The Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship (WARC) returns this weekend with a strong line up of 45 crews to contest the Morley Tyre Centre Grimwade Stages
Hosted by the Light Car Club of WA, the third round of the WARC will mark the introduction of a new track layout across VC Mitchell Park Donnybrook and Grimwade Plantation, making this weekend an exciting one for both drivers and spectators.
Many of this season’s heavy hitters are set to return, including Daniel Gonzalez who currently leads the outright championship after winning both heats at the Forest Rally.
Craig Rando, John O’Dowd and Dylan King, who make up third, fourth and fifth place in the championship will also be competing.
However, absent from this weekend’s event is Peter Rullo whose position as second on the standings will up for the taking by either Rando and O’Dowd, both of whom are close enough in points to replace him.
Whilst there are a handful of favourites who are sure to be in close competition fighting for this weekend’s top spots, the newness of the track means a more level playing field for all crews and the championship leader was looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a rally we haven’t done before and it’s a rally that we’re coming into blind with regards to testing,” Gonzalez said.
“Generally, the approach for us is to do the rallies with the best prep we can and, in this instance, the last time we were in the car was the Forest Rally in May.
“I’m trying not to think too much about it given this is the least amount of prep we’ve ever had and it’s a rally we haven’t done before.
“I know If I get in my head too much, then I will get nervous, so I’m just thinking about it as finally getting back in the car, and I’m really looking forward to driving the car again.”
And after the mishaps early in round two, Gonzalez and his team are determined to avoid “paralysis by over analysis".
“This weekend is a really good opportunity for us as a team to try something completely different and that’s really what we’re looking forward to the most,” Gonzalez added.
“We’re just showing up to have fun and drive - that’s it.”
But the level of competition is also exciting for Gonzalez, who said “I think it’s the strongest field WA has seen for many years, with regards to how strong that competition is in the top five drivers.
“The level of competition that we have is really good and I think it’s firming up. It seems to be quite consistent with rallies across the country as well. The state level is definitely going up and…I think any one of the top four could end up winning the rally, which is really cool.”
Entry for spectators is free and more information can be found on the Rally WA website.
Round three of the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship takes place in the forests of Kirup on Saturday 1 July.