Australian Rally Championship, West Australian Round, night stage. 2006.

The Australian Rally Championship (ARC) is Australia's leading off-road motor rally competition. A multi-event national championship has been held each year since 1968.

Current competition

The Australian Rally Championship takes in some of the country's most stunning and picturesque locations. The 2010 season starts with Rally Tasmania, the only tarmac round in the championship. Based in the small coastal city of Burnie, Australia's longest-running tarmac rally is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year.

The second round sees the championship head across the country for the Quit Forest Rally. The rally is based in the coastal tourist town of Busselton, near Margaret River in Western Australia. Many of the rally stages are narrow and tree-lined, and are often covered in the notoriously slippery, ball-bearing gravel.

The third round of the championship takes place in the forest roads in the hills around Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. The Coffs Coast Rally, known for its numerous surface changes, was cancelled in 2009 due to heavy rains and road damage.

The championship then moves to the Rally of South Australia. The rally stages are located in the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Mount Barker regions, and are within driving distance of the state capital Adelaide. The rally stages are the smoothest and fastest in the championship, making the rally a favourite for competitors and spectators alike.

Round four of the Australian Rally Championship, and also a round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Championship, is the International Rally of Queensland. The stages are held in the forests around the township of Imbil, in the Mary Valley just north of Brisbane. The stages vary between tight and technical and fast and flowing, with many rough sections that give this event a reputation as a potential car-breaker.

The final round of the ARC will be a new round in the state of Victoria. The event is set to based in the town of Drouin, located about 100 kilometres east of Melbourne. The rally stages are to be held mostly in the foothills of Mount Baw Baw, using forestry roads in the Nojoee - Neerim district.

The Championship itself is a highly competitive series, featuring a host of talented teams all racing the clock for the honour of being champion. The competition is often very close, with drivers trading stage times over the gravel and tarmac roads and often finishing just tenths of seconds ahead, or behind, their rivals. In the forest, the action is thrilling. Cars slide sideways through high-speed corners and dodge and dive over challenging crested roads as the team-work between driver and co-driver is tested to the limit.

Competition classes

A Subaru Impreza WRX competing in an Australian rally.

The Australian Rally Championship caters to a range of different competitors in the series and with a number of classes and categories; competitors can start rallying at the level that best suits their budget. The outright competition is fought out amongst the names of rallying and is the ultimate test for the competitors at the pointy end of the field. The ARC's top drivers compete in Group N (Production) - cars which have direct links to their road-going counterparts. The ARC also offers opportunities for manufacturers who don't produce Group N cars to build comparable machinery under both the Group N (P) and FIA Super 2000 regulations. Another award that is desirable for competitors to chase is the Privateers Cup for competitors who don't have support from the manufacturer teams. The F16 Championship is the small car category (1600cc, 2WD) and a budget-level place to start rallying. The outright winner of the Championship is an Australian Champion in the small car category and is added to the record books. The Aussie Cup is the Australian award for large cars (over 2500cc) that enables competitors in the big cars to run popular passenger car models such as V6 and V8's. Amongst the outright awards are the opportunities to chase individual class awards that are based on car capacity and specification which gives competitors the opportunity to pursue class victories.

Cars

The more successful cars in recent years of the ARC have been the 4WD 2.0L Turbo models such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, Subaru Impreza WRX STIs and the Toyota Corolla ARC-spec cars, which are actually running Toyota Celica GT-Four engines, 4WD system, etc.[citation needed]. Michael Guest and Mark Stacey campaigned a RWD 2.5L normally aspirated Ford Focus during the 2006 season, switching to a Ford Fiesta prepared for the Super 2000 class in 2007. Most of the cars in the privateer fields are of a similar make, but other makes with success have been the Mitsubishi Mirage, Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, Subaru Legacy, Datsun 1600, Datsun 240Z, Nissan Stanza and the Suzuki Swift GTi.

Drivers

As with the cars, it tends to be the factory-entered drivers that take the outright placings. Some of these drivers have been Colin Bond, Greg Carr. George Fury, Ross Dunkerton, Geoff Portman, Scott Pedder, Simon Evans, Neal Bates, the late Possum Bourne and Ed Ordynski. Privateer crews that have enjoyed recent success include Nathan Quinn and Steve Glenney. In 2015 Molly Taylor became the first woman to win a heat in the Australian Rally Championship.[1]

Winners

Possum Bourne and Craig Vincent (1998)
Scott Pedder and Dale Moscatt. Renault Clio R3. International Rally of Queensland 2014

Australian Rally Champions

Year Driver Co-Driver Vehicle
1968 Victoria (Australia) Harry Firth Victoria (Australia) Graham Hoinville Ford Cortina Lotus[2]
1969 Victoria (Australia) Frank Kilfoyle New South Wales Doug Rutherford Ford Cortina Lotus
1970 Victoria (Australia) Robert Watson Victoria (Australia) Jim McAuliffe Renault R8 Gordini
1971 New South Wales Colin Bond New South Wales George Shepheard Holden Torana LC GTR XU-1
1972 New South Wales Colin Bond New South Wales George Shepheard Holden Torana LJ GTR XU-1
1973 Australian Capital Territory Peter Lang Victoria (Australia) Warwick Smith Holden Torana LJ GTR XU-1
1974 New South Wales Colin Bond New South Wales George Shepheard Holden Torana LJ GTR XU-1
1975 Western Australia Ross Dunkerton Western Australia John Large Datsun 240Z
1976 Western Australia Ross Dunkerton Victoria (Australia) Jeff Beaumont Datsun 260Z
1977 Western Australia Ross Dunkerton
Victoria (Australia) George Fury
Victoria (Australia) Jeff Beaumont
Victoria (Australia) Monty Suffern
Datsun 260Z
Datsun 710
1978 Australian Capital Territory Greg Carr New South Wales John Dawson-Damer* Ford Escort RS
1979 Western Australia Ross Dunkerton Tasmania Jeff Beaumont Datsun Stanza
1980 Victoria (Australia) George Fury Victoria (Australia) Monty Suffern Datsun Stanza
1981 Victoria (Australia) Geoff Portman Victoria (Australia) Ross Runnalls Datsun Stanza
1982 Victoria (Australia) Geoff Portman Victoria (Australia) Ross Runnalls Datsun 1600
1983 Western Australia Ross Dunkerton New South Wales Geoff Jones Datsun 1600
1984 Victoria (Australia) David Officer Victoria (Australia) Kate Officer Mitsubishi Galant GB
1985 South Australia Barry Lowe South Australia Kevin Pedder Subaru RX Turbo
1986 South Australia Barry Lowe Victoria (Australia) Kate Officer ** Subaru RX Turbo
1987 Australian Capital Territory Greg Carr Australian Capital Territory Fred Gocentas Alfa Romeo GTV6
1988 Queensland Murray Coote Queensland Iain Stewart Mazda 323 4WD
1989 Australian Capital Territory Greg Carr Australian Capital Territory Mick Harker Lancia Delta Integrale
1990 South Australia Ed Ordynski South Australia Mark Nelson Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
1991 Western Australia Robert Herridge Western Australia Steve Vanderbyl Subaru Liberty RS
1992 Western Australia Robert Herridge South Australia Mark Nelson Subaru Liberty RS
1993 Australian Capital Territory Neal Bates New South Wales Coral Taylor Toyota Celica GT-Four
1994 Australian Capital Territory Neal Bates New South Wales Coral Taylor Toyota Celica GT-Four
1995 Australian Capital Territory Neal Bates New South Wales Coral Taylor Toyota Celica GT-Four
1996 New Zealand Possum Bourne New South Wales Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza 555
1997 New Zealand Possum Bourne New South Wales Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza 555
1998 New Zealand Possum Bourne New South Wales Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza 555
1999 New Zealand Possum Bourne New South Wales Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza WRC98
2000 New Zealand Possum Bourne Queensland Mark Stacey Subaru Impreza WRC98
2001 New Zealand Possum Bourne New South Wales Craig Vincent Subaru Impreza WRC
2002 New Zealand Possum Bourne Queensland Mark Stacey Subaru Impreza WRX STi
2003 Victoria (Australia) Cody Crocker Victoria (Australia) Greg Foletta Subaru Impreza WRX STi
2004 Victoria (Australia) Cody Crocker Victoria (Australia) Greg Foletta Subaru Impreza WRX STi
2005 Victoria (Australia) Cody Crocker Victoria (Australia) Dale Moscatt Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec-C
2006 Victoria (Australia) Simon Evans Victoria (Australia) Sue Evans Toyota Corolla Sportivo (NP)
2007 Victoria (Australia) Simon Evans Victoria (Australia) Sue Evans Toyota Corolla Sportivo (NP)
2008 Australian Capital Territory Neal Bates New South Wales Coral Taylor Toyota Corolla S2000
2009 Victoria (Australia) Simon Evans New South Wales Sue Evans Toyota Corolla S2000
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
2010 Victoria (Australia) Simon Evans New South Wales Sue Evans Subaru Impreza WRX STi
2011 Victoria (Australia) Justin Dowel Victoria (Australia) Matt Lee Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
2WD:Victoria (Australia) Eli Evans Queensland Glen Weston Honda Jazz
4WD:New South Wales Michael Boaden New South Wales Helen Cheers Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
2013 Victoria (Australia) Eli Evans Queensland Glen Weston Honda Jazz
2014 Victoria (Australia) Scott Pedder New South Wales Dale Moscatt Renault Clio
2015 Victoria (Australia) Eli Evans Queensland Glen Weston Citroen DS3
New South Wales Molly Taylor Western Australia Bill Hayes Subaru Impreza WRX STi
New South Wales Western Australia Bill Hayes *** Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX
2018 Victoria (Australia) Eli Evans Western Australia Ben Searcy Skoda Fabia R5
2019 Australian Capital Territory Harry Bates Queensland John McCarthy Toyota Yaris AP4

* Fred Gocentas co-drove for Greg Carr during the 1978 season while Dawson-Damer co-drove for Colin Bond while also scoring points on one occasion co-driving for Dave Morrow which enabled him to beat Gocentas to the co-driver's title.
** Kate Officer co-drove for David Officer during the 1986 season.
*** Bill Hayes co-drove for Molly Taylor during the 2017 season. David Calder and Ben Searcy co-drove for Quinn in 2017.

Group N Rally Championship

Year Driver Co-Driver Vehicle
1990 Ed Ordynski (SA) Mark Nelson (SA) Mitsubishi Galant VR4
1991 Bob Nicoli (WA) Brian Harwood (WA) Daihatsu Charade GTti
1992 Robert Herridge (WA) Mark Nelson (SA) Subaru Liberty RS
1993 Ed Ordynski (SA) Mark Stacey (SA) Mitsubishi Lancer RS-E
1994 Ed Ordynski (SA) Mark Stacey (SA) Mitsubishi Lancer RS-E2
1995 Ed Ordynski (SA) Mark Stacey (SA) Mitsubishi Lancer RS-Ev2
1996 Michael Guest (NSW) Steve O'Brien-Pounde (NSW) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3
1997 Michael Guest (NSW) Mark Stacey (SA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3
1998 Cody Crocker (VIC) Greg Foletta (VIC) Subaru Impreza WRX
1999 Cody Crocker (VIC) Greg Foletta (VIC) Subaru Impreza WRX
2000 Cody Crocker (VIC) Greg Foletta (VIC) Subaru Impreza WRX
2001 Cody Crocker (VIC) Greg Foletta (VIC) Subaru Impreza WRX
2002 Possum Bourne (NZ) Mark Stacey (QLD) Subaru Impreza WRX

Australian Manufacturers Champions

Year Company
1969 Ford Motor Co of Aust.
1970 Renault (Aust) Pty Ltd
1971 General Motors-Holden's
1972 General Motors-Holden's
1973 General Motors-Holden's
1974 General Motors-Holden's
1975 Nissan Motor Co (Aust)
1976 Nissan Motor Co (Aust)
1977 Nissan Motor Co (Aust)
1988 Mazda Motors Pty Ltd
1989 Lancia Spa
1990 Mitsubishi Motors Aust Ltd
1991 Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd
1992 Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd
1993 Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd
1994 Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd
1995 Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd
1996 Daihatsu Australia Pty Ltd
1997 Mitsubishi Motors Aust Ltd
1998 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
1999 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2000 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2001 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2002 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2003 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2004 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2005 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd
2006 Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited
2007 Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited
2012 Honda Motor Company Australia Limited
2013 Honda Motor Company Australia Limited
2014 Citroen Australia
2015 Citroen Australia
2016 Subaru Australia Pty Ltd

Australian Formula 2 Rally Champions

Year Driver Co-Driver Vehicle
1995 Bob Nicoli (WA) Claire Parker (WA) Daihatsu Charade GTi
1996 Ross Mackenzie (WA) Tony Brandon (ACT) Daihatsu Charade GTi
1997 Brett Middleton (NSW) Linda Long (NSW) Honda Civic
1998 Rick Bates (ACT) Jenny Brittan (NSW) Daihatsu Charade GTi
1999 Simon Evans (VIC) Sue Evans (VIC) VW Golf Mk III Kit Car
2000 Lee Peterson (TAS) Graham Legg-Stoker (VIC) Nissan Pulsar GTi
2001 Andrew Hannigan (WA) Duncan Jordan (WA) Daihatsu Charade GTi
2002 Warwick Rooklyn (NSW) Linda Long (NSW) Daihatsu Charade GTi

Australian F16 Rally Champions

Year Driver Co-Driver Vehicle
2003 Lee Peterson (TAS) Graham Legg-Stoker (VIC) Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg
2004 Denise Collins (SA) Gerard McConkey (QLD) Honda Civic
2005 Leigh Garrioch (VIC) Ken Garrioch (VIC) Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg
2006 Leigh Garrioch (VIC) Ken Garrioch (VIC) Mitsubishi Mirage Cyborg

See also

References

  1. ^ David McCowen (4 April 2015). "Molly Taylor makes rallying history by winning a heat of the Australian Rally Championship". Drive.com.au. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  2. ^ "1968 CAMS AUSTRALIAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP, www.snooksmotorsport.com.au, as archived at web.archive.org" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.

External links