on the NSWRC trail, the Bathurst event, is being looked at for a date change, as the Rally Panel wanted to keep all the state rounds away from major interstate events such as ARC’s. And they succeeded in all but one case – the date set down for Bathurst clashes with Targa Tasmania. With so many co-drivers, not to mention the odd driver, trying to do the state series and Targa, the event may have to move. The Clubman North and South model is “go” for 2004. This means that there are in effect two series in NSW for Clubman competitors to choose from, and a ‘Grand Final’ to be held during the NatCap next year will decide the overall NSW Clubman champion. Let’s see if the concept works. So, the calendar looks vaguely like this: 21 February – Narooma (Narooma Booma) (Clubman South 1/ Novice 1) 20 –21 March Wyong (2GO) (State 1/ Clubman North 1) 3 April – Oberon (Clubman South 2/ Novice 2/ Gemini 1) (TBA) 1 May – Bathurst (State 2/ Clubman South 3) 8/9-May – ACT, Subaru Rally of Canberra (AMC 1/ APAC 1) 22 May – Ulladulla (Clubman South 4/Gemini) 29 May – Wauchope (Clubman North 2/ Novice 3/ Gemini 3) 13 June – Bega (State 3/ VIC State) 26 June - Clybucca (Clubman North 4/ Gemini) 24 July - Batemans Bay (Bay Stages) (State 4/ Clubman South 5) 31 July - Taree (Rally of The Manning Valley) (Clubman North 4/ Novice 4/ Gemini 5) 12/15 Aug - East Coast Classic (Tarmac Rally) 21Aug - Coffs Harbour (Clubman North 5/ Novice 5) Continued page 25

DMA Motorsport offers for sale the 2003 RACEtech Steel VRC Group N Championship -winning Subaru STi Impreza version 5. This car was built to FIA spec at the start of 2003 solely for the Victorian Rally Championship. It has competed in 5 rallies only and features:

Call Danny Murphy on 0419 800 684.

● Seam welded shell with fully integrated DMA Motorsport homologated chrome moly multi-point weld in cage ● STi V5 Group N engine, Group N Link ECU with anti-lag, STi clutch, STi 5speed synchro gearbox with variable centre diff with STi ECU, 4.4 final drive ratio. STi front and rear brakes, with STi braided brake line kit. ● STi Suspension bushes, STi engine and gearbox mountings, STi sump, fuel tank and rear diff guards, STi mudflap kit ● DMS struts with STi strut tops, STi roof vent, DMA exhaust system ● Peltor intercom, FIA fire bomb, FIA Velo seats, Takata 3 inch FIA harnesses, 8 Compomotive rims, Light pod with 4Hella Predator Zenon gas discharge lights ● There are some spares including radiator, some lights, alloy bonnet, alternator, new turbo, front and rear STi pads. ● This rally car is part of the Victorian Rally registration scheme and the registration number is ‘0024 RP’

P.O.A.


www.rallyscene.com - 25

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

Shepheards take 1-2

From page 16 end to just seven seconds. Ross Cox/Tony Best had a nasty crash in their Gemini on SS9, damaging the car extensively and shaking the crew somewhat. With the final scores on the board, the rally win went to Steve Shepheard and Anthony McLoughlin. Anthony noted at the trophy presentation that despite all his experience he’d only ever won three rallies, and all of them were at Gallangowan! George/Dominic finished second with Matt van Tuinen/Tom Smith in third place. Paul Andrews/Ashley Bolt drove conservatively to take fourth, but that was all they needed to take their first State Championship. It was a popular result, and a rousing cheer was offered at the presentation when the unofficial outcome was announced. Having destroyed a car at Gallangowan two years ago, this was fitting result for the most consistent, and quickest crew in the series this year. Dave Gaines/Nikki Doyle grabbed fifth in the

old 240K GT, having spent most of the rally checking half-shaft bolts and grinning over the grip of the new, second-hand tyres they were using. Gary Meehan/Greg Gifford took sixth in their 180B SSS, while the BRD car of Bevan Dyet/ Gus Burrows grabbed seventh after a steady day. Yorkie Berry/Barrie Burr won P2 class and the Knowles’ took the trophies for P3. There were flat tyres, there were breakages, there was a bit of motion-sickness and sadly there was an injury (not too serious) but no-one ever said rallying at Gallangowan was easy. This event is meant to decide a championship, and on this occasion it did just that, and did it well. Craig Porter’s team from the Brisbane Sporting Car Club did a fine job. Tony Kabel represented the Keema Automotive Group in the absence of his father Henk – continuing the legendary support from this company for rallying in Queensland. Queensland has two new champions – Paul Andrews and Ashley Bolt.

Results: 1. Steve Shepheard/Anthony McLoughlin 2. George Shepheard/Dom Corkeron 3. Matt van Tuinen/Tom Smith 4. Paul Andrews/Ashley Bolt 5. Dave Gaines/Nikki Doyle 6. Gary Meehan/Greg Gifford 7. Bevan Dyet/Gus Burrows 8. Steve Berry/Barrie Burr 9. Simon Knowles/Margot Knowles 10. Duncan Clement/Jeremy Pieck

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. 6 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. 6 Subaru Impreza WRX Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. 1 Datsun 240K Datsun180B SSS Subaru Impreza WRX Mitsubishi Cyborg Suzuki Baleno Datsun

1:44:46 1:44:53 1:45:44 1:47:39 1:50:50 1:51:34 1:54:10 1:58:02 2:01:04 2:03:00

Paul’s Pacenotes ... cont

From page 23 the sweep cars during the Clubman Cup. So on November 15, I drove to Chidlow, and was greeted by Ron Rigby. “After completing all the official paperwork, I met with the Clerk of Course, Wendy Walker. I was then introduced to Ron Young who quickly orientated me with his Daihatsu and all its workings and before I knew it, we were on our way to the start. “Once it was established that I was enjoying myself and was not suffering from car sickness, Ron seemed to feel more comfortable to put the throttle down. “The end result was my grin from ear to ear and an experience that I will never forget. Ron Young also took the time to explain the details of the navigator’s role and even though I have a speech disability, Ron gave me lots of encouragement. “I want to thank all the people in the club who made me feel so welcome. It was a really great day! “I am grateful to the efforts of all the people who made this great experience possible.”

New addition to the rally family Brad & Lara Clark are pleased to announce the arrival of their new daughter, Tahlia Ivy, in December and weighing 5 lbs. 13 ozs. Mum, dad and daughter are doing very well. No late penalties please!

NSW Notes From page 24

28/ 29 Aug - Sydney (Premier State Rally) – (State 5/ ARC 5) 18 Sept - Queanbeyan (Caltex Airport Starmart) – (Clubman South 6/ Novice 6/ Gemini 6) 16 Oct Port Macquarie (Port Panthers) – (State 6/ Clubman North 6/ Novice 7/ Gemini 7) 6-Nov - Canberra (Nat Cap Rally) – (State 7/ Clubman Grand Final)

THAT’S ALL Please keep the info coming. And if I make a blue, let me know and I will rectify it! Oh, and have a top Christmas and a safe New Year. Take some time to ponder the presents you get – what do they mean? Oh yeah, probably more time in the garage preparing for 2004! See you on the road!

TT

ASSIE ORQUE

By Adrian Morrisby

H

i there and welcome to the final col umn of 2003. Firstly I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year and remember, don’t drink and drive ‘cos you will be needing that licence in a couple of months to enjoy the new Tasmanian Rally Series. Here’s a final wrap-up on the Tassie scene: * Jamie Vandenberg has taken a leaf out of Blue Walkden’s book and with a little help from his most beautiful girlfriend, produced an addition to the rally fraternity, miss Charlotte born on November 19. Congratulations to them both. * Andrew Murfet is set to retire from gravel rallying, or at least for next year as he attacks the tarmac for an assault on the N.W.C.C black tack series and has a good hard shot at Rally Tasmania. This leaves a fairly big hole in the plans of the TRS organisers with their star attraction missing in the first year. Hurry back Murf! * Next year’s TRS is lacking a little in star entries at the moment. Also likely to be missing next year is reigning state champ Blu Walkden and Jamie Vandenberg. This leaves Lyn Rattray as favourite in new ex-Subaru Australia car (rumoured to be Cody’s old car) followed by the ever improving Stoneman brothers in their Evo. * Hopefully it may encourage the likes of Mick Luscombe and David Waldon out of the closet and into the forests!! Or maybe it’s a good chance for a 2WD to make an all-out attack and claim the honour of being the first 2WD to win a state title since Lee Petersen did it back in ’86 in an RX7. * Speaking of 2WD cars, Simon (Bodge) Ritchie has his big angry, alloy-headed V8 Commodore on the market with a truckload of spares. It’s a regretful sale due to his commitment to Les Walkden Rallying as he tries out for the second seat in the very professionally run outfit.

* The happiest man on the North West coast, Leeroy Marshall, also has his Grunt Pack Datsun Bluebird, a very slippery package, for sale. We look forward to Leeroy wheeling out another wild machine next year - when Beaker and Leeroy get together and build a rig, the whole of Tasmania shakes in fear of how demoralising this one will be. * Phil Brown and Jason White are also planning big attacks on the TRS next year in their Bluebirds with work presently being done to the drivelines. Don’t discount Matty Von Bertouch in the Z18-powered Bluebird either as he is heading for his biggest year yet. * While on the subject of Datsuns, Marty Baker has his 1600 machine up and running at the moment and David Catt has organised some cage work from Jason White for the resurrected machine. Expect it to be a force next year along with the 1600’s of Stu Paine, Ben Sheldrick and Craig Wright. * Cleaning up at the 500 Car Club’s annual dinner were the Wilson Brothers, taking home all the trophies that Tim Rose left behind. Tim Rose was voted on the night as Tassie’s Best Rally Driver 2002 after his amazing show of form this year in the “tyre lathe” V8. * Craig Sault is also rumoured to be breaking out his 200B with an independent rear end for an attack next year, and after his form this year expect some solid finishes from him. * Rally Tasmania is the next event on the calender and the field is hotting up as the best yet. There are a bevvy of Skyline V-specs and a host of Germany’s best to attack Tony and Anne Wrights selection of brilliant tarmac stages. All the information and an entry list are available at www.rallytasmania.com. * That’s about all for this year. I’ll leave you with my favourite rally phrase - Turn left- out of control.” It makes me smile!

Stohl, Paasonen for PWRC

Jon Cairns experienced rallying first hand.

Seasons Greetings After another season of rallying it’s time to reflect on all the good things that have been achieved through the year. We’ll be thinking of those we have lost from the rallying family and rejoicing with those who have joined us. Have a safe and enjoyable festive season and here’s looking forward to a rally fantastic 2004. Thank You Thanks to those who contributed. If you’ve any rally news or stories please let me know at paul.vandermey@rallysportnews.com.au or by phone (08) 94725885 or Mobile 0419 201477.

Nasser is ME Champ

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah clinched the overall FIA Middle East rally championship title by crossing the start line of the two-day DubaiI nternational Rally, but he needed to win to clinch the Manufacturers’series for Subaru. He and British co-driver, Steve Lancaster, were never troubled on their way to an emphatic victory by a margin of 9m 32s. Sharjah’s Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi clinched his fourth FIA Middle East Group N rally championship title in six years by finishing second overall in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7. His nearest rival for the Group N title was Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6. The Qatari needed to win and hope that Al-Qassimi finished outside the top six, but his turbo began smoking in the eighth stage and Al-Kuwari’s challenge ended with engine failure on a road section.

The Austrian based lubricant and fuel company, OMV, is to run a three-car Mitsubishi team in the 2004 Production Car World Rally Championship (PCWRC). Announced in Vienna on December 3, the team will be run by Manfred Stohl. Stohl will drive one of the cars, the Finnish driver Jani Paasonen the second car and the identity of the third driver will be decided after a competition to select the most suitable young driver. The program will start at the Swedish Rally, and the one event that Stohl and Paasonen are allowed to miss will be Corsica. The new driver will contest Corsica and miss Mexico. Stohl and Paasonen will also compete in other rallies, in countries where OMV products are marketed, particularly Austria, Slovakia and Germany.

The cars to be used by Stohl and Paasonen are Lancer Evolution VII models. Evo VIII cars may be used later in the season, when the homologation of the five-speed gearbox is effected. The selection of the “Rookie-Contest” is based on drivers born on or after January 1st, 1980, and the criteria on which the decision will be based are given as experience, personal fitness, ability to speak and communicate in a foreign language and driving ability. The FIA agreed to leave open the identity of the driver until the final selection in December. This driver will use an Evo VI OMV also announced they will become the title sponsor of the Rally Deutschland world championship event. The event is to be called “OMV ADAC Rally Germany”.

MAX BOOST MOTORSPORT Would like to thank their 2003 supporters: ● Moonah Auto Salvage ● Pro Automotive ● Cash Converters ● Silverstone Tyres ● Growers Choice Hydro ● A.V. McGuiness Auto Electrics ● Griffiths Automotive ● Spit and Polish ● Caterpillar ● Autocraft ● Car City ● Statewide Refrigerated Transport ● Beaurepairs Moonah ● Mobiletronix ● Devonport Performance Tyres

THE AMIGOS

YT - Bergs - Mason - Hooch - Kucs - Satan - Filth - Banga - Angle - Wilko - Mat - Tee - PJ - Tone - Tannah - Scoota


26 - www.rallyscene.com

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

CLASSIFIEDS

LANCER Evo 1 RS rally car. Full Drummond 50mm suspension, chrome moly cage, front & rear LSDs. Reliable, sorted car. Must sell. $21,500. Vic. Rally reg. 0009RP. Many spares. Phone 0412 398 318.

AUSTRALIA'S RALLY CAR SUPERMARKET

MITSUBISHI VR4 RS. Bond cage, Bilstein struts, Terratrip and Terraphone, 5 point harness, 3” stainless exhaust, rear LSD, Cobra and RPM seats, blow-off valve. Very clean car, Evo rear wing and standard wing. Good spares. 10 months rego VNB 504. $17,000. Phone (02) 6652 6917.

ALFA ROMEO 1300 GT JUNIOR set up for tarmac rallies. Steel cage, Marsh seats, modified suspension, brakes, engine. LSD. Great beginner’s car with great potential. All original parts & trim included. Reg. KUC 461.$12,000. Phone 0412 327 519 (03) 9562 2729.

Service with a smile D

From page 13 The sweetest sound that you could wish to hear crackled over the UHF radio as these thoughts danced around in my head. “Car 17, we’ve completed the stage,” it said. Unbelieving, I asked for the message to be repeated, fearful that what I’d heard was “Car 17, we’re stuck in the stage.” “Car 17 here, yes, we’ve completed the stage,” was the reply. It was all over. The crew had managed to limp through the stage, stuck, as it turned out, in second gear for more than 40 kilometres. All that remained was to find a suitable gear to get back to

rally headquarters and to book in at the finish control, hoping against hope that the Escort would survive the final 30 kilometre transport. When the realisation came that our car had finished the longest event it had ever done, against all the odds, and placed within the top 15, it was a huge relief not only for the crew but for those of us who had given our all to ensure it lasted the distance. It’s hard to judge just who was the most tired as the Escort and the service crews pulled out of the car park at 3.30am that morning, heading for some much-needed sleep. But there

was one final thing to do. Almost in defiance of the odds that had been surmounted that night and the reliability of the car, a rear tyre had deflated completely and required changing. As I performed the final task on the car that morning, changing a flat tyre, I realised what a tremendous combined effort it had been, and I was forced to think just how much a team sport rallying really is. There was a sense of elation over our result and we all smiled. For us, on that Alpine night, it really had been service with a smile.

- Jeff Whitten

Why restrict yourself?

amn, it’s raining! I’ve somehow man aged to snare a seven second lead, de spite hitting a tree on the last stage and tearing off a front mudguard. But with the weather deteriorating and the tyres having ‘gone off’ after the previous dry stage, it’s not going to be easy to maintain the advantage. The light goes green and with the dulcet tones of Derek Ringer’s Scottish accent guiding me over the huge jumps and narrow tracks of central Finland, it takes all my concentration to stay out of the ever-present ditches on the side of the road. Four minutes later, with the stage complete and my eyeballs hanging out of my head, I reach the finish, somehow having set the fastest time for the stage and increasing my lead to just 9 seconds. And now, thankfully, it’s off to service. With 60 minutes for the team to repair the damage they’re going to have their work cut out, but it soon becomes apparent that I’ve inflicted more damage than they have time to repair. My options are either to leave service with some of the damage unfixed or, fix everything and take a time penalty. Looking at the two stages ahead, I decide on leaving on time, mentally telling myself to drive at 8/10ths and preserve my lead. But as the light goes green again the red mist descends and I’m off down the stage at ‘maximum attack’. Even on computer games, it seems, that competitive instinct is hard to ignore.

I

PRC / PR5 HILLCLIMB / CIRCUIT

This car was built by Possum Bourne Motor Sport for tarmac rallying. It was succesfully campaigned and won the 1996 and 1997 Singapore Rally Championship, and numerous speed trials. This car has been built to an exact specification and is loaded with top quality parts. It has been in storage for the last three years and is now for sale. The car has never been used on gravel. Featuring ● Genuine Group A gas ring 2.0 litre engine (one of only two in the country, same as Michael Thompson’s) Full spec sheet available. ● 5 speed Modena super box and diffs (brand new) ● Full fuel system with surge tank and twin motorsport pumps. ● Quick rack steering system. ● ERL water injection ● 30 litre undercar water spray tank ● Carbon fibre induction system. ● Fully fabricated front and rear suspension. ● Rose jointed front arms and castor blocks, including strut tops, rear trailing and lateral arms. ● Email for more details.

$65,000 including all spares

Phone James Laird Automotive on (03) 5941 0666, Mobile 0439 959 966 or email j.laird@bigpond.com

t’s not hard to get hooked on Colin McRae Rally 04. The realistic scenery, the brilliant stages and the variations in car set up all make for an almost life-like rallying experience. For those hundreds of thousands of people who’ve played the game but have never competed in a ‘real’ rally, it’s not hard to see why the sport is increasing in popularity. But for those of us who do compete on a regular basis, it’s still a hard game to turn off. As far as reviewing computer games goes, I’m no expert, however from an enthusiast’s point of view, there were a few things that really caught my eye. After each rally in ‘championship’ mode you have the option of enhancing your car with various components to make it quicker. Things such as suspension technology can be tested and, while the tests are timed and aren’t easy, they all add to the complete rally experience.

Colin McRae Rally 04

CMR4 is great fun, and a lot cheaper than ‘real’ rallying.

The damage inflicted on the cars is also a big improvement on the very early versions of the game. Now it is possible to puncture tyres, tear wheels, mudguards and bonnets off, and generally make a real mess of the car – a-la McRae in his early days. The rallies themselves, which includes the USA (probably more of a marketing exercise than anything else), really are amazingly true to life. Hurtling down a stage in Rally Australia or in Finland actually reminds you of watching in-car footage from the WRC, and the intensity the game provides really has you on the edge of your seat. Total concentration is required to play the game – just like driving a real car in a rally. The game is very fast and trying to steer through the stages while listening intently to Derek Ringer’s pacenotes takes some doing. Trying to play it with noises in the background makes it almost impossible to complete a whole stage without crashing at least once. Overall the game is fantastic. Reports say that the forthcoming WRC3 game is even better, but from my lounge chair, all I can say is that it’ll take some beating to be better than Colin McRae Rally 04. I look forward to having copies of both games in my hand and then trying to decide which is the best. Stay tuned! - PETER WHITTEN

Out of Control ... cont. From page 22 on his award of “CAMS National Official of the Year” in recognition of many years of faithful work in rallying and circuit racing. Congratulations also to Simon Evans for being awarded “Motor Sport Personality of the Year”, sharing this award with illustrious identities. Sue, of course, gets the “Putting up with Simon” award and wears it with pride.

ROBSON CUP The Robson Cup just refuses

to be buried with Duane Hackett coming up with a suggestion that it be awarded to the first 2WD crew from grades C, D or E from the VCRS. This sounds more like a recognition award than a series, but at least it preserves the concept. This year’s Robson Cup, run over five rounds, mostly piggy backed onto Yokohama VCRS rounds, was won by SEAC’s Jason Sims and Damien Wilson from Justyn Snooks and Duane Hackett, with Ashley Allan and Gene Vanderstaak in third. For class awards in the Robson Cup, the Racetech Steel VRC and the Yokohama VCRS,

you will have to come to the Annual Rally Presentation Dinner on January 31. You can only get tickets by sending me $45 and a self addressed envelope to 2/1 Evon Avenue East Ringwood 3135. Now you can take a couple of weeks off, relax and fire up the enthusiasm for 2004 and take time out to remember that we do this sport mainly for fun, not profit. If you have a tale or details of your plans then drop me an email on cains@hotkey.net.au. See you (next year) in the forest, Michael Cains.


www.rallyscene.com - 27

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004

CLASSIFIEDS FACTORY-BUILT RALLIART GROUP A EVO3. Massive AP 4spot brakes, braided lines, adjustable brake bias, hydraulic handbrake, 60mm Drummond water-cooled suspension, Enkei wheels, Ralliart tower-to-tower roll cage, seam welded and braced body, Group A oil cooler, intercooler waterspray, twin fuel pumps, surge tank, Group A fuel cell. Engine built by Ralliart Europe. Ralliart dump pipe, Ralliart computer, basically Ralliart everything. This car has had numerous Top Ten finishes at Rally Australia, the best being a fourth outright by Ross Dunkerton in 1994. Also driven by Ed Ordynski in Rally Australia. This is a very strong car that is one of a kind. Will consider trade for a well-sorted Starion rally car. $50,000. Engine No. 4G63 RE302. Phone 0419 948 126 WA.

LANCER EVOLUTION 5. Ex-Mark King GTP title car. RS model, full Ralliart bits, LSDs, Motec, new cage, $4,000 exhaust. Rally rego papers. Unreg. Engine No. CP9A 0002907. $49,500. Phone 0412 644 780. LANCER EVO 1 – 2 and some 3 parts. Engines, gearboxes, diffs, suspension arms, cross members, drive shafts, tail shafts, body parts, brakes, radiators, intercoolers etc. I have dismantled 6 cars over the last 12 months so I have many bits. Call or email for more information. Phone (03) 5823 1911 BH or email: cvap@bigpond.com MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 7 rally car. Built to FIA specs, Recaro seats, firebomb, kevlar underbody protection. NSW rally registered AMM 42V. $60,000 neg. Phone Frank Neale (02) 9636 6666 or 0429 081 248.

Register for the ‘SEARCH FOR A RALLY STAR’ The winner receives a WRX or LANCER EVO Rally Car! Plus Expert Rally Tuition Plus Start Money Ever wanted to be a Rally driver but have never had a head start needed to launch a rally career? Well here’s your chance to get a foot in the door and enter the amazing sport of rallying! Those who enter the ‘Search for a Rally Star’ driver program will be assessed on driving capability, enthusiasm, ability to market themselves and their long term plans for future involvement in this exciting form of motor sport. Estimated entry fee is approximately $1950 including GST. Just send your contact details. We will contact you with further information and conditions once finalised. See you there and GOOD LUCK! Search For A Rally Star Pty Ltd PO Box 1405 Mona Vale 1660 Ph: 0411 277 433 Fax: 02 9973 3989 Email: sfars@bigpond.com www.rallystar.com.au In Alliance with Sideways Action www.sidewaysaction.com.au Rules subject to variation. Neither party is bound at this stage

AUSTRALIA'S RALLY CAR SUPERMARKET

LANCER EVO 4. Excellent condition. Ideal for recce car or gravel/ tarmac rally car. $19,800. Engine No. CN9A-003925. Phone (03) 9842 5890. LANCER EVO 1. Group N 2003 QRC-winning car (provisional). Eight rallies old, no crashes. Engine and gearbox 250K old after complete rebuild. Motec M800, 55mm 3-way adjustable Proflex, Ralliart bushing, front & rear Ralliart LSD & viscous. Comprehensive cage, tower to tower, underbody protection, kevlar tank guard, aluminium & composite sump guard, 10 wheels and 10 Yokohama A035 tyres, Velo and Sparco seats, 6 point harnesses, Terratrip & Terraphone. Numerous spares. Reg. C13332. $26,000 negotiable. Phone 0408 731 247.

SUBARU IMPREZA STi V4 GROUP N. Bond FIA chrome moly roll cage, semi-seamwelded lightweight RA body shell, new James Laird-built engine, close ratio gearbox with 20kg. centre and LSD front diff, R180 LSD rear diff, Link ECU with antilag. Tuned for WRF (can be tuned for unleaded), kevlar underbody protection, DMS 50mm suspension, Aeroquip fuel lines, FIA 6-point harness, FIA Velo GP90 seats, Momo steering wheel, FIA firebomb system. Terratrip, (Terraphone optional), OZ wheels. Too much more to mention. Only 4 events since full rebuild. Car comes ready to rally with spares package. Optional Modena dogbox available (just fully rebuilt). Reg. 0032RP. $35,000. Must sell. Phone Andrew on (03) 9544 0737 or 0418 350921.

ALPINE RALLY 2003 VIDEO now available. Cost $44 inc. GST. Available from Graeme Wakeling (HRA member). We accept Mastercard and Visa. To order, email to adia@smart.net.au or fax (03) 9781 2699, phone AH (03) 5982 1236. MITSUBISHI LANCER. Built this year, 6 rallies, no DNFs. Winner of Under 1600 in Robson Cup rally series. 4G32 engine three events old, twin works side drafts, mandrel bent extractors, huge brakes, 5 speed, 3-core radiator, adjustable struts and lower control arms, works LSD with H165 4.875:1 fitted. Seats, 3” belts, steering wheel, extinguishers all new in March. Seam welded, good cage. Strong, easy to drive, roof lining left in so can be historic with standard brakes (supplied). Spare car, engine, 5 speed, panels, spare everything. Logbook, homologation papers, Terratrip, Cibies, works tuning information. Tandem trailer included. Much more. Photos on Vicrally.com search Kenway. Complete package ready to rally. Reg. CH7413. $9,500. Could not build for this. Phone Steve (03) 5978 7543 or 0439 302 208 or kenways@ozemail.com.au

LANCER EVO 2 RS. Ex Marty Beckton and Spencer Lowndes. Profesionally built and maintained. Rebuilt everything – Engine (Motec anti-lag and datalog, uprated injectors, fuel pump, forged pistons etc.), fresh turbo. Drivetrain (Evo 1 box, LSDs front and rear, Ralliart centre), suspension (Proflex remote canisters, fully adjustable height, bump, rebound, Ralliart bush kit), on-board fire bomb, FIA Momo Corse seats, Terratrip & Terraphone, UHF CB, kevlar underbody protection, 4 x Hella 4000 Rallye lights in bonnet pod, braided hoses to in-cabin gauges. Previously a top Group N car now PRC and still capable of most state titles in right hands. Includes running spares package plus wheels and tyres. Engine No. 4G63QJ3837. $30,000. Phone Dan on 0407 833 818. MITSUBISHI LA LANCER 1974. 2-door rally/recce car. Straight shell with full roll cage, 4.6 factory LSD (ex Shinozuka), sump guard. Motor needs repair otherwise complete. Unregistered. $2,500 negotiable. Phone David Ovenden on 0411 600 594 or davido@lk.com.au WANTED FOR DATSUN 260Z: Rear RHS boot side panel trim and rear panel trim (covers tailight assemblies) in good condition – any color. Also “Datsun 260Z boot badge. Call Jeff at ARN on (03) 5722 1250

SELL YOUR CAR THROUGH AUSTRALIAN RALLYSPORT NEWS ☛ 20 cents per word - 1 word per box ☛ Minimum of $5 per ad (+10% GST) ☛ Additional $5 for use of photo in ad

MITSUBISHI LANCER EVO 4-RS. Ralliart built from new with full FIA cage, LSD’s, viscous coupling. Recaros, DMS struts (60mm front), Ralliart bushes. SPA Fire Bomb. New motor with HKS cams, Randall Edgell head, vernier cam wheels, forged pistons, HKS gasket, Autronic with anti-lag, Terratrip 303 Plus, light pod complete, Approx. 20 Compomotive wheels with tyres - the whole package. Very quick car. NSW Rego AHI47K. Driver finally retiring. $49,750 Contact DJ on 0425 353 031.

SUBARU WRX STi V. Version 4 STi upgraded to Version V STi. Prodrive 450Nm engine, ECU and Turbo (quick release), 5-speed STi gear box with latest Group N gear ratios, STi front LSD, STi 20kg. centre viscous, R180 rear diff with upgrade kit running 4.4 ratio, chrome moly cage including mounting through dash to towers, full intrusion bars, seam welded, strut tower plating and integrated side dowels for jacking. Proflex 55mm suspension, floating bottom bush, large diameter springs, adjustable bump and rebound, remote canisters, full Group N suspension bush kit. Special front and rear driveshafts, MRT Group N clutch and plate, FIA FT3-approved bladder tank, carbon fibre surround, firewall and rear parcel shelf, Bosch fuel pump. Kevlar underbody and side skirt protection with rear diff plate, FIA-approved 4 litre fire bomb system, Momo Corse kevlar FIA-approved seats, Sabelt 3 inch 6point harness, Prodrive carbon fibre dash and gauge pod with boost gauge and pyrometer, 40-channel in-dash two-way radio, Coralba trip meter, 5 Compomotive wheels. Reg. AOF 05Q. $57,950. Phone (02) 9712 3177 BH or 0419 712 317 AH. 1993 SUBARU WRX. Japanese import. Car is complete. Ideal for rally car. $9,950 ONO. Phone (02) 4959 7692.

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Drive the Falken Indy Racer Online - www.indy.com.au For details of your nearest Falken dealer call: Brisbane (07) 3848 1800 • Sydney (02) 9725 6280 • Melbourne (03) 9587 4666 Darwin (08) 8932 2626 • South Australia & Tasmania (03) 9587 4666

Australian Rallysport News - January 2004  

The January 2004 issue of Australian Rallysport News

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