We take a look at the ARC class from the WRC Rally Australia


In our continuing coverage from the Coats Hire Rally Australia, we take a look at what happened in the ECB Australian Rally Championship.  We find out that it was another great rally for Honda and some exciting news for the 2014 Championship.


It was another great rally for Honda with Eli Evans taking his 11th victory in a row.


Steven Mackenzie took an overall top 10 in the Australian classes with his Peugeot 207


It was 4th for Mark Pedder in his Honda


The 4WD drive class also put up some great rally battles.  Michael Bailey took 4th in class in his Evo 6.  An Evo 7 for John Mitchell took the win


It was another podium for Scott Wilder in his Renault.  He was slowed on the Newry stage, with Jack Monkhouse being slowed by dust in the background.  A common tale on this rally


Justin Dowell fought well in his VW – he finished 8th and figures he needs about 40-50HP more to compete for the win


The World Rally brought in some extra competitors with some older machinery including Scott Jackson in his Silvia


Brendon Reeves took another great podium place in his Mazda 2. While he hasn’t been able to break through for the ARC win, he has been competing in the USA with great success.


The Nissan 370Z is a popular car in the Championship, though was forced to retire on day 3


Citroen Australia announced their two car assault on the 2014 Australian Rally Championship with Adrian Coppin and Tony Sullens

The Rally in brief

Eli Evans and Glen Weston are Australian rally champions for a second year running, winning this weekend’s Rally Australia and making it 11 wins from 11 starts in their Honda Jazz.

“It’s exciting and something we’ve worked hard for all year,” Evans said. “I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet.”

Co-driver Weston is more philosophical. “This one is really special. Last year’s championship that we won was a split championship, as some competitors were in four-wheel drives. This year we’re all in two-wheel drives so it means a lot more to me because there’s no question that we’re the fastest crew in Australia.”

In what was a long and arduous event, Round Five of the ECB ARC – Rally Australia – was also Round 10 of the World Rally Championship, with the best of the best in both fields battling through hundreds of kilometres of dusty forest stages.

“It was a tough weekend,” said Evans.” The roads are really abrasive and we had some long stages where tyre choice became an issue.”

Teammates Mark Pedder and Claire Ryan placed fourth overall. “We struggled at the start and I don’t think I had the set up of the car quite right,” remarked Pedder. “We always knew that this would be a long and hard event, especially with the 50 kilometre stage yesterday. We stuck at it and improved the car over the course of the weekend.”

With two Honda Jazz competing over the last two years, strategy has been very important to the success of the team. “You do plan before events but I think one of the benefits of running two cars is that we learn things twice as quick,” Pedder said. “With the Evans Motorsport team behind us it makes it that much easier, as they’re always working on ways to improve the cars.”

“Mark and I were rivals in years gone by,” said Evans. “When I spoke to him about teaming up, he was pretty excited. It was a natural thing for him and Claire to join Glen and I and now we have the results; with championships not only for first and second in 2012 but now first this year. Hopefully it will be two manufacturer’s titles as well.”

The final round of the ECB ARC, Rally Victoria takes place in Warragul on the 15th and 16th of November. Evans will be in front of his home crowd in the last race with Honda. “I want to congratulate the whole Evans Motorsport team and Honda for a year well done. Hopefully we finish it off with another win and make it 12 from 12 in the Honda Jazz.”


Our Rally Australia coverage

Photos by Sam Tickell, September 2013

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