A FORMER Targa Tasmania winner and proven winners from the Rallying scene will boost an already feisty RXAus Australian RallyCross championship grid this weekend at Marulan, in country New South Wales.
Former Targa Tasmania winner Steve Glenney will add his name to the list of likely contenders, the TechSport team entering a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 for the motorsport all-rounder.
Glenney will join round one winner Will Orders and 4WD Open class leader Justin Dowel in the best RXAus field yet – and perhaps the best seen in domestic RallyCross in years.
South Australian Glenney won the RS Challenge in the Australian Rally Championship, the ARC Privateers Cup and has also competed in circuit racing at the Bathurst 12 Hour and in Production Car Racing, alongside his success in the 2008 Targa Tasmania rally.
He’s no stranger to RallyCross, either – having won the International RallyCross event in New Zealand last year and beating ex-WRC driver Alistair McRae at an event at Lakeside last year.
“I think RallyCross is one of the most enjoyable forms of motorsport, it combines all the various disciplines in the one area,” Glenney said.
“In one event you get the tarmac racing, gravel, great side by side racing and really good competition. After a 5 minute race you get out of the car huffing and puffing, that’s for sure.
“It’s exciting to see the names entered for this weekend. Darren (Windus) and I go way back to the RX Challenge days, and it’s great to see his son racing as well. There’s some great names and it should be a very challenging and competitive weekend.”
Glenney said his RallyCross experience last year has set the scene for his return this weekend.
“It gave me a great taste for it. In Queensland Alistair McRae and I raced wheel to wheel all day but got out of the car and high fived each other, no matter who won,” he explained.
“It’s a great spectacle. Everyone can see the action and even though it’s really competitive and challenging, there doesn’t need to be biff and barge to get a result so it’s really the best of both worlds.
“I’m excited to team up with Jeff Beaumont and the TechSport guys. I’ve known them for a long time and they build a great car and a great engine so it’s always a great experience to drive with them.”
Glenney won’t be the only rally winner joining the field, with the Victorian father-and-son duo of Darren and Arron Windus also set to compete this weekend.
Both winners of Victorian Rally Championship events, Darren will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 while his son will take over the Mazda 2 that starred at round one in the hands of Michael Coyne.
Arron has recently returned from the UK and his role as a junior driver for the works Vauxhall Rally team.
Ex-pat Irish driver Richie Dalton will join the series in an ex-works VW Polo S2000, the Shamrock Motorsport driver having finished on the podium in ARC events in the past and set to be another outright contender this weekend.
Round 1 winner Will Orders (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO) and close rival Justin Dowel (Hyundai I30) will both return, as will the pair of young stars from the opening round six weeks ago.
Teenagers Sean Bolger and Troy Dowel battled furiously in the season opener and will return for another crack this weekend – racing head-to-head in the 4WD production class in their VW Polo’s, while Dowel also tackles the 2WD class in his Ford Fiesta.
Dowel has just returned from the RX Academy in Europe, and narrowly edged out Bolger for the win in 4WD production at the opening round.
Mike Conway’s screaming Ford Escort RS Cosworth will also return to the 2WD class following an outstanding, giant-killing performance at the opening round.
Meanwhile, the addition of a dedicated class for Hyundai Excel cup cars adds another level of competition to the RXAus ranks this weekend.
Immensely popular in both Rallying and circuit racing, the Excel class offers the most affordable entry-level competition to RallyCross competition. Several cars are expected to contest the class this weekend.
Will Orders won the all-in SuperFinal at the opening round, while Justin Dowel (open AWD), Michael Coyne (Open 2WD), Troy Dowel (Production AWD) and Mike Conway (Production 2WD) won their respective classes.
Entry to the Marulan circuit, located 15 minutes from Goulburn, 60 minutes from Canberra and 1hr45 from Sydney, is free this Sunday with action commencing at 9am.
A final entry list will be released prior to the round this weekend.
WORDS: Richard Craill / Race Torque Media
IMAGE: Race Torque Media