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John McCredie

Moynihan Swaps Seats for Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally

By Caves Classic 2020, News, Rally
Moynihan in action at the Bulahdelah Rally. PHOTO: Gravel Pics

Eoin Moynihan is well known in rallying circles as the affable co-driver for Tom Demody. Dermody and Moynihan were the winners of the inaugural East Coast Classic Rally Series in 2018 in a Mk2 RS1800 Ford Escort.

However, whilst Moynihan may be experienced in calling the notes from the passenger side, he has also sat in the opposite seat, and back in 2014 and 2015 drove a Toyota Sprinter in a number of events.

On a few return trips to his Irish homeland, Moynihan competed as a driver in several rallies in a Mk 2 Classic Escort, built by his uncle. That car was recently imported into Australia and now Moynihan has entered it in the Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally.

“The Escort arrived in Australia in June,” Moynihan said. “We drove it at the Bulahdelah rally a few months ago, and the Caves Classic Rally is the first opportunity we’ve had to enter another event.”

“It’s a proper classic Escort rally car, with a BDG engine and ZF five speed and I can’t wait to have another drive of it.”

“I’ve actually driven in a rally up in the Black Springs area a few years ago in my Sprinter, and of course I’ve co-driven for Tom in a few previous Caves Classic rallies, so I know the area fairly well and I’m really looking forward to see the new roads that North Shore Sporting Car Club have included for this year,” Moynihan added.

The Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally is not the last event in 2020 that we will see Moynihan and co-driver John Brophy in the 1978 model Escort. They will back up their visit to the Oberon Forests with a trip to the Monaro Stages rally later in October.

“Tom and I were originally planning on doing the Monaro Stages in his Escort, but he’s since pulled it apart and decided not to do any more rallies in 2020. So, I’ve taken over his entry and we’ll hopefully do really well down on those roads,” Moynihan said.

But the partnership with Dermody is not over for 2020, with the pair planning on entering the Tarmac Adelaide Rally in November.

“As you might know, Tom now also has a Mk1 Escort and we are planning on entering the Adelaide Rally. This will be something new for us, but I’m really looking forward to trying out some tarmac rallying and I’ve heard a lot of good things about the event, so it should be a lot of fun,” concluded Moynihan.

The Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally will get underway on the 10th of October, starting in the Hoosier Service Park at the Oberon Rugby Leagues Football Club grounds at 11am.

Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally on track for 10th of October

By Caves Classic 2020, News, Rally

In just over two weeks, the Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally is set for some intense competition in both the MTA NSW Rally Championship and also the East Coast Classic Rally Series.

With 37 entries received to date, North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) are expecting a rush of entries over the next few weeks in the lead up to the second big rally in NSW since the COVID-19 Pandemic led to many event cancellations and postponements.

After successfully running the first round of the MTA NSW Series in July, NSSCC will be using the expertise gained in running a COVID safe event and applying it to the Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally.

“This is the first rally in NSW organised since restrictions were tightened following the second wave of the virus” said Jon Thomson, Event Director. “We could have easily just cancelled our event and waited until next year, but we felt we owed it to the rally community to get an event up and running as soon as we could.”

The event was originally planned to be conducted on the weekend of the 5th of September, however further restrictions were introduced by the NSW government and the event was postponed to the 10th of October.

“Since moving the date of the event, Oberon has had storms, rain and a massive dump of snow. Overall the roads are in fantastic condition and we think the drivers and co-drivers are going to love the new roads we’ve chosen in the Beemerang and Roberts State Forests”, Thomson added.

Tom Clarke in the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO at the 2019 Caves Classic Rally

The Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally will also be a round of the NSW Clubman Rally Series and this event will also be their second rally for 2020 after several cancellations of other events.

“With so much turmoil in the country from the virus pandemic, it’ll be great to see rally cars back in the Forest again. We’ve been putting a lot of effort into making sure this event is a success and we’re sure that it won’t disappoint”, Thomson concluded.

A fantastic range of businesses are putting their support behind the event, led by naming rights partner, Midstate Freight. A range of other partners are supporting individual stages and providing accommodation for officials. Hoosier will be the naming rights partner for the Service Park and our Club Partners: Shannons, GFB, Whiteline and Shamrock Haulage are all involved in the event. Lazer Lighting will be providing a lighting package as a prize for one lucky team who finish the event in the dark.

The event will start at 11am on Saturday the 10th of October at the Oberon Rugby Leagues Football Club.

Unseeded entries received as of 25th September:

Bethany Cullen / Mel Mcminn – Mitsubishi Evo 6.5 2000
Justin Griffin / Mathew Critchlow – Toyota Corolla 2002
Sean Mc Aloon / Muireann Hayes – Ford Escort 1979
Taylor Gill / Peter Harris / Dallas Gill – Subaru Wrx 1999
Alexander Neill / Joshua Neill – Hyundai Excel 1997
Tony Jordan / Richard Davidson – Triumph Stag 1974
Matthew Ruggles / Guy Ruggles – Triumph Tr7 V8 1980
Eoin Moynihan / John Brophy – Ford Escort 1978
Andrew Travis / David Travis – Nissan Gazelle 1984
Chris Giddins / Katie Giddins – Mitsubishi Evo Ix 2003
Chris Fitzgerald / Corey Bryant – Subaru Impreza 2000
Jamie Neale / Tommi Flegl – Honda Civic 1999
Sid Sparkes / Paul Fletcher – Datsun 1600 1971
Benjamin Vanzyl / Nadine Bucher – Hyundai Excel 1998
Tony Sullens / Kaylie Newell – Citroen Ds3 2012
Andrew Penny / Rhys Llewellyn – Subaru Wrx 1995
Robert Gorst / Wesley Gorst – Datsun P510 1971
Peter Thompson / Ken Hind – Toyota Ra 23 Celica 1976
Mal Keough / Andrew (Pip) Bennett – Audi Quattro S1 E2 Replica 1985
Tim Joass / Peter Joass – Mitsubishi Evo 2 1994
Evan Bollard / Phillip Bonser – Mazda Rx2 1972
P.j. O’keeffe / Tba Tba – Ford Escort 1978
Jake Bramble / Josh Love – Datsun 1600 1969
Riley Walters / Jeffery Williamson – Subaru Wrx 2007
Michael Stewart / Matthew Portus – Subaru Wrx Sti 1997
Terry Gunter / Stephen Newell – Ford Escort Mk2 1975
Phillip Chisholm / Peter Stringfellow – Nissan Skyline 1988
Ron Moore / Jo Moore – Mitsubishi Evolution Vi 1998
Edward Mulligan / Robert Males – Ford Escort 1978
Tom Clarke / Jim Gleeson – Mitsubishi Evo 9 2003
Chris Jaques / Hugh Taylor – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 2001
Michael Curtin / Pierce Lennon – Datsun 1600 1972
Nathan Quinn / Ray Winwood-Smith – Mazda Rx2 1970
Declan Foley / Ken Murphy – Volkswagon Golf 1996
Brian O Neill / Mac Kierans – Ford Mk 11 1979
Ron Mckinnon / Steve Mckinnon – Mitsubishi L A Lancer 1976
Joe Chapman / Adrian Grabham – Subaru Wrx 1997

CLUB LEVEL AND JUNIOR MOTORSPORT SUFFERS CRUEL BLOW

By Rallysprint, Twilight Rallysprint

The popular Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint Series held over summer at the Sydney Dragway appears to have joined the long list of cancelled events in 2020, but not because of the current COVID pandemic.

The event, organised by the North Shore Sporting Car Club, has had a key focus on the safe development of Junior drivers and driving skills and the Rallysprint series has run successfully for the last 8 years.

Whilst the event is hotly contested by some of Australia’s leading drivers it is also extremely popular with beginners and junior drivers. The event even attracting support from a major vehicle manufacturer committed to the development of safe driving standards.

However, yesterday the club was given with the disappointing news that the dates were no longer viable and there were no suitable alternatives for the coming season.

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“Publicity had already begun and we had received several entries for the first round on the 8th of October, but at this stage the event will not proceed at its current venue” said Brett Middleton, the President of North shore Sporting Car Club.

“Disappointingly, we also no longer have access to a grassed area leased from Sydney Dragway for holding Motorkana’s and Gymnkana’s.” added Middleton. The grassed area will be used to re-locate excavations from extensions to the car park in the main Dragway complex.

The club now hopes that through the support of the NSW Office of Sport and the Western Sydney Parklands Trust that it can recover and rebuild for the future.

“We hope for a solution to provide better access to club level motorsport within the new master plan for the motorsport precinct,” concluded Middleton.

Background

The Whiteline Tarmac Rallysprint series is a closed motorsport event held within the confines of Sydney Dragway, using the bitumen car parks and access roads. The Rallysprint series is held on Thursday nights, during the daylight savings summer months. Typically renting the venue at a time and day of the week that does not interfere with other events.

The Rallysprint won the Best Motorsport event in NSW for 2019 at the Motorsport Australia annual awards and on average attracts over 450 entries per annum. Approximately half are either under 18 years old or motorsport beginners looking for a safe venue to learn driving skills. The event injects over $700,000 annually into the NSW motoring economy.

The club’s other location started as an unused parcel of Dragway land that the Club developed for use as a successful junior Training facility for safer driving. Children and teenagers as young as 12 can safely learn to drive at this facility under the guidance of experienced motorsport mentors and governance of Motorsport Australia.

The Dragway leases the land from the Western Sydney Parklands Trust.

Partners Support Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally

By Caves Classic 2020

North Shore Sporting Car Club today formally announced a range of partners for the Caves Classic Rally to be conducted on the 5th of September. The event is Round 2 of the Motor Traders Association of NSW Rally Championship.

Midstate Freight will be the naming rights partner and business owners Ray and Michael Winwood-Smith think that the event is a perfect partnership for their Bathurst based company.

“We are stoked to be involved in the rally” said Ray Winwood-Smith. “The event uses some of the best roads in the country and I for one can’t wait to see rally cars back in some forests that haven’t been used in years.”

“Our business is based close by in Bathurst, so the rally is the perfect opportunity for us to get involved. We provide local, national and international express freight services to central-west NSW, so the rally is right in the middle of our customer base” added Winwood-Smith.

Lazer High Performance lighting has also given their support to the event and will provide a rally light package as a prize. Former rally competitor and Lazer Lighting Regional Manager, Kirk Marks is looking forward to the two night stages on offer.

“Our brand works perfectly with a rally that has night stages” Marks said. “Because we manufacture and sell rally lights, the Caves Classic Rally is the perfect opportunity for us to showcase our range of lights. I’m also really looking forward to giving away some of our product at the podium” Marks added.

Several other brands and businesses have put their support behind the event including Hoosier Tires Australia who will be the Service Park Partner.

The nine special stages will be supported by Shamrock Haulage, SSS Automotive, SW Motorsport, Premier Pools, Premier Panel Beating and Specialised Brake and Clutch Service Penrith.

The Big Trout Motor Inn, Titania Motel, Royal Hotel, Jenolan Holiday Park and Hathaway Accommodation are also supporting the event with accommodation and rally teams are encouraged to use the official accommodation providers and mention the event when booking.

The rally will be based out of the NSW town of Oberon with the Hoosier Service park located at the Oberon Rugby League Football Club.

Accommodation Partners Announced

By Caves Classic 2020, News

Several leading Accommodation facilities in Oberon have joined the Midstate Freight Caves Classic Rally as Partners. These Partners are getting ready for the weekend of the 5th of September with deals available for Rally Teams and Officials.

Hathaway Accommodation
Contact Vicki on 0408 228 846 to book

Hathaway has 13 Rooms all with ensuite and 3 communal Kitchens. Queen Deluxe Rooms are $125 per night and King Single Rooms are $115 per night.

Hawkes Rest

Contact Vicki on 0408 228 846 to book special rally rates
Hawkes Rest is a 4 bedroom house in Oberon with 4 Queen beds and 2 Single Beds. 4 nights is $1,000 (normally $1800) or 2 nights is $700 (normally $930).

https://business.facebook.com/hawkesrest/

Big Trout Motor Inn

Contact Pav and Chandra Ratnan on 0428 714 236
The Big Trout Motor Inn is in the township of Oberon, with 33 ground floor units, there are facilities to suit everyone. Two units in the complex also have luxurious spa baths

http://www.bigtrout.com.au/
bigtroutmotel@gmail.com

Titania Motel

Contact Brad Gorrell on 02 6336 1377
The Titania Motel is situated close to Oberon Town Centre and has a fully licensed restaurant offering both Indian and Australian meals. Rally guests are welcome and are well catered for.

https://titaniamotel.com.au/
reception@titaniamotel.com.au

Royal Hotel

Contact Amber on 02 6336 1011
Accommodation is comfortable and simply styled to create an inviting country feel.  The Hotel itself is conveniently located in the centre of Oberon

https://royalhoteloberon.com.au/
office@royalhoteloberon.com.au

Jenolan Holiday Park

Book and pay online. Jenolan Holiday Park offers a range of accommodation in Oberon to suit rally groups and families. Relax in the peaceful environment and enjoy the modern facilities

https://www.jenolanholidaypark.com.au/
jenolancaravanpark@bigpond.com

Toyota stamp their name on the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay

By News, Rally of the Bay 2020

Harry Bates and John McCarthy have won the 2020 AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay, taking the win convincingly over teammate and brother Lewis Bates with co-driver Anthony McLoughlin. Bates was in the Toyota Yaris AP4 rally car that also took him to victory in the 2019 Australian Rally Championship.

“A really tough day, the roads were very challenging, but very happy to be here and have the win” Bates said at the end of the final stage on River Road. “It’s a really challenging road, even in the day, but at night it was even more challenging.” added Bates.

Bates led from the start, winning every stage, and ending the event with a one minute and twenty second margin over the other Toyota Yaris AP4, driven by Lewis Bates.

“It’s been a really good day,” said Lewis. “It’s good to be back in the car, it’s been nine months since we’ve done a rally. We’ve got a bit of homework to do to catch Harry, but we’ve had a solid day and we’re happy with second,” Lewis added.

On the third podium position was Victorians Darren Windus and Joe Brkic in a Subaru WRX STi. Windus was battling with his son Arron for outright positions when the younger Windus went off the road in special stage 4.

“We’ve had an absolute gem of a time,” Windus said sitting in the car after just completing the final stage. “It’s probably a good result by the look of it today too, so that makes it all worth it” he continued.

In the East Coast Classic Rally Series, Mal Keogh and Andrew Bennett came out on top to win the Classic section by almost 4 minutes in an Audi Quattro S1. Keogh also finished well in the outright results with eighth place.

The two-wheel drive victory went to Tony Sullens and Kaylie Newell in a Citroen DS3. Whilst the front wheel drive car is at a disadvantage against its four-wheel drive counterparts, Sullens drove the small pocket rocket into sixth outright.

“Wow, is all I can say” Sullens said. “It’s the best field we’ve ever seen in a state rally in the history of Australia I reckon, and a top six I’ll take any day” he continued.

“I’ve driven as fast as I’ve driven in all my life today and I’m really happy and rewarded. I’ve found new levels of comfort with the car, so it’s good.” Sullens said.

The next round of the MTA NSW Rally Championship is the Caves Classic Rally on September the 5th in the Oberon district.

Full results are available online at ChrisSport

Narooma Rally winner to take on AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay

By News, Rally of the Bay 2020

Jamie Price and Maisie Place will line up at the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay this weekend in a MkII Ford Escort. The pair had a series of strong results last season, most notably claiming outright honours in the NSW South Coast based Narooma Forest Rally.

The Rally of the Bay, also held in the Eurobodalla Shire, gives teams the option to choose to use a basic roadbook with route charts or more complex and detailed pace-notes. Price and Place have chosen to use the route charted option, often called a ‘Blind Rally’, which from previous form shows they will be up for a great result.

The Rally of the Bay was originally to be the second round of the Motor Traders Association NSW Rally Championship, but with the COVID Pandemic putting a stop to all motorsport, the event will now be the first round and also the first rally to run in Australia since COVID.

Even though there has been extra time to get rally cars prepared, many teams have been waiting months to get into the forests.

“We’re really happy about our first rally for the year,” Price said. “The car has a new gearbox fitted for me to try out but other than that, it’s how it was at Narooma. We aren’t too fussed about results, we’re just really just hoping for a clean run and get out there and enjoy ourselves,” Price added.

Place is also looking forward to being back in the car and competing in the Batemans Bay Forests.

“I’m really excited to be back in the car with Jamie,” Place said. “This is the first we’ve competed since our victory at Narooma last year. We’re hoping we can pull together a similar result, but we’re really just excited to be back out there and competing.

“There’s a very strong and impressive line-up for Rally of the Bay, so it’ll definitely be an exciting rally. There’s been such a big break between events, so I’m very excited to finally be back in a rally car,” Place concluded.

The AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is based in Batemans Bay, with Head Quarters at the Coachhouse Marina Resort and supported by the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centre.

Richie Rallying to Support Batemans Bay

By News, Rally of the Bay 2020

Shamrock Motorsport driver, Richie Dalton, will be looking to make it three wins in a row when he heads to Batemans Bay on the weekend of the 4th of July for the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay.

Dalton and co-driver, Dale Moscatt, have won the event for the past two years and despite a very competitive line up at this years event, they are hoping for yet another victory.

The factory Toyota Gazoo Racing team will launch a two-car assault at the Rally of the Bay and are likely to be Dalton’s biggest rivals. The Toyota’s showed great speed last season, but Dalton’s confidence is high, and he knows his Ford Fiesta Proto can be competitive if everything goes right on the day.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced a halt to motorsport across the country, with the Rally of the Bay being the first rally event back on the calendar. The long wait for a start to the rally season has contributed to a large contingent of teams from across Australia including competitors from Melbourne, Brisbane and even as far away as central Queensland.

“Firstly, it’s great to have rallying back, and the organisers of the Rally of the Bay have done an incredible job to get the rally up and running,” Dalton said.

“The Batemans Bay region has had it tough over the last six months – first with bushfires and now with Coronavirus – so we’re all looking forward to visiting the region and helping to support local businesses.

“We’re coming for a purpose though, and that’s to try and win the rally for a third time, which will be tough against such strong competition.

“We’ve done our preparation though, and after a test session in the car on Thursday we’ll be ready to give it our best shot.”

Dalton is member of the organising club, North Shore Sporting Car Club and also a big supporter of the Rally of the Bay. His business, Shamrock Haulage, sponsoring stage four, the ‘Follow the River’ special stage along the extremely popular River Rd.

Dalton will carry the number one door sticker for the event, a reward for winning the 2019 running of the Rally. However, he will start second on the road behind reigning Australian Champion, Harry Bates in a Toyota Yaris AP4.

“I’m delighted to have been able to keep the number one on the door, despite the Australian Rally Champion being in the field,” Dalton added.

“I feel like we have earned the right to have it for the event, and it’s proved to be good luck in the past, so hopefully that’s a good omen.”

The Shamrock Motorsport Ford Fiesta will be sporting a brand new ‘Irish’ themed livery for the Rally of the Bay, which has already drawn a lot of attention from rally fans on social media.

“Hopefully the crew perform as well as the car looks,” Dalton added.

“The Rally of the Bay is an event that both Dale and I really enjoy, and we can’t wait to hit the stages on Saturday morning,” Dalton concluded.

Outback challenger getting practice at AMH Automotive Group Rally Of The Bay

By News, Rally of the Bay 2020

Michael Ward at the Classic Outback Trial in 2018 – PHOTO Ian Smith

Michael Ward Rallysport is looking forward to getting back out in the dirt at the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay.

Driver Michael Ward and Co-Driver John Fraser will be using the event to start preparations for this year’s Classic Outback Trial scheduled for later this year in November.

“It’s great to be able to get back into the driver’s seat,” Ward said. “We’re using this event to start our preparations for the last Classic Outback Trial (COT) which has been moved to early November,” he added.

Because the COT is a ‘blind event’, the team will be running the Rally of the Bay using the Roadbook rather than choosing the pacenote option.

“Seat time, and practice reading the road at competition speed is what’s needed for us leading up to the COT. With limited events this year, we’re grateful the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is on schedule,” Michael said.

Co-Driver, John Fraser teamed up with Michael for the 2016 running of the Classic Outback Trial where they finished first in class. Fraser was then back for the 2018 running of the outback event, as well as the Alpine Rally of East Gippsland in 2017 and 2019.

The team will be running their venerable 1976 Toyota Corolla TE37 replica built in 2013 specifically for long distance rallies. The 1600cc 2TG engine has a ‘poor man’s close ratio’ gearbox from a Lexus IS200 allowing the correct ratio for any situation. However, the smooth roads at the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay won’t be giving the MCA Gold suspension its usual workout!

Ward, based in Melbourne, started rallying back in the late seventies, ‘retired’ in 1986, having completed the State Bank Discovery Trial, and then returned to the sport in 2010. He has always had a keen interest in trials and long distance rally events.

Fraser, from Orange, NSW, has been navigating since his late teens, guiding many notable drivers. He is also an accomplished driver, winning the NSW Rally Championship class N2 twice, was second in the 1996 ARC to the works Daihatsu team (by 1 point!) and won his class in the 1996 Playstation Round Australia Trial.

The AMH Automotive Rally of the Bay will be conducted in the Forest surrounding Batemans Bay on the 4th of July.

Marco Jansen adds AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay to his bucket list

By News, Rally of the Bay 2020

The Central Queensland pairing of Marco Jansen and Cameron McIntosh are making an epic 19-hour journey to compete at the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay.

Jansen has been competing in rally events for many years, starting in a Golf Mark 1 and progressing through VW competition cars until purchasing his current car, an ex-works VW Polo. Having now owned this car for several years and with work commitments that have kept him out of the driver’s seat, the Rockhampton driver is keen to get back into racing.

After putting the VW Polo back together and desperately needing a rally inspired rush of adrenalin, the goal of getting to the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay was set.

“I’ve travelled through the Batemans Bay area over recent years,” Jansen said. “I’ve serviced for other competitors at rally events, so I’ve definitely put the Rally of the Bay high on my bucket list of things to do.”

“The quality of the roads used for the rally, plus the organisation of the event itself and the general comradery helped me make up my mind that I wanted to do it,” Jansen said.

The horrendous end of 2019 and terrible start to 2020, with fires, rain and COVID having a huge impact on people in the area, this was the ideal chance to give back and at the same time get some competitive miles under his belt.

“We’ve got a few extra challenges in the way for us having to travel all the way down from Central Queensland. For us to attend the event and be able to meet all the restrictions related to COVID, like social distancing, border securities, plus all the systems and controls put in place by the rally organisers hasn’t really dampened my enthusiasm at all,” Jansen said.

“Even with all these new requirements to rally, it isn’t putting me off at all. Bring on the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay 2020.” Jansen said as he packed ready for the long drive to Batemans Bay.

Teaming up with co-driver Cameron McIntosh, from Gladstone in Central Queensland, the team are looking forward to some good roads, tall stories, and great competition.

The AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay will be held on Saturday the 4th of July in Batemans Bay, NSW.