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Lazer Rally of the Bay – A Battle of Youth and Experience

By Rally of the Bay 2022

EVENT DATE: 13th August 2022

Round 4 of the NSW Rally Championship is the Lazer Rally of the Bay, and it is shaping up to be a battle between youth and experience.

19-year-old Riley Walters will start the event in his Subaru WRX, with an 8-point lead in the NSW Rally Championship. Walters, who finished 2nd on the podium at last weekend’s Bega Valley Rally, is looking forward to the Batemans Bay based competition.

“When we started the season, we really didn’t come into it wanting or even expecting to be leading the Championship”, Walters said.

“This is the first time that I’ve competed in the NSW Rally Championship and after the challenges of the last two years getting the car right and finally being able to do some rallies post-Covid, I’m just having an absolute blast”

“There are so many talented drivers that we’re up against, and if this season isn’t our year, I still have plenty of time to try and win the series in the future. My co-driver Andrew Crowley has been a massive support, helping me to improve and find our rhythm, so it’s already been a winning year for me.

“The car still has a lot of improvements that we can make, but it’s very reliable, so we don’t want to push our luck with any changes at this stage of the Championship”, Walters concluded.

Walters and Crowley’s main rival will be Tony Sullens and co-driver Kaylie Newell, who won the Bega Valley Rally, sit 2nd in the NSW Championship standings, and are the current State Champions. Sullens has far more experience than his younger competitor and will be hoping that this experience will give him the edge at the Lazer Rally of the Bay.

There are many other contenders, including Tim Wilkins and Jim Gleeson in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 9. Wilkins has had a string of bad luck at the last two Championship events, exiting both Round 2 and Round 3, whilst in the lead.

Event Manager, Nigel Bland is preparing for a big field on the 13th of August 2022 and expects the event to attract teams from all over Australia.

“We’re expecting a bumper entry”, Bland said. “The Lazer Rally of the Bay is a popular event and because it’s the first pace-noted rally since the beginning of the season, we know there are teams itching to get into the forests on pace-notes.”

“Once again, we’ll be basing our rally headquarters in the heart of Batemans Bay at the Batemans Bay Marina Resort, with our Service Park at Corrigan’s Beach Reserve in Batehaven”, Bland continued.

“Teams will come from mainly NSW, but I’m expecting to see at least a few Victorian and also a few Queensland based teams. As far as the roads go, we’ve been busy selecting the best roads in the area, and you can look forward to seeing Clyde Ridge Road, Wallaby Road, The Old Highway, Bark Shed Road, and a few other popular stages used”, Bland concluded.

The 2022 Lazer Rally of the Bay is a round of the NSW Rally Championship and East Coast Classic Rally Series (ECCRS), plus also incorporates the NSW Clubman and NSW Hyundai Series.

Lazer High Performance Lighting is the rally’s naming rights partner.

Photo: Riley Walters and Andrew Crowley at the Bega Valley Rally. Photo By Roy Meuronen

Lazer lights the way for Rally of the Bay

By Rally of the Bay 2021, Rally of the Bay 2022, Wheelspin

Andrew Penny and Rhys Llewellyn at the 2020 event. Photo: Roy Meuronen

The 2022 Rally of the Bay received a huge boost this week with the announcement that Lazer High Performance Lighting will be the events naming rights partner.

Announcing the new multi-year deal, Club President, Brett Middleton is thrilled with the new partnership and is expecting a big field for the event, now scheduled for a slightly later date of August 13. The event will be known as the ‘Lazer Rally of the Bay’.

“It’s great news”, said Middleton. “We’ve been busy planning for the 2022 event in the background and the new deal with Lazer Lamps is the perfect partnership. Lazer Lamps produce the best lighting solutions in the world for rally cars and also for production cars, so to have them as our naming rights partner is just fantastic.”

Kirk Marks is Lazer High Performance Lighting’s Regional Manager, and he was also extremely delighted with the new partnership.

“We are excited to be able to partner with the Rally of the Bay and to contribute to the ongoing success of the event run by the North Shore Sporting Car Club in Batemans Bay for over 20 years. Lazer Lamps have a competition pedigree starting over a decade ago, providing high performance lighting solutions for World Rally Championship Teams and now providing the same support for rally competitors in Australia”, Marks Said.

“We know the event is a competitor favourite and I can’t wait to be part of the action in August next year”, Marks Concluded.

Event Manager, Nigel Bland is preparing for a big field on the 13th of August 2022 and expects the event to attract teams from all over Australia.

“We are really looking forward to the 13th of August next year”, said Bland. “We have already started the planning process and are busy looking into ways to make the event even better than previous years.”

“Once again, we’ll be a Round of the NSW Rally Championship, but we expect that several teams in the Australian Rally Championship will want to include the Lazer Rally of the Bay in their schedules. We know this event is extremely popular and we expect there’ll be crews from interstate heading to Batemans Bay to experience the rally and everything the Eurobodalla Shire has to offer”, Bland continued.

The Lazer Rally of the Bay will be based out of Batemans Bay in the Eurobodalla Shire and will run on the 13th of August 2022. The event will be a round of the NSW Rally Championship, NSW Clubman Series, East Coast Classic Rally Series (2WD and 4WD) as well as a round of the Hyundai Rally Series.

AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay

By

CANCELLED

Clerk of Course: Nigel Bland
Contacts See Contacts Page
Host Club: North Shore Sporting Car Club
Rally HQ: Coachhouse Marina Resort Batemans Bay

Rally Safe inc in entry: YES, (fully automatic, inc timing)
Live results: YES
Paces noted: YES
Blind rally: YES

Midstate Freight Oberon Stages Rally Cancelled

By Caves Classic, Events, Oberon Stages, Rally, Wheelspin

Organisers of the 2021 Midstate Freight Oberon Stages Rally have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 event due to COVID restrictions and increased Forestry Operations.

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 18th of September.

Event director Jon Thomson said the decision was extremely difficult.

“We’re really in a no-win situation, even if we see changes to the lockdown in Sydney, September is likely to see travel restrictions into regional NSW,” Thomson said.

“On top of that, we haven’t had the opportunity to check and write roadbooks, meet with stakeholders or assess road conditions and suitability.”

“Forestry has also increased their operations in the area and many of the roads we’d originally selected are now in sections that are being harvested, meaning we’d need to look for new roads and change many of the stages we had originally planned on using”, Thomson added.

The event organising team looked at moving the event to October, but the calendar is crowded with events and access to volunteers and particularly securing Rallysafe for the event was proving difficult.

“We really have been left with no choice but to cancel the event altogether”, Thomson said.

“It is a great pity as we had some absolutely terrific roads and stages selected for this year’s rally, but we will be back with an even better event in 2022,” he concluded.

The Midstate Freight Oberon Stages Rally was a round of the NSW Rally Championship, East Coast Classic Rally Series and Clubman Rally Series. The organising team is planning on running the event in 2022 and will seek a date from the NSW Rally Panel in due course.

AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay pushed back to November

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

The 2021 AMH Rally of the Bay organising team recently met to decide on the 2021 running of the AMH Rally of the Bay. The team considered a range of options and have decided to consult competitors and partners with the view to running the event on the 13th of November.

Event Manager, Nigel Bland said that there are many factors to consider in making any decision and that North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) has a responsibility to both the Community of Batemans Bay as well as rally teams to run the rally this year.

“We have major partners on the South Coast who supported our event this year, plus some have also been involved with the rally for many years”, Bland said. “We need to do the right thing by these partners and also consider what our competitors want from us”.

“We know our partners want us to proceed, we know the community of Batemans Bay want us to run the rally, so we now need to understand what the majority of our competitors want.”, added Bland.

“We know that the date we are proposing is going to be unpopular with some as the end of the year will have a lot of events close together, but unfortunately we have been put in this position by circumstances beyond our control”, Bland concluded.

In choosing the proposed date of the 13th of November the club carefully considered other events, however, that was the only date available to NSSCC and club President Brett Middleton expects that most competitors will want the rally to go ahead.

“It’s been a difficult time for all motorsport events”, Middleton said. “We’ve already asked some of our teams what they want to do, and the vast majority have agreed we should run the event. We’ve still got 76 entries confirmed and we plan to contact each team and give them the opportunity to provide us their feedback on the proposed date”, Middleton concluded.

NSSCC will give teams and stakeholders the opportunity to provide their feedback and input. The club will provide further information in coming days.

Photo: Taylor Gill and Peter Harris at the 2020 AMH Rally of the Bay – Photo by Roy Meuronen.

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