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All new route for AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay

By Events, Rally of the Bay 2021, Spectators, Wheelspin

The route for the 2021 AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay has been finalised and crews who have entered the pace noted component of the event are now able to begin their reconnaissance.

The route for this year’s event is significantly different to the previous few years with some fantastic stages set to be used in the forests surrounding Batemans Bay. In setting the route, Road Director John McCredie has gone back to using some of the roads that the Rally of the Bay became renowned for.

“It’s quite a different route” McCredie said. “The weather events over the past 12 month’s combined with the bush fires at the beginning of 2020 have meant we needed to change the route this year”.

“So, we looked around at different options and decided to use a few roads that the event hasn’t used for many years, like Ridge Road and Dog Trap Road on the Eastern Side of the Princes Highway, just to the west of Batehaven. This has also allowed us to add a Spectator Point just 5 minutes from town”.

“We initially planned on using River Road again, but there were sections that weren’t up to the quality we are known to deliver. Plus, it’s sometimes good to consider the residents in choosing roads and this year we decided that because parts of River Road were corrugated, it was a good chance to give the residents a rally free year”, McCredie concluded.

8 Stage Event

The event will use four stages, each repeated to provide a total of 8 stages.

The AGI Roll Cages Dog Trap 1 and Premier Panel Beating Dog Trap 2 stage is an 8.6km run with flowing corners along the ridge at the top of the spur behind Batehaven.

The Shamrock Haulage Buckenbowra 1 and Activ Rallysport Buckenbowra 2 stage re-uses the end of the 2020 “run to Mogo” stage in reverse, before turning right into Ross Ridge Road. This part of the stage is a downhill roller-coaster, with blind crests and sweeping bends to the flying finish.

The Techworkz Automotive Western Distributor 1 and SW Motorsport Western Distributor 2 stage starts in Wallaby Road before turning right into Western Distributor Road for 21km of technical sections and fast sweeping bends. The stage ends at Mares Hill Road and is sure to be a favourite with drivers.

The Premier Pools Clyde Ridge 1 and Brumby Bar & Grill Clyde Ridge 2 stage uses the best sections of the 2020 Drury stage except in reverse, a flowing fast section on wide forgiving roads. The stage then turns hard left into Lyons Road for a technical downhill section to the Flying Finish.

The AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is set to take place on Saturday the 17th of July in the forests surrounding Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast. The first car will be flagged away from Corrigan’s Beach Reserve in Batehaven at 8:45am.

Big field set to start the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay

By Events, News, Rally of the Bay 2021, Wheelspin

Mal Keough in the Audi Quattro – Photo Roy Meuronen

Almost 60 entries have so far been received for the 2021 AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay, less than a week after entries were officially opened for the popular event based in the Eurobodalla Shire, on the NSW South Coast.

The event has a maximum field of 90 and with many outright contenders on the list, the rally is going to be a spectacular show with several teams capable of winning.

The rally will be the second round of the MTA NSW Rally Championship, after the Bega Rally was forced to postpone its event in June. The event will also be a promotional round of the Motorsport Australian Rally Championship (ARC). It is expected that many ARC teams will use the event as a test before their next championship round gets underway in Tasmania later in the year.

The list of outright contenders for the NSW Rally Championship is headed by former Australian Rally Champion and 2019 East Coast Classic Rally Series winner Nathan Quinn with Ray Winwood-Smith in the Co-driver’s seat. Quinn won the opening round of the NSW series and will be looking to make it two in a row.

Another contender for victory in the NSW Series is Richie Dalton and Dale Moscatt in a Neal Bates Motorsport Toyota Yaris AP4. The pairing from Sydney have won the event in the past and will be looking to improve their 2nd outright position in the NSW Championship.

Whilst Chris Higgs is yet to enter the rally, it is expected that he and co-driver Steve Fisher will be lined up at the start to defend and improve on their third outright position in the NSW Championship. Higgs will be driving his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 6 and is just 3 points behind Dalton.

Other teams capable of winning the NSW Championship component of the event include Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston in a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 and last year’s champions Tony Sullens and Kaylie Newell in a Subaru WRX.

The Promotional ARC status of the event has also attracted the Toyota Gazoo Racing team of Harry Bates/John McCarthy and Lewis Bates/Anthony Mcloughlin who have both entered in Toyota Yaris AP4’s. Luke Annear and Andy Sarandis are also entered in their Ford Fiesta R5.

The Activ Rallysport Team from Melbourne is also sending a contingent of drivers including JJ Hatton/John Allen in a Hyundai i20 G4 and Troy Dowell/Bernie Webb in a Volkswagen Polo.

Rally fans are also in for a treat with Tom Dermody and Eoin Moynihan entered in the Ford Escort RS1800. They headline the many classic cars that are older than 30 years showing up for the East Coast Classic 2WD Rally Series. But they will have stiff competition from the likes of Andrew Penny and Rhys Llewellyn in a Nissan 240RS, who have swapped from their Subaru WRX after an accident at the previous round of the ARC.

Mal Keough and Jacci Sharkey are entered in the ever-spectacular Audi Quattro S1 and will be the first of the East Coast Classic 4WD Rally Series cars to start the event. Keough is leading the 4WD ECCRS and is also sitting in 5th position in the NSW Rally Championship.

“It’s great to see so many entries in the first week”, said Event Manager Nigel Bland. “We’re really looking forward to seeing who else enters, and we’re likely to have a full field of 90 cars so it’s going to be quite an exciting event”, Bland added.

The AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is set to take place on Saturday the 17th of July in the forests surrounding Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast. The first car will be flagged away from Corrigan’s Beach Reserve in Batehaven at 8:45am.

Entries Received

10 Years Ago – Success for Molly Taylor in British Rally

By Events, News, Rally, Wheelspin

We head back 10 years to June 2011, for a look at club member Molly Taylor’s early success…

They say ‘third time lucky’ and it has proved true for Australian rally driver, Molly Taylor, who has posted a confidence-building result in the third round of the British Rally Championship after posting DNFs on the previous two rounds.

The 22-year-old Sydneysider and her Queensland-born co-driver Rebecca Smart finished second in the Fiesta Trophy in their Fiesta R2 and 13th outright in the Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle.

The pair were in 21st outright after the first two stages of the event, run on Friday, April 29, and then slowly made their way through the ranks during a marathon 10-stage battle on Saturday.

“The roads were so fast and I really enjoyed driving them,” Molly says. “We had two flats in the morning stages on Saturday, but made a lot of progress in the afternoon. We’re really happy to get a BRC event finished after our bad luck in the previous two. The next goal was to be in the top three in the Fiesta Trophy and we finished second, so we’re extremely happy!”

The Aussie duo had a marathon six-hour drive to London as soon as they finished the British round so they could catch a flight to Italy for this weekend’s second round of the 2011 WRC Academy Cup. It will be run during the full WRC Rally d’Italia Sardegna (May 5-8).

There are three full days of competition in Sardinia but the Academy field will contest just two days. They spend the third day with their Academy tutors, reviewing their performance in readiness for the next round.

The two Australians are hoping to improve on the eighth position they posted during their debut in the first event of the Academy Cup, the Rally de Portugal in March.
All Academy competitors drive identical Ford Fiesta R2s with a Pirelli control tyre. Molly has bought an identical car for the British series, to ensure better preparation for the ‘main game’.

The British event started and finished at Carlisle Racecourse, kicking off with two 11km runs through Newcastleton Forest on Friday evening, punctuated by an autograph signing event in Newcastleton village centre. Following the overnight halt, a further 127km, split into 10 competitive stages, were tackled on Saturday, all of them taking place over the dry and dusty gravel roads in Kielder Forest.

The fourth round of the Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship sees teams swap from gravel to asphalt roads, when they head north of the Scottish border for the Kelso-based Jim Clark International Rally on May 27-28.

Visit Molly's Website

AMH Automotive Group gets behind Rally of the Bay

By Events, News, Rally, Rally of the Bay 2021, Wheelspin

The AMH Automotive Group have once again thrown their support behind the Rally of the Bay, taking on naming rights partnership for one final year. Their support of the North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) event has stretched back for over five years, and the event has become synonymous with the AMH branding.

“AMH has been our naming rights partner for many years now, and we can’t thank them enough for their support”, Club President Brett Middleton said. “The support we receive from AMH and Dealer-Principle Jade Cowan has been tremendous and really helped our event become the success that it is”.

“As we head into the final year of our partnership, we look back on all the great things we have achieved together. AMH run a highly successful car dealership in multiple locations on the south coast and they also have a four-wheel drive accessories business and tyre dealership. Last year, those businesses were able to assist our club donate a Colorado Ute to local group that had been helping with the bush fire recovery. They really are a community minded business and we’ve been able to build a great relationship with them”, Middleton added.

“Together with AMH, our rally event has had some big milestones, especially last year when we were the first rally in Australia to happen after the COVID lockdowns. And this year we join the Australian Rally Championship as a promotional event. Our rally really has grown with the help of AMH and our other partners”, Middleton concluded.

The AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is set to take place on Saturday the 17th of July in the forests surrounding Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast. The first car will be flagged away from Corrigan’s Beach Reserve in Batehaven at 8:45am.

Motorsport Australia Officials Training

By Events, News, Wheelspin

Are you looking to become an official and would like to do an official Motorsport Australia training module?

Motorsport Australia and the NSW State Officiating Panel are again running face-to-face Officials Training.  These face-to-face courses are now being focused on those courses not available online. These course include:

  • Bronze Scrutiny
  • Bronze Steward
  • Bronze Fire & Rescue
  • Silver Module
  • Upskilling

There are courses being run at Sydney Motorsport Park, Wakefield Park, Bathurst and Tamworth and can be run in more areas as needed.
To stay across all upcoming courses or to register interest in courses that are not listed but you would like to be run, click the button below to be taken to the Officials Training Registration form.

Register Online

For NSSCC members wanting to complete other Bronze officials courses, you can access the LMS training site through the Motorsport Australia Member Portal.

For information regarding Officials Training please see our Officials Training and Upgrading page.

Training Page

If you have any other queries about officials training or would like to know more, you can contact Motorsport Australia at officials@motorsport.org.au

Supplementary Regulations released and entries open for AMH Auto Group Rally of the Bay

By Events, News, Rally, Rally of the Bay 2021, Wheelspin

The supplementary regulations for the AMH Rally of the Bay have been released and entries are now open for the North Shore Sporting Car Club run event.

Two separate events are on offer, the Bay Stages and a shorter Bay Ramble event for those who only want to compete in the NSW Clubman series.

Crews are set to be flagged away from the Ceremonial Start at Corrigan’s Beach Reserve, Batehaven at 8:45am.

“We’re really pleased with how this year’s event has come together” Event Manager and Club Vice President Nigel Bland said. “We were a bit worried about the condition of some of the roads we normally use, but we’ve managed to work around it and have come up with a route that we know our crews are going to love” Bland added.

“Entries are now open and we’re expecting a big contingent of teams from the NSW Rally Championship and Clubman Rally Series. This rally was always planned for them, and they’ll be our top priority. We know that there’ll be plenty of competition from the State and Clubman competitors and I’m really looking forward to welcoming them to the Bay”.

“But we’re really excited that our rally has also become a promotional round of the Australian Rally Championship. We’ve already had plenty of enquiries from the major ARC teams and I expect we’ll see a good number of them at the AMH Rally of the Bay”, Bland concluded.

Four special stages have been selected and these will be repeated to provide a total of 8 stages for the Bay Stages event, with the first seven stages on offer for the Bay Ramble event.

The rally will be using the 8km Ridge Road/Dog Trap Road to the east of the Princess Highway, just behind the township of Batehaven. This stage has not been competed on for a number of years, but was a favourite amongst drivers, with its fast-flowing corners along the ridgeline.

From the top of the ridge, crews will travel through Mogo to tackle the 14km blast over Buckenbowra Road and into the roller coaster Ross Ridge Road. After a quick splash of fuel, teams will head out to the west of Batemans Bay to the Western Distributor and Clyde Ridge stages, before returning to Corrigan’s Beach Reserve where the Collecting Cars Service Park is located.

Entered crews will be permitted to conduct their reconnaissance from the June Long Weekend with recce roadbooks available as a downloadable PDF, ready to print or for use on tablets.

The AMH Rally of the Bay is set to take place on Saturday the 17th of July in the forests surrounding Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast.

Rally HQ Back At Marina Resort – AMH Auto Group Rally Of The Bay

By Events, News, Rally, Rally of the Bay 2021, Wheelspin

Rally Headquarters for the 2021 AMH Auto Group will be back at the Batemans Bay Marina Resort. The venue has changed its name from the ‘Coachhouse’ to reflect the resorts Batemans Bay location.

The Batemans Bay Marina Resort has once again put their support behind the popular motorsport event as the official accommodation and Rally HQ venue.

In announcing the continued partnership, North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) President Brett Middleton said “We’re really privileged to have such a great business put their support behind our event. The facilities at the Batemans Bay Marina Resort are perfect for Rally Headquarters and we also accommodate all our key officials here.”

“For all our rally teams heading to the event, this is the perfect place to book their accommodation. It’s the ideal location to stay with most villa’s having a sleeping capacity for six people.” Middleton added. “Plus, it’s right next to Rally HQ, has plenty of parking for trucks and trailers, is only a short distance to the Service Park and is walking distance to Club Catalina across the road, which is also our Social Hub.”

The rally of the Bay Event Manager, Nigel Bland expects that up to 90 rally teams will descend on the Batemans Bay township on the July 17 weekend.

“It’s fantastic to have Rally HQ back at the Batemans Bay Marina Resort” Bland said. “The Resort has been a great venue for us to base our rally headquarters over the past few years and we’re really looking forward to their great hospitality again this year.”

“The Resort is also offering rally teams and event officials some great accommodation deals with discounts for extended stays.” added Bland.

The 2021 Rally of the Bay is conducted by North Shore Sporting Car Club and forms part of the MTA NSW Rally Championship, East Coast Classic 4WD Rally Series, East Coast Classic 2WD Rally Series, NSW Clubman Rally Series, Hyundai Rally Series and the ACT Regional Rally Series.

About the Batemans Bay Marina Resort

The Batemans Bay Marina Resort is a beautiful resort style property overlooking the ocean and tidal lagoon. There are 89 self-contained villas, many featuring a waterfront location and boasting spectacular ocean views.

Corrigan’s swimming beach is just a few minutes stroll away and boat enthusiasts and fisherman benefit from direct access to the boat ramp through the rear of the resort.

The Catalina championship 27-hole golf course and 7-day a week bistro is conveniently located directly across the road. The town centre of Batemans Bay is only a 15-minute harbour side walk away or just a two minute drive.

About North Shore Sporting Car Club

The North Shore Sporting Car Club was created in December 1952 by a small band of die-hard rally fans. 69 years later and the club has grown from this small group to over 500 members. The club is responsible for organising 10 events per year, covering dirt, tarmac and other timed rally-type events. Club members are from all over Sydney and beyond with a myriad of cars in varying shapes and sizes. One common theme, however, is the passion of the members and the legacy of club.

Dalton satisfied with solid finish in Queensland

By Events, Rally, Wheelspin

Shamrock Motorsport driver, Richie Dalton, has taken a solid haul of points from round two of the Australian Rally Championship in Queensland.

Driving his turbocharged, four-wheel drive Toyota Yaris AP4, Dalton overcame a slow start on both days of the rally to finish the 12 stage Rally Queensland in sixth place.

It comes a month after his fourth place at the National Capital Rally was taken from him within sight of the finish in Canberra.

Being held for the first time since 2016, this was Dalton’s first trip to Rally Queensland, and he set off from the start determined to ensure he reached the finish and gain more experience of his new car.

Outright speed was never really the objective going into the weekend, with the Irishman more intent on learning the new stages.

“I’ve been struggling for confidence in the car, so to get home with a finish means it’s been a good weekend,” Dalton said.

“I found it very difficult to get a rhythm in the car this weekend which has been frustrating, but we stuck with it and made it to the finish which was always the plan, so we’re happy enough.”

Dalton and co-driver Dale Moscatt have now done three rallies in the car, including a first-up victory in a rallysprint event on debut.

As he does more kilometres in the ex-works Yaris, he knows the speed will increase.

“We still have a lot to work on and to learn the car more, but going forward we’re heading back to Tasmania where we’ve been before, which is great.

“We have pace notes for most of the stages down there and we’ve been quick there in the past in the old car.”

The Neal Bates Motorsport team will now prepare the Yaris for the trip south to Launceston on the first weekend in July, where jackets and beanies will replace the shorts and t-shirts that were prominent in Queensland last weekend.

Dalton ready to bounce back in Queensland

By Events, News, Rally, Wheelspin

Shamrock Motorsport and NSSCC Club Member, Richie Dalton is determined to make amends for a disappointing start to the Australian Rally Championship last month.

Dalton was on track for a solid fourth place in the opening round of the series in Canberra, only for a suspension failure to throw his car off the road and out of the event.

This weekend in Queensland, the Toyota Yaris AP4 driver will be back on the horse (so to speak) as he continues to come to grips with his new car.

“It really was a heartbreaking way to end the first round, because we hadn’t put a wheel wrong all rally,” Dalton said.

“But sometimes that’s how it goes in rallying, and we came away with nothing more than a repair bill for the car.”

Since then, the team at Neal Bates Motorsport has repaired the Yaris and it heads in to Rally Queensland in tip-top condition.

This will be the first time the rally has been run since 2016, and all the stages will be new to competitors.

“It’s exciting,” Dalton added.

“Competing in a new event is always a great challenge, and when it’s new for everyone it makes it a real unknown.

“The team that writes the best pace notes and adapts to the new stages the best will come away with the rewards.”

Dalton and experienced co-driver, Dale Moscatt, will complete their pre-event reconnaissance on Friday, after testing the rebuilt Yaris on Thursday morning.

“We knew this year was going to be a learning one, and so far that’s proved to be the case.

“However, we know the car has the speed, and if we put together a solid drive over the 12 stages in Queensland, then we’re confident that we can push for a podium finish.”

Based in Gympie, north of Brisbane, Rally Queensland runs on Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23.

Re-live the excitement of the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon!

By Events, Wheelspin

OK, we can’t drive from London to Sydney in 2021 but we can do the next best thing – retrace the steps of the game-changing, gruelling Perth to Sydney Australian leg. Back in the day, the first car to finish took an eye-watering 67 hours and 22 minutes non-stop – we will not attempt to replicate that feat.

The 2021 Perth-Sydney Marathon will celebrate the 1968 London to Sydney Marathon by following the original route of the event across Australia from Perth to Warwick Farm in Sydney. Starting in Perth on the 29th October 2021 and finishing ten days later with a function at Warwick Farm in Sydney on the 7th November.

This will be the only event since the original 1968 Marathon to follow the entire route of that race across Australia and will use many of the original time and passage controls. No other event has retraced the route in the 53 years since the 1968 Marathon and it is highly likely that this experience will be the very last opportunity to join entrants, participants and vehicles from the 1968 Marathon on such an historic journey.

Though non-competitive, there will be ample opportunity for some seriously spirited driving and it still promises to be a real test of both crews and machines. We will cover some of Australia’s best gravel and tarmac rally roads, including the SA outback cattle stations of Wirrealpa, Curnamona and Kalabity, the alpine mountain tracks from Edi to Brookside and down to Omeo, all in the company of well-known legends in Australian rallying and with some of Australia’s most important rally cars. The event will traverse the Nullarbor Plain, the Flinders Ranges, Outback WA, SA and NSW, then cross the Victorian and NSW Alps to finish in Sydney some 5700 km later, with half the route being on unsealed tracks and roads.

Around ten original 1968 competitors as well as a similar number of ’68 competition vehicles are committed to running. The 2021 Marathon is shaping up to be one of the largest Historic Rally events of its kind ever to be held in Australia. It has attracted both rallying and racing enthusiasts, all keen to taste what it may have been like to run in the greatest marathon of them all, alongside those who did.

The Entry Fee for the Event is $AUD5685 for a crew of two in the nominated vehicle and includes all meals but excludes accommodation. An invitation to participate in the Event will require a $AUD250 deposit followed by the payment schedule outlined in the Event Supplementary Regulations. Entries are limited to 85.

Expressions of interest should be made to the Event Director, Laurie Mason:

Mobile: 0438 445 024 or email: events@vogueautomotive.com.au