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YOUNG DRIVERS STEP UP TO THE WRC CHALLENGE FOR RALLY AUSTRALIA

Local talent to showcase ability at Rally Australia - Photo: Supplied

Local talent to showcase ability at Rally Australia – Photo: Supplied

Several of Australia and New Zealand fastest young talents will again step up to run alongside the worlds best in WRC competition at Rally Australia in November.

Even though they are not expected to challenge for outright honours, Australians Harry Bates, Molly Taylor, Brendan Reeves and Nathan Quinn and New Zealander Mike Young have confirmed their plans to enter the event and benchmark their ability as part of the part of a world championship event in Coffs Coast.

Rally organisers are encouraging as many other local drivers to enter as possible.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for regional competitors. It’s a full FIA World Championship event, but anyone who is appropriately licensed and has an eligible car can enter. That’s not something you can do in many other motorsport disciplines,” said Rally Australia’s sporting chief, Clerk of Course Wayne Kenny.

“What young driver wouldn’t dream of competing in a grand prix or at Bathurst? Rally Australia will make it possible for these five young drivers and many others to live their dreams.

“They are proof there’s enormous talent in rallying in Australia and New Zealand. Harry, Molly, Brendan, Mike and Nathan are all at different stages in their WRC journeys, but hopefully the experience at Rally Australia will turbo-charge their
paths.”

Harry Bates competing in Rally Australia in 2016 - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Harry Bates competing in Rally Australia in 2016 – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Harry Bates, current Australian Rally Championship point leader, is expected to lead the local charge in his second attempt at Rally Australia this year. This year he’ll behind the wheel of his new Toyota Yaris AP4 car and is regarded as one of Australia’s brightest rally prospects, although is yet to showcase his talent internationally.

Fresh off the back of his win in the Coromandel Rally in New Zealand, in which he beat WRC Hyundai factory driver Hayden Paddon, Victorian driver Brendan Reeves also announced he will be at the event to showcase his ability. Reeves has accrued plenty of international experience recently working with the on the gravel notes crew for Paddon in the
Hyundai Motorsport factory team.

Brendan Reeves in last years Rally Australia - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Brendan Reeves in last years Rally Australia – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Subaru’s Molly Taylor wrote history last year as the first woman to win the Australian Rally Championship at last years Rally Australia, will look to replace that result again this year, as she currently sits just three points behind Bates in this years championship.

Coffs Harbour local, Nathan Quinn, is a veteran of Rally Australia having competed in everyone since the event moved to his home town. Quinn even stepped up to compete in a WRC spec Mini John Cooper Works car in 2013 when he finished eighth outright. This year he’ll be running his own Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX that he took to victory in the NSW Rally Championship last year.

Molly Taylor won the Australian Rally Championship at last years Rally Australia - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Molly Taylor won the Australian Rally Championship at last years Rally Australia – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

New Zealander Mike Young, who proved his talent in Asia Pacific Rally Championship will make his WRC debut at Rally Australia behind the wheel of a Citroen DS3 this year.

It’s also been confirmed that Rally Australia will again be shown on free to air TV after an agreement was reached with Channel Nine with a 90-minute show to be broadcast live from the final forest stage.

We’ll have more details about what to expect from Rally Australia in the next issue of Auto Action magazine, on sale next week. In the meantime follow us on social media FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all the latest updates between issues.