Preview: AMSAG Rosewood Rally

Preview: AMSAG Rosewood RallyThe second round of the PipeKing Southern Cross Rally Series will take place on Saturday 13th May in the Carabost State Forest, near Tumbarumba. The event is significant in that it signals a return to competitive rallying in the Carabost State Forest after a 23 year lay-off.

The Riverina has a proud history in rallying with iconic competitors such as Kevin Roben, David West, Louie Doon, Ron Richardson, Jon Parker, Marty Beckton and of course, George Fury all originating from the area.

The forests around the central service park at Rosewood will provide a challenging and technical event. Shire-like flowing roads are connected by tight-apex junctions that are often hard to see. The road surface regularly changes from slippery red clay through to hard-packed gravel as the mountainous stages wind in and out of harvested forest areas.

Whilst the AMSAG entry list may not contain the likes of Possum Bourne, Ed Ordynski, Michael Guest or Rob Herridge at the front of the field, the Rosewood Rally has attracted a mix of new and experienced competitors across both the Open and Classic categories.

As is the AMSAG custom, the winners of the last rally will lead the field away, and this honour falls to the Shamrock Motorsport entry of Tim and Peter Joass (Western Sydney) in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo2. After finishing on the podium at Oberon both Ian Plenderleith / Mel McMinn – Evo2 (Bathurst) and Adrian Turnbull/Kristy Turnbull – WRX (Newcastle) will be looking to mount a series challenge. Local hopes will be headed by the super-fast Jody Mill/Tommi Flegl in their Lancer Evo2. Chris Jacques/Hugh Taylor (Sydney) cannot be discounted in the Evo9, along with the ultra-experienced crew of John Fraser/John Paine (Orange) in their Evo4. Russell Winks (Canberra) will be looking to come to grips with the ex-Orders/Tyler Evo5 and has the experience to cause an upset in what will be a demanding rally.

The Classic category is headed by Tom Dermody/Eoin Moynihan (Queensland) after showing impressive speed in every outing in 2017. The Escort RS1800 of Dermody is likely to emerge as an outright contender, with another Escort, that of Oberon placegetters PJ O’Keefe/Skelton (Sydney) appearing to be the closest challengers. To the dismay of the Datsun faithful, a pair of Volvo’s are best positioned to challenge the recent Ford domination, with PeterVlandis/Tony Jordan and Peter Ewing/Anna Ritson looking to fight for Classic podium positions. The BMW’s driven by Kim Boyd and Keith McIlroy also in the mix.

In Open, Ross Plunkett (Gosford) has entered the VR4 for his second rally in many years. An impressive drive at Oberon saw Ross challenging for the top 10, and the consistency of Bathurst father-son pairing Mark and Harrison Hudson is expected to net a strong series result in their Subaru WRX.

The most excited competitor must surely be Jay Quirk who has entered his Lancer Evo2. Having grown up in and around the sport, Jay now has the opportunity to rally the Carabost.

Spectator information is available via the AMSAG Website – www.amsag.com.au. Competitors interested in upcoming AMSAG events as part of the 2017 Pipe King Southern Cross Rally Series can also find information about the club at the website.