Monday, April 7, 2014

Australian Rally Championship Struggling...

Not for land or roads but for competitors.

This past weekend's Quit Forest Rally was won by Brendan Reeves who many of us know from coming over and competing here stateside, and his codriver Rhianon Gelsomino, wife of Ken Block's codriver Alex Gelsomino.

That said there were only six entries in the top ARC class which is all 2WD.  Things weren't much better in the 2nd tier 4WD class with only five entries, nor in the Classics class with only one entry (though the more grassroots regional and club classes saw healthy 20+ entry fields each).  You can read a commentary on the situation of top flight Australian Rally here:  Uphill Battle for ARC...

Much of this sounds familiar to US competitors who have heard and dealt with similar problems in recent years.  Australian Rally saw these problems coming and drove the switch to 2WD vehicles as a partial solution to ever increasing vehicle development costs and lack of manufacturer support.  Doesn't look like this has worked out so well to date.

One additional item the ARC has added to its events are the inclusion of side-by-sides and motorcycles in their events.  The SXS class drew five entries and motorcycles drew another ten.  Not so good when these classes outdraw your national competitors. 

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