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RallySport Magazine May 2017

  • Text
  • Rally
  • Rallysport
  • Subaru
  • Championship
  • Drivers
  • Stages
  • Rallying
  • Toyota
  • Audi
  • Hyundai
The May 2017 issue of RallySport Magazine features: News / Regulars: * National Capital Rally preview * Vale: Timo Makinen * Five minutes with - Ross Tapper * Martin Holmes column * Photo of the month Feature stories: * Molly Taylor column * Head and neck safety * Subaru’s RS Challenge - a look back * Audi Magic - Dylan Turner’s Quattro S1 AP4 * A Kiwi in Argentina * A WRC hijacking in Sanremo Event reports: * WA Forest Rally - ARC 2 * Rally of Whangarei - NZRC 2 * Southern Rally - SARC 1 * Rally of Argentina - WRC 5 * Rally of Portugal - WRC 6 * Mitta Mountain Rally

5 MINUTES WITH ....

5 MINUTES WITH .... events, with little communication between them or the National Rally Panel (pre-ARCom). We all had different Supplementary Regulations, road books, results and timing, control signs and we were generally doing our own thing. Tom Snooks and Mike Bell worked on improving the standards. When Rally Australia came along there was more conformity to FIA Standards, but it was Glenn Cuthbert who rallied all the Clerks of Courses together and, along with ARCom, we turned it into one championship with six events. At the same time Subaru, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Les Walkden, the Pedders and many others were competing in the ARC and with Channel 10 televising it, and “live” from the finish to RPM, the ARC boomed. Unfortunately bit by bit it all unfolded. Some blame CAMS or individuals, but in reality I believe it was because Mitsubishi stopped making 4WD Evos and then Subaru changed tack with their promotion and pulled out of rallying, leaving Toyota to fund the promotion, and eventually they pulled out. Some hard work has been done and different ideas have been tried on how to get the ARC back up to strength. There are some good signs ahead for the ARC with Molly, Harry, Eli, Nathan and other young drivers supported by the older generation like Les Walkden, Neal Bates and Peter Evans, and now we need to attract other new and young drivers into the ARC. Then CAMS has to work on getting the events back working as one championship again, rather than being individual events. You must have established some good friendships with many of the sport’s leading competitors over that time. Who stands out the most - from both a personal and competitive point of view? In the early days of Rally Australia I was lucky enough to be “Rally Base”. Simo Lampinen came into the room, he was our Observer and was the Clerk of Course of Rally Finland. Garry Connelly was telling him about the technology advances that he wished to bring into the sport. When Garry left the room, Simo lent over and said to me, ‘Never forget that rallying is about people. It is the people and friendships made in rallying that is the reason why I have been in it for so long.’ Most guys get a thrill out of looking under the bonnet or checking the welds on a roll cage, whereas I prefer to have a chat with friends in Rally HQ or out on the stages. Naturally I have had long friendships with West Aussies, but have also struck up friends with fellow ARC organisers around the country. I have also been lucky enough to be Clerk of Course at Rally of Melbourne and Rally Tasmania and been to events in every state. The standout for friendship has been Neal Bates and Coral Taylor for their support of the Forest Rally for so many years, and always ensuring they go out of their way to help wherever they can, including assisting or encouraging others to cross the Nullarbor. On top of that, as every Clerk of Course would know, CT calls a dozen times before every rally to ensure all the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted - you can’t help but be friends after those conversations that always end up in laughter. You’ll still be involved in WA rallying, as Clerk of Course at QUIT Targa West and Targa South West, and as Chairman of the WA Rally Advisory Panel. Clearly you’ll still be very busy. Every day is a rally day and too much rallying is never enough. Targa West runs two rallies, seven Rallysprints and one Speed Event each year, so there is always something that needs to be PEDDERS HEIDELBERG • DTG Procomm iii Intercom and Non Intercom Helmets • Huge range of Intercom equipment • Rosso Racing Map Lights, Digital Timers. * Standard and Digital amps (all Stilo/DTG plug-in) * Crew Head Sets and all custom Intercom accessories www.dtgraceproducts.com.au Phone: 0478 282 010 At Pedders Heidelberg we race, rally and engineer all types of competition vehicles. For expert advice, contact Steve or Dave on (03) 9458 2555 or heidelberg@pedders.com.au * All Custom Race wear SFI and Promo Straight advice, specialists you understand and... 36 | RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE - MAY 2017

done. Plus Rally Panel, other WARC events and car club autocrosses keep the days filled. How has rallying in WA changed since Rally Australia disappeared from the state after 2006? Has the sport gone forwards, backwards or stagnated in that time? Rally Australia was a game changer in rallying in Australia. It raised the bar in everything we did and WA was the lucky state to benefit from some well-trained officials, many of whom are still part of local rallying and set high standards for themselves and others new into the sport. The standard of our events is very high. The championship is continuing to go forward with the promotion and marketing through strong support from our sponsors. It has been 11 years since Rally Australia was in Perth, so it no longer influences competitors to take up rallying. We have had some good years with a high number of competitors, but at the moment there is a slight dip in numbers. The WA economy is influenced by the mining industry and when that is down everything is down, so this year the numbers are down a little, but hopefully they will pick up again in the next year or two. We are finding that not many competitors are committing to every rally. Every organiser is hoping for the jackpot when all the cars in garages come out to play and we have a big field. As a long-time ARC director, where do you see the championship heading in future years? Can we ever get back to the days of multiple manufacturers competing, or have those days gone? Who would have thought a few years ago that Hyundai and Toyota would be leaders in the WRC, so there is no reason to believe the ARC will not attract manufacturers again. Hopefully the AP4 cars will be a success without making other cars obsolete. We certainly couldn’t afford to lose Subaru again. Vehicle manufacturers can’t be seen sacking staff and going rallying at the same time. Tom Snooks used to talk about the level of professionalism of the events vs the teams. I don’t think the ARC is currently at a standard that is attractive for full-on manufacturer teams, but with small steps from Subaru and Les Walkden, and Neal Bates Motorsport, we should be able to kick start something again with new younger drivers. It is the new drivers and event organisers who should be planning the future and that could easily be shorter high profile events with greater spectator numbers. We can’t continue to run big expensive events with small fields. Somehow we need to get fields up around 80 again and that is possible, we just need to make rally drivers want to do an ARC rather than criticising the ARC, CAMS and ARCom on social media. Who are the three best rally drivers you have seen in your time, and why? I have been lucky enough to be on the organising team of events that have had every ARC champion compete in them, apart from three or four. So it is hard to pick three out of over 20 plus champions. Out of three it would be Ross Dunkerton for not only being from the West, but in my first ARC as a spectator he was in the Datsun 260Z with a side exhaust shooting out flames at every gear change, something you never forget. Dunks then went against the best in the country and won the championship five times, and always worked on getting the car to the finish. Being in the sport as a competitor for over 50 years is also a pretty good effort. Possum Bourne, for lifting the bar of professionalism and bringing Subaru into the ARC. Unfortunately, for most of the time Possum had a WRC car that was so much better than everyone else, so it wasn’t a clear indicator of how good he was against anyone else. And of course, Neal and Coral, for just keeping on keeping on for so long and now supporting their children into the ARC. They are also pretty good at competing, having won the Forest Rally five times and the ARC four times. However, what is so great at the moment is how close the current group of competitors are, with only seconds, and sometimes tenths separating them at the end of each Heat. MAY 2017 - RALLYSPORT MAGAZINE | 37

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