Brand new rally starts WA rally season

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The Trade Hire Kin Kin Rally makes its debut in the Western Australian Rally Championship (WARC) this weekend.
 
Garry Whittle WARCHeld in at the Kin Kin Retreat, 25 kilometres south west of Manjimup in the heart of the Southern Forests, the Trade Hire Kin Kin Rally will utilise the Retreat’s private airstrip as the service park and roads near its boundaries for stages.
 
The stages are a combination of state forest and pine plantation roads with 92 kilometres of competitive stages, 215 kilometres in total, compromising of three stages that will be run three times for WARC competitors and twice for Clubman Cup competitors.
 
Clerk of Course Richard Delfos said that the heavy rains late year made the Karri Rally roads unusable.
 
“It’s exciting to open the WARC with a brand new event that has excellent roads that will present new challenges,” Mr Delfos said.
 
“The season will start with all competitors in the same situation – without previous notes or knowledge of the roads.
 
“The second stage on each loop named ‘Frosty’ is the longest at 17 kilometres and has tight, twisty, technical sections that will be very challenging for competitors,” Mr Delfos said.
 
Two competitors are making a comeback to the WARC: 2015 Champion Garry Whittle who gave himself and his 1998 Subaru Impreza STI a break from competition whilst making improvements to the car and Nic Box who has demonstrated exceptional pace in past years will be driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.
 
Meanwhile across the country, the CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) began last weekend with the Eureka Rally in Ballarat, Victoria, with six West Australians taking part.
 
Bill Hayes, last year’s ARC champion co-driver, finished in fifth place overall calling notes for driver Molly Taylor.
 
WA team Maximum Motorsport entered two Subaru Impreza WRX STI cars, both with new pairings of driver and co-driver. John O’Dowd and Ken Sheil finished on the podium in third in the ARC2 category and ninth overall and Brad Markovic and Toni Feaver showed promise clocking the fifth fastest time in the first stage, but had an off in Heat Two. However they still finished with points from derived times for the final three stages.
 
Daymon Nicoli co-drove for Chris Higgs in Victoria and will re-join his long-standing driver Razvan Vlad next weekend in the Trade Hire Kin Kin Rally.
 
The Trade Hire Kin Kin Rally will take place 25 March 2017.