MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

Classics set to excite at Quit Forest Rally

Fans, both young and old, are in for a treat when some of Australia’s best classic rally cars descend on the Busselton foreshore and Nannup forest to contest the three day long event from 27 – 29 March.

Neil Bates
Neil Bates

Led by Bates, Taylor and their Toyota Celica RA40, classic rallying is in the midst of an resurgence and takes the sport back to basics – great cars that sound and look fantastic providing the ultimate spectacle for fans out in the forest.

“I haven’t been to the Quit Forest Rally for the last few years due to a clash with Rally Otago in New Zealand so I am really looking forward to being back in Western Australia as this event is one of the best Australian Rally Championship (ARC) rounds in the country,” Bates said.

“It is always a challenging event as the roads around Nannup are unbelievably slippery, it only took me about 20 years to get used to them but I really enjoy them now,” Bates said. “In a rear wheel drive car they are even more hard work – but a lot of fun – and spectators can expect a lot of sideways action and wheel spin.”

While there are still some teams waiting to confirm their entry, the competition for the classic trophy is set to be one of the most hotly contested in recent years.

Clay Badenoch, behind the wheel of a second Bates Motorsport prepared Toyota Celica RA40, and regular classic podium contender Trevor Stilling (Datsun Stanza) will also be contesting the event, making the journey to WA for the first time.

“We had to make some decisions about which rounds we could contest this year and the Quit Forest Rally was top of the list,” Badenoch said. “I have great memories of attending the World Rally Championship in Perth 15 years ago and I’ve heard so much about the event from all the competitors in the ARC so it was a must do event for us this year.”

“Everyone talks about how challenging the roads are because of the ball-bearing surface so we can’t wait to get out in the forest and give it a real good go – I’ve just got to remember to stay on the line and out of the loose gravel,” he laughed.

Bates and Badenoch are also hopeful Jeff David (Porsche) will join them in the forest.

“I spoke to Jeff the other day and it would be great if he can make the journey over West. The Porsche gets incredible traction and was extremely quick the last time we competed against each other in WA (2012) which made for a great competition,” Bates said.

The 2015 Quit Forest Rally will be the 15th running of the event in the Busselton region. The event will be the second round of the ECB Australian Rally Championship, as well as the opening rounds of the West Australian Rally Championship and the West Australian Clubman Cup and is set to attract the nation’s best rally, side-by-side and moto competitors.

Entries for the event close on March 5 2015