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AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay Proceeding on 28 August

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

Photo: Bruce Moxon

The 2021 AMH Rally of the Bay organising team has officially announced that the 2021 running of the AMH Rally of the Bay will now take place on Saturday the 28th of August.
Event Manager, Nigel Bland is confident that when the current NSW lockdowns are lifted the team from North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) will be ready to run the event.

“We’ve been really lucky to have a number of volunteers based in Batemans Bay come on board to help us get things ready. Whilst we can’t get down to the Bay ourselves, our volunteers have been getting out into the forests preparing for the rally”, Bland said.

“The current COVID situation is very fluid, and we really don’t know what restrictions will be in place by the end of August, so we are moving forward with the event as planned. Should things change, we’ll make that decision closer to the event”, added Bland.

The proposed date of the 28th of August was originally slated for a Rallysprint run by Shoalhaven and Kiama Districts Auto Club (SKDAC) and was offered to NSSCC.

“We really appreciate SKDAC giving up their rallysprint date so we could re-schedule our event. In fact, we didn’t even have to ask them. They offered it up to us when it looked like the restrictions would impact the event. We really want to thank SKDAC and particularly SKDAC President Peter Ewing for the club’s generosity” Bland concluded.

The Rally of the Bay is still looking for officials and volunteers and if you would like to assist on the 28th August, simply send an email to andrew.benefield@nsscc.com.au

AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay postponed

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

Organisers of the 2021 AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay have made the difficult decision to postpone the event and are working with relevant authorities and the NSW Rally Panel to secure August 28.

With ongoing restrictions in Sydney and beyond, North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) is not confident that travel constraints will change sufficiently to allow the event to proceed on the 17th of July.

Event Manager Nigel Bland said the decision was extremely difficult. “Even if the stay-at-home order in Sydney is lifted, there’s still a good chance people will be restricted from travelling” he said. “And whilst many of the competitors are not Sydney based, the entire organising team is.”

“That’s left us in a difficult position. Do we continue with the event and hope that everything gets opened up next weekend, or do we make the decision now to give competitors the opportunity to plan for a new date.”

“There are so many variables at play here that it’s just not worth the risk to continue with the original date.”, Bland said.

The proposed date of the 28th of August was originally slated for a Rallysprint run by Shoalhaven and Kiama Districts Auto Club (SKDAC) and was offered to NSSCC.

“We really appreciate SKDAC giving up their rallysprint date so we could re-schedule our event. In fact we didn’t even have to ask them. They offered it up to us when it looked like the restrictions would impact the event. We really want to thank SKDAC and particularly SKDAC President Peter Ewing for their generosity” Bland concluded.

The event organising team met today and were confident the date change was the right decision based on the evolving health situation.

“The other option was to cancel the event altogether”, said NSSCC President, Brett Middleton.

“But there’s so many businesses in the Eurobodalla Shire that rely on our event. Last year we estimated the rally brought $750,000 worth of economic benefit to the region and it’s important for us to support the local community”, Middleton continued.

“Three of our major partners are local to Batemans Bay including the Batemans Bay Marina Resort, the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centres and the Eurobodalla Shire. We’ve already invested in a major marketing campaign in the lead up to the event so moving the date is the best outcome for everyone.”

“We understand this now puts some pressure on competitors because there are other events that are now closer to ours, but the Rally of the Bay is such an iconic event and we know our rally teams will expect us to reschedule and go ahead with it”, Middleton said.

“With event scrutineering due to start this weekend, it’s important to make the decision before people start to get prepared. We hope our customers stick with us and that the event goes ahead in August and is a great success”, Middleton concluded.

NSSCC expect to formally announce the new date early next week.

Penny swaps WRX for Classic Nissan for AMH Rally of the Bay

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

Regular NSW Rally Championship contenders, Andrew Penny and Rhys Llewellyn have swapped their Subaru WRX for a Classic Nissan 240RS for the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay. The pair have intensified their commitment in 2021, taking on the NSW Championship as well as the Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC).

At the Accent Benchtops Rally of Queensland ARC event in May, Penny rolled the WRX, putting them out of the event and leaving the car damaged.

“With Queensland, we had a bit of a misdemeanour in the forest with the GC8, so that’s in the process of being repaired”, Penny said.

“I saw the 240RS for sale online and it turned out that Michael Harding had it and over a work-related conversation we struck up a deal. I didn’t actually mean to buy it but decided that it would be a bit of fun. It’s super cool, and that’s why I bought it. And I’d just sold a ski boat, so I swapped a ski boat for another rally car”, Penny joked.

Penny and Llewellyn have entered the AMH Rally of the Bay to continue their bid for the NSW Rally championship, but also to get some practice in the new car before the Alpine Rally at the end of the year.

“We’re going to do the Alpine because someone said it was a fun rally to go to. But, I’ve actually never driven a rear wheel drive rally car and I figured the only way to learn was to get in and have a go. It looks like fun, but I don’t know how fast I’m going to be, but the car is allegedly very quick” Penny says.

The Nissan 240RS has some rally heritage and was built in Victoria by well-known rally driver Darren Snooks. The car has rallied in New Zealand with former Australian Rally Champion, Simon Evans behind the wheel. The car has a five-link rear end, FJ240 motor, twin 48 webers, dry sump, electric steering with a ratio reducer and was built to a high specification.

The Alpine Rally is a road book event, but Penny says he is planning on using Pace Notes at the Rally of the Bay.

“Rhys asked me if we’re going to use the Road book, but I said no, we’re going all in. I want to go as fast as we can with as much knowledge as we can. And I reckon knowing what’s around the next corner is going to help me learn faster”, Penny added.

“We want to go as fast and as hard as we can, because I don’t want to drive slow. I’m too competitive”, Penny concluded.

The Nissan 240RS is also eligible for the East Coast Classic Rally Series and this will be Penny and Llewellyn’s first appearance in the classic rally series. They currently rank eight overall on the 2021 NSW Rally Championship scoreboard with 28 points. Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith lead the series on 50 points.

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.

Rally Proceeding as Planned – COVID Update

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

The 2021 AMH Rally of the Bay organising team would like to reassure the Rally Community that North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) is proceeding as planned with the running of the Rally of the Bay and at this stage expect the event to take place on the 17th of July.

Whilst the greater Sydney area is in a NSW Government imposed Stay at Home Order, the current advice is that the lockdown will end on the 9th of July and the rally can therefore proceed. Should government regulations or conditions change, the NSSCC organising team will make further announcements closer to the event.

“We have permits, we’re COVID complaint, our submissions are approved and everything’s in place”, said Event Manager and NSSCC Vice President, Nigel Bland. “It’s important that we focus on getting on with running the event and making sure that everything is ready for the 17th of July. We’ve put so much effort into preparing for the rally, and we know that teams are going to love the new format and roads that we’re using”, Bland added.

“Additional planning is underway to allow us to easily change things if we need to to meet government controls. We ran the Service Park with pretty stringent controls in place last year, so if we need to do that all again, we’ll be ready” Bland concluded.

NSSCC President Brett Middleton said there was more than just the rally to consider. “The Eurobodalla Shire has invested significantly in our event”, Middleton said. “We have many partners locally and across the motorsport community that have also invested in the Rally. The Batemans Bay business community also needs our support, especially after the fires, and last year’s COVID lockdowns.”

“The Rally of the Bay always has a significant impact on the local economy and last year we know there was a huge economic boost to Batemans Bay and surrounds because of our event, and we want to repeat that again this year”, Middleton concluded.

The Rally of the Bay is still looking for officials and volunteers and if you would like to assist on the 17th of July, simply send an email to andrew.benefield@nsscc.com.au

Competitors with any concerns can call the event manager on 0411 644 193 or send an email to media@nsscc.com.au

Shopping Centres continue support of AMH Rally of the Bay

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

The Village Centre and Bridge Plaza has renewed their support of the North Shore Sporting Car Clubs, AMH Rally of the Bay. The Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centres came on board as a major partner in 2020 and continue that partnership for 2021.

In announcing the renewed partnership, North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) President Brett Middleton said “We’re glad to have the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza back on board as one of our major partners this year. They are a great supporter of our event, and they provide the best place to shop for the vast majority of the rally teams that attend and compete in the event.”

“It was really great to welcome the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centres as a new major partner last year, and even better to be able to continue our relationship in 2021. The two shopping centres are an essential part of the rally. Most teams will shop locally for their supplies, rather than bring it with them, so having this relationship continue this year is just more good news for the rally, for Batemans Bay and for jobs in the local community”, Middleton added.

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

“It’s fantastic to have local businesses on-board,” said Bland. “As a rally community we want to give back to the local community and that’s why we are encouraging all of our teams to shop local and get their supplies from the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza. We know our event will bring a much-needed boost to the local Batemans Bay economy and we’ll be encouraging them to spend locally as much as possible”.

“This will be the second Rally in the NSW championship and it’s also a promotional round of the Motorsport Australia Rally Championship”, Bland said. “So, we’re expecting a bigger turnout than a normal NSW round as the rally is now a great test run for teams looking to participate in the Australian Rally Championship when it resumes later in the year. And whilst our event is only a promotional ARC round, we’ve already had plenty of interest from the top level of the sport, with many national teams already entered”, Bland 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. The Rally forms part of the MTA NSW Rally Championship, East Coast Classic Rally Series, NSW Clubman Rally Series, Hyundai Rally Series, and ACT Regional Rally Series. Almost 80 entries have been received, with 3 weeks remaining before entries close.

About the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping Centres
The Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centres in Batemans Bay feature Coles, Kmart, Woolworths and Aldi plus over 50 great specialty stores. The shopping centres feature wonderful fashion, delicious food and an upbeat atmosphere delightfully located in the heart of beautiful Batemans Bay. Undercover parking and easy access from the Princes Highway make shopping a breeze.

Club Catalina destination for AMH Rally of the Bay Social Hub

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

The AMH Rally of the Bay will bring teams from across the state and beyond to Batemans Bay over the weekend of the 17th of July and event organisers from North Shore Sporting Car Club have worked with Club Catalina to establish the venue as the ‘Social Hub’ for the rally.

“We haven’t had the opportunity to socialise at rallies for a while with COVID, so we thought we needed to establish a Social Hub”, Club President, Brett Middleton said. “Club Catalina was the perfect choice. It’s right across the road from Rally HQ and an easy walk from the official rally accommodation at the Batemans Bay Marina Resort”, Middleton added.

“Club Catalina has great facilities with multiple bars, a café, bistro and a fantastic Golf Course. We’ve planned a meet and greet social get together for Friday night and we’d love to see all of our drivers, co-drivers, service crew and officials attend. In fact, everyone is welcome”, Middleton said.

“Having a Social Hub gives our Rally Teams the opportunity to grab a meal together in the lead up to the event and makes catching up with friends so much easier. Hopefully I’ll see you there one night for dinner”, Middleton concluded.

The Rally Meet and Greet will get underway from 7:30pm on Friday the 16th of July in the main lounge area of Club Catalina with food available from the Bistro and drinks available from the bar.

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.