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Titles, Maxi cars and the future for Mark and Scott Pedder

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In this interview we catch up with 2014 Australian Rally Champion Scott Pedder and his rallying brother Mark Pedder, who was competing in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship this year.

It was an excellent year and duo with Scott Pedder taking out the Australian crown after a season-long battle with Brendan Reeves. Scott was driving his Renault Clio R3 and started the year strongly with podium positions in both heats at the National Capital Rally in Canberra. This is followed up with a heat win and podium at the Quit Forest Pally in Perth and a win at the International Rally of Queensland.  A trip to China mid-season did not go to plan but when he came back for Coates Hire Rally Australia he was back on form, taking the win. This put him in the lead coming into the final rally the season in Victoria.  He was up for monumental battle with Reeves, and the pressure showed with a mistake resulting in a crash in the Power Stage which – for a moment at least – dented his chances. Fortunately, he was able to continue and one heat one and came second in heat two to take the Championship.

It was a good year for Scott, who was perhaps the underdog coming into the year behind Reeves. With Eli Evans gone a man who had one every rally for the past two years the championship was wide open. Reeves had been the one who had taken the fight to Evans together with Tom Wilde in the other Renault. With Wilde gone it was down to Scott and Brendan and in the end Scott won out.

For Mark it wouldn’t be so easy.  The Asia-Pacific Rally Championship had to factory Skoda Fabia S2000s to overcome. Mark, in a Mitsubishi Evo was going for the Production Car Crown. The Championship started well at the International Rally of Whangarei.  He took the class podium in New Zealand but sadly he would retire in the International Rally of New Caledonia. Retirements will also come, in the Chinese Rally which dented his chances. However, podium positions in Queensland and Malaysia made up for a difficult year. He would come fifth overall in the APRC and third in the Production Class. he will also have success, in domestic Australian and Victorian rallies.

Both drivers have competed in Australia and internationally with both the ARC and the APRC looking towards the future and to consolidate their championship entry. Both series are looking at the rulebook and how they can attract more entries both in number and in quality. The Australian Championship has mooted Maxi cars as the future for the series. These cars have rallied successfully in South America and have a version running in New Zealand. Like the V8s Car of the Future, they can be a spec car with panels on the outside to distinguish make and marque.

Equally the Pedders brothers  have motoring in their blood  with Pedders Suspension being the family company providing a unique insight into particularly suspension part of a rally car. It also presents a different family rivalry and bond that we rarely see in the sport.

In this interview, we talk about these things – the 2014 championship, the future of both the ARC and APRC, their future aspirations, what it means to own a motoring business and go rallying and, of course, the sibling rivalry.

In the end both Mark and Scott Pedder have forged successful business and motorsport careers. Their careers and where they rally are at a crossroads and it will be interesting to see what the future brings.

 

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By Sam Tickell,  December 2014

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