ARC ready to begin new chapter in Canberra

Wednesday 03 April, 2024
Photos: Gears and Wheels Photography
After a short few months since the last outing, the Bosch Motorsport Rally Championship (ARC) finally gets underway this weekend, with the highly anticipated Techworkz Automotive Rally of Canberra to start the season.
Outside of the fact that the 2024 season begins this weekend, there are plenty of new elements to look out for at the season opener, including that the rally will run as a sprint instead of an endurance event, where championship points will be divided over two Heats.
One of the most attractive prospects for the event though is the 30-crew entry list, which boasts many genuine title contenders.
From reigning champions Harry Bates and Coral Taylor and the 2022 champions Lewis Bates and Anthony McLoughlin to the returning Scott Pedder and Glenn Macneall, or the Maguire Motorsport outfit boasting two world-class Skoda Fabia R5s – the battle for top honours is wide open.
“I don’t think I will be taking anything for granted this year. I am aware that we’re going to be up against stiff competition,” Harry said.
“I think honestly there are five or six crews who are going to be winning stages this year, which is something that we’ve haven’t had in the ARC for a little while now.
“So that’s exciting for the sport, but it also means that we’ll have to work a little bit harder for rally wins.”

In addition to some of the major players, there are also a handful of other crews who can stir the pot and launch a genuine attack for a title charge.
There will also be plenty of excitement surrounding the Mainfix ARC Production Cup, which welcomes a record-breaking field and is headlined by Molly Taylor and Andy Sarandis.
The 2016 outright champion will undoubtedly have a tough weekend, with Victorian Danny Traverso, Queensland Josh Wiedman and West Australians Frank O’Shea and Shane Smith her biggest challengers.
Event sponsor Mick Harding also enters his home round as a potential contender for the class, with the experienced campaigner looking forward to the battle.
“With the event being a sprint, it does help a little bit, but you can’t just go flat out – it’s about picking moments and winning every corner. You can’t go too crazy as one failure can really hurt your chances,” Harding revealed.
“Even though we have an early 1993 Subaru, I think our car will hold its own in the event and I think we will have a good crack at the result.”
Of course, the ARC 2WD Cup, ARC Junior Cup and Trenching Systems Australia ARC Classic Cup will also prove highly entertaining, with plenty of intriguing battles on the cards.
View the full entry list.

All 30 ARC crews will contest the full 12 stages, with Heat 1 to be made up of 102 competitive kilometres over six stages on Saturday, and Heat 2 to see crews tackle the remaining 76 kilometres on Sunday.

Saturday’s action begins at 8:53am AEDT and wraps up at around 4pm, while Sunday’s six quickfire stages start from around 9am local time before the Power Stage concludes the event at 1:38pm AEDT.
The winning crews of both the event outright and the Cups will celebrate the podium at 4pm AEDT.
Besides the ARC, the Techworkz Automotive Rally of Canberra will also be hosting the Motorsport Australia NSW Rally Championship, East Coast Classic Rally Series and the ACT Regional Rally Series – all of which will run on Saturday and Sunday morning.
View the Supplementary Regulations.
Of course, rally fans lucky enough to be able to make it to the nation’s capital will have plenty of opportunities to see the cars live, whether it's out on stage or at Pedders Rally Central.
Saturday will have two free spectator points with Oakey Creek (SS1 and SS4) and Blue Range (SS3 and SS6) both housing areas where fans can watch the cars in action, while Sunday’s three spectator areas are at Long Jack (SS7 and SS10) and Charcoal Kiln (SS8 and SS11) are within close proximity of each other.
All service breaks will be completed in Pedders Rally Central, which is located at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), allowing fans to see crews working on the cars.
View the Spectator Guide.
The Techworkz Automotive Rally of Canberra takes place in the forests of the nation’s capital on 5-7 April.
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