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