Eli Evans and Ben Searcy have continued their winning ways at round four of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship, taking out heat one of Subaru Rally Tasmania in Launceston today.
Evans dominated in tricky conditions, winning the heat by more than four minutes, setting the fastest time on each of the day’s ten stages.
Evans was justifiably thrilled with his and Searcy’s performance.
“We had a really great day today, to win every forest stage today is something I am pretty proud of,” he said.
“We were happy with our pace, we were substantially faster than the rest of the field so very positive going into tomorrow.”
Subaru do Motorsport’s Molly Taylor and Malcom Read finished a strong second, with Adrian Coppin and Toni Feaver third in the Innate Motorsport and Events Skoda Fabia R5.
After a tough few rounds, Taylor was pleased with second outright.
“Really, really good day for us, really, really challenging, we found it quite tricky out there to get a good rhythm,” Taylor said.
“The conditions and grip level seemed to change on every corner but we enjoyed the challenge. Some awesome bits of road out there, it’s pretty fun.”
Coppin had been disappointed with his first pass of today’s stages but gained confidence as the day went on.
“We made some changes to the car and straight away after the first pass of this afternoon’s loop I felt the confidence coming back,” Coppin said.
“I’m sort of where I would like to be which is not too far behind Harry and Eli so really happy with that pace and hoping we can take it into tomorrow.”
In their first ARC event in 12 months, Marcus and Scott Walkem impressed in their newly-built Peugeot 208 AP4, finishing today’s heat in fourth position.
“It’s been a big learning curve,” Marcus explained.
“We’d only done about 40 kilometres in the car before today. This car is left hand drive as well so that’s been another thing to learn but we are here now and we’ve had a good day, so it’s all good.”
It was a difficult day for some of the main ARC contenders. Frosty roads challenged competitors early, with Launceston local Steve Glenney getting caught out on the day’s second stage, sliding off the road in the Contel Communications Subaru WRX STi. Glenney and co-driver Andy Sarandis missed the morning stages while their crew fixed the damage to the car. The pair were able to rejoin the event after the midday service.
Despite being Evans closest rival all day on stage times, electrical issues with the Yaris AP4 robbed Harry Bates and John McCarthy of a good result, seeing them lose 14 minutes on the opening stage of the day. The Toyota Genuine Parts crew finished in eighth.
In ARC2, Tasmanian Mark Butcher led the way, closely followed by Adam Kaplan in the two-wheel-drive Nissan 370Z. Ben Hayes, in the Holden Commodore SS, was in third.
Subaru Rally Tasmania continues tomorrow with heat two taking competitors to the north of Launceston and the Retreat Forest, which is known for its fast and open forestry roads. The final stage returns to the Lisle State Forest, which will also be the longest and most demanding in the event.
ARC Top 10 (provisional)
1. #2 Evans/Searcy 1:18:20.4
2. #6 Taylor/Read 1:22:27.2 (+04:06.8)
3. #5 Coppin/Feaver 1:24:24.8 (+06:04.4)
4. #7 Walkem/Walkem 1:27:29.8 (+09:09.4)
5. #8 Bates/Moscatt 1:29:39.7 (+11:19.3)
6. #9 Butcher/Clarke 1:30:55.0 (+12:34.6)
7. #11 Kaplan/Penney 1:32:10.3 (+13:49.9)
8. #3 Bates/McCarthy 1:34:24.1 (+16:03.7)
9. #10 Hayes/Hayes 1:38:13.8 (+19:53.4)
10. #14 Anear/Maguire 1:39:25.5 (+21:05.1)
ARC2 Top 5 (provisional)
1. #9 Butcher/Clarke 1:30:55.0
2. #11 Kaplan/Penney 1:32:10.3 (+01:15.3)
3. #10 Hayes/Hayes 1:38:13.8 (+07:18.8)
4. #12 Raedel/Philips 1:48:21.7 (+17:26.7)
5. #4 Glenney/Sarandis 1:41:18.4 (4 missed stages)
Photos by Angryman Photography and Ben Hoare (Steve Glenney)
After two of UTAS Stadium’s lowest AFL crowds in recent memory, some may have worried that the Australian Rally Championship would struggle to pull an audience on a single-digit degree winter’s night in Launceston.
Such fears, however, were blown out of the water on Friday as a huge crowd watched home town hero Steve Glenney race to victory in the Inveresk Super Special Stage.
READ MORE IN TODAY'S EXAMINER NEWSPAPER AND ONLINE!
Article by Hamish Geale - Photos by Scott Gelston
The Examiner Newspaper photographers were out in force today, check out some of their great photos on the Examiner website.
Launceston local Steve Glenney has taken an early lead at this weekend’s Subaru Rally Tasmania after a hugely popular Inveresk Super Special Stage.
Glenney was fastest around the 820-metre bitumen course in his Contel Communications Subaru WRX STi, 0.9 seconds clear of closest rival Harry Bates in the Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota Yaris AP4.
Current CAMS Australian Rally Championship leader, Tankformers’ Eli Evans, was third fastest in the Skoda Fabia R5, 1.6 seconds behind Glenney, followed by fellow Skoda pilot Adrian Coppin. Neal Bates Motorsport’s Lewis Bates was fifth fastest in the Toyota Corolla S2000.
In the Dunlop-Motul Tasmanian Rally Championship field, Timothy Auty was quickest in the Mazda 323 GTR, followed by Andrew Morris in the Mazda RX7 and Nic Grave in his Subaru Impreza RS.
Launceston locals flocked to see the 35-strong field blast around The Roundhouse and enjoyed mingling with Australia’s best rally crews before The Examiner Ceremonial Start got the event officially underway.
The event proper starts tomorrow morning, with Saturday’s heat testing competitors on the fast and flowing roads in the Diddleum Plains area before seeing them tackle the slow, tight and technical sections in the Sideling Range and Lisle State Forest.
On Sunday, competition will move to the north of Launceston and the Retreat Forest, which is known for its fast and open forestry roads.
The final stage returns to the Lisle State Forest, which will also be the longest and most demanding in the event.
Subaru Rally Tasmania sees the return of the ARC to the Apple Isle for the first time in 10 years. The event has received significant government support, with both Events Tasmania and the City of Launceston backing the 2018 event.
Top 10 CAMS Australian Rally Championship
1. #4 Glenney/Sarandis 00:53.3
2. #3 Bates/McCarthy 00:54.2 (+00:00.9)
3. #2 Evans/Searcy 00:54.9 (+00:01.6)
4. #5 Coppin/Feaver 00:56.9 (+00:03.6)
5. #8 Bates/Moscatt 00:58.3 (+00:05.0)
6. #6 Taylor/Read 00:59.0 (+00:05.7)
7. #7 Walkem/Walkem 01:00.9 (+00:07.6)
8. #9 Butcher/Clarke 01:03.4 (+00:10.1)
9. #13 How/Walker 01:06.2 (+00:12.9)
10. #14 Anear/Maguire 01:06.4 (+00:13.1)
Subaru Rally Tasmania welcomes TASCON CONSTRUCTIONS as one of our event supporters.
TASCON is a proud and well-respected Tasmanian building company, mainly specialising in the commercial property field, focusing on all aspects of high quality “internal fitouts” and “refurbishments”. They have also had much success with significant architecturally designed residential projects.
Joint director Adam Carr is a seasoned rally official, having demonstrated many skill-sets right up to course-checker at national level events, and is a strong supporter of motorsport in his home state.
Please check out their great projects at TASCON
SHAKEDOWN PHOTOS BY THE EXAMINER NEWSPAPER
Photographer - Scott Gelston
Car parking spaces will form part of a race track on Friday night as the Australian Rally Championship comes to Inveresk.
Rally Tasmania’s first ever Super Special Stage will signal the beginning of three days of rally action across Northern Tasmania.
Thirty-five competitors will make their way around an 820 metre track confined to the Inveresk Precinct Roundhouse and surrounding car park.
READ MORE IN THE EXAMINER NEWSPAPER
Story by Sean Slatter
Talking Sport Tasmania's Ross Marsden conducted a different style of interview with Subaru Do Motorsport's Molly Taylor. Ross went for a run in Molly's recce car as they talked rally, and about the unusual challenges facing crews for the inaugural Subaru Rally Tasmania.
The first half hour of the show is dedicated to Subaru Rally Tasmania!
Australia’s best rally teams will be kept on their toes at this weekend’s Subaru Rally Tasmania as they face all-new special stages in the forests around Launceston.
The CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) returns to Tasmanian shores this week for the first time in 10 years, with 240 competitive kilometres on roads that haven’t seen rally action in 20 years.
Championship contenders agree that they will need to be on the ball at Thursday’s reconnaissance to ensure they nail the event’s 17 special stages.
READ MORE AT RALLY.COM.AU