Preview: John Giddings Memorial Rally of Orange
The 5th round of the AMSAG Pipe King Southern Cross Rally Series will be conducted in the forests around Orange on Saturday 15th September, for the running of the John Giddings Memorial Rally.
With the weather forecast for the Central West of NSW including the chance of snow, event director Peter Crich has set a challenging event with the 36 entries required to complete almost 180 competitive kilometres of rallying.
AMSAG Open Category leader Ian Plenderleith (Evo3-Bathurst) will face stiff competition from an array of drivers capable of taking victory in an ultra-competitive field. Sydney drivers Tim Joass (Evo2), Chris Jaques (Evo9) and Phil Pluck (WRX) have all shown stage winning speed in the series to date. Justin Griffin (Corolla NP) joins the series and is expected to be in the mix, along with south coast regular Mark Kent (Evo3). Local hopes of victory are held by Ron Moore (Evo6) and Joe Chapman (WRX) with both having won this event in the past. Taree stalwart Peter Neal (WRX) is running 2nd in the series after a string of consistent results and will be looking to close the gap to Plenderleith ahead of the final round at John’s River in November. The event will also see Khanacross star Toby Ivanovic makes his rallying debut in a Subaru Liberty.
Andrew Travis has entered the 2wd Gazelle in the Open Category and will push the 4wd vehicles to the limit.
The Classic Category will see Michael Valantine (1600) and PJ OKeefe (Escort) looking to challenge. Oberon winner Dave Hills in the PipeKIng Escort. Wagga’s Wade Ryan (180B) cannot be discounted and Peter Thompson (Celica) will be looking for a high finish to aid his series aspirations.
The Ladies class is set for a showdown as series co-leaders Amanda Williams (Mazda GTX) and Kim Day (Celica) go head to head. Tara McIlroy (Mazda GTX) and Jo Price (WRX) make up a strong and competitive field.
AMSAG always has a few unique cars competing and the Orange Rally will see a Dazda, BMW 2002, Triumph Stag and Plymouth PE all add much needed variety to the sport.
The event is fully catered, with competitors enjoying the social aspect of sharing breakfast, lunch and dinner with other competitors and team-members.
The Orange Race Club host the central service park, catering, scoring and presentation.
Competitor and spectator information is available via www.amsag.com.au
Like the AMSAG Pipe King Rally Series Facebook page for updates www.facebook.com/AMSAGRallySeries