In celebration of an entertaining CAMS Australian Rally Championship in 2018, rally.com.au took the time to recap the top 10 moments from the year.
From special debuts to triumphant returns to unforgettable moments, the 2018 ARC season provided fans with a variety of memories that will be etched into history.
Re-live the first instalment from the top-10 countdown recapping the year.
#10 - Late switch produces ARC title contender
The CAMS Australian Rally Championship’s opening round in Victoria provided a last minute twist no one saw coming, as Contel Communications’ team owner and driver Craig Brooks made a late decision to step down from driving duties.
Brooks, who had finished the previous year in decided to take on Team Manager duties for the 2018 season, officially handed over the responsibilities to his 2017 co-driver Steve Glenney.
The move paid instant dividends for Brooks as Glenney claimed second outright in the Victorian round before signalling his intention to be a genuine title contender for 2018.
#9 – R5 cars make ARC debut
The start of the 2018 CAMS Australian Rally Championship saw a new breed of machines compete on special stages around Australia, with the R5 Skoda Fabia entering the frame during the Make Smoking History Forest Rally.
It was the first time a R5 spec rally car had lined up in the ARC with Adrian Coppin and Eli Evans the two drivers behind the wheel of the Czech-manufactured car.
While Coppin took a little time to settle into the new car, Evans hit his straps straight away, producing three consecutive round victories in the R5, before sealing the title in the final round on the Coffs Coast.
#8 – ARC lights up The Bend
The anticipation was high ahead of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship’s South Australian round in September, after a major revamp of the event in 2018.
The Bend Motorsport Park’s inclusion into the schedule got everyone talking during the event’s lead up, with the newly built world-class circuit to host the rally’s opening special stage.
The attending crowd were treated to some highly entertaining racing, as Australia’s best rally drivers went head-to-head on a mixture of tarmac and gravel sections. Harry Bates managed to narrowly edge out Eli Evans to take the inaugural stage in dramatic fashion.
Bates carried his brilliant form into the next days, taking out the round in what was a fantastic start to one of the rallies of the year.
#7 - Triumphant ARC return to Tassie
In another location acknowledgment, the CAMS Australian Rally Championship made its long awaited return to the Apple Isle in 2018, with Tassie hosting it’s first rally in eight years.
The anticipated event was a hit for both spectators and competitors as thousands of Launceston locals attended Inveresk Super Special Stage to witness a 35-strong field put on a show.
The next two days of rally action saw drivers take on 240km of fast, wide and flowing roads in Launceston’s surrounding forests, with competitors also tackling a variety of roads which had been unused since the 1990s.
Eli Evans and Ben Searcy sealed their third consecutive ARC round for 2018, their final round win for the year, while Molly Taylor and Adrian Coppin rounded out the podium.
#6: Coral Taylor’s Nat Cap return
It was a move that few rally fans ever expected to see again, the formidable partnership of Bates and Taylor back behind the wheel of a Toyota.
However Coral Taylor was not joining her old partner in Neal Bates for the Neiter National Capital Rally, but instead joining his son Lewis, who needed a co-driver after Dale Moscatt was unable to attend the round.
Unfortunately Taylor’s much hyped return to the sport was short-lived, after the pair retired early on when the S2000 broke an oil line and suffered engine drama thanks to a heavy land on the second stage of the event.
Published: 8 January, 2019