EX­CIT­ING RALLY SEA­SON AHEAD

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Driveway - Bill Buys

THE na­tional rally sea­son opens this week­end with the run­ning of the Quit For­est Rally in the Bus­sel­ton and Nan­nup re­gion, which in­cludes a re­turn to a fully seeded run­ning or­der.

It means all com­peti­tors, re­gard­less of their com­pe­ti­tion class, will be start­ing the March 27 to 29 event in or­der based on speed.

“It will bring a new level of ex­cite­ment for spec­ta­tors and com­peti­tors,” event direc­tor Ross Tap­per said.

Many of the crews will be in new cars, in­clud­ing Eli Evans, now driv­ing one of the new fac­tory Citroens. Sim­i­larly mounted will be team­mate Tony Sul­lens and for­mer Citroen fac­tory driver Adrian Cop­pin, who both have more ex­pe­ri­ence driv­ing the DS3.

Back in the cham­pi­onship for the first time since 2010 is for­mer Quit For­est Rally win­ner and four-time Aus­tralian Rally Cham­pion Simon Evans. He will com­pete in the Honda Civic Type R with WA’s Ben Searcy in the co-driver’s seat.

In an­other coup, Molly Tay­lor will be split­ting her time be­tween Australia and Europe as she at­tempts to be­come the first fe­male driver to win the ARC.

She will drive a Re­nault Clio R3 and will have a good chance too, hav­ing ex­celled in Euro­pean ral­lies with Citroen, and for the For­est Rally and other ARC rounds, she'll be part­nered by top co-driver Bill Hayes.

Her mum Coral will also be in the event, call­ing cor­ners for Neal Bates in their Clas­sic-dom­i­nat­ing Toy­ota Cel­ica RA40.

Among those com­pet­ing in the WA cham­pi­onship only are Raz­van Vlad and Day­mon Ni­coli in their gi­ant-slay­ing Ford Fi­esta.

There are 60 en­trants from all parts of Australia across the var­i­ous classes.

Citroen has strong team in the Quit For­est Rally.

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