2019 sees the CAMS Australian Rally Championship at the Goldfields of Ballarat, Victoria with drivers hoping to bag gold of their own at the Pedders Eureka Rush. Hosting three rounds in one, we have the FIA Asia Pacific Championship’s Pacific Cup as well as the CAMS Australian Rally Championship and Round 5 of the Hino Geelong CAMS Victorian Rally Championship.

International Kiwi WRC Driver Hayden Paddon is here competing, showing his stuff as well as Australian Rally legend Simon Evans making an appearance in a Les Walkden prepped Subaru WRX STi.

Saturday night saw the drivers putting on a display of the 2.7km Super Special Stage two times. With the rain coming down coupled with the cold weather, there was action aplenty for the drivers in  the FIA Pacific Cup, WRC driver Hayden Paddon showed his skill to set a time 10 seconds quicker in his Hyundai i20 R5 than that of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia’s Harry Bates in his Toyota Yaris AP4. Lewis Bates, in the second Toyota Yaris AP4 was in third. ‘Subaru do Motorsport’s’ Molly Taylor sat in fourth for the evening. Sunday sees the battle move to the forest stages, with everything to play for.

Overall standings after SS2
1. H Bates/McCarthy
2. Evans/Webb +6.1
3. L. Bates/McLoughlin +7.5
4. Taylor/Read +10.5
5. Anear/Sarandis +13.4
6. Hatton/Preston +21.9
7. Calder/Glenney +22.7
8. O’Dowd/Feaver +23.5
9. Lennane/Ramia +57.5
10. Haysman/Arundel +58.0

With the drivers having a blast around the tarmac Super Special Stage on Saturday night, it was time for the real battles to begin out in the forests on Sunday. Stage four claimed a number of cars. Molly Taylor had an off and hit a stump damaging the front end of her Subaru. Her service crew had their work cut out for them, but managed to repair her car and get her out to score some valuable points. Hayden Paddon himself suffered suspension problems in his Hyundai i20 R5 as well, taking him out of contention for a win, but getting his car back out for the afternoon stages. AGI Sport’s Luke Anear and co-driver Andy Sarandis ended their rally on the same stage, rolling their Ford Fiesta R5 and were unable to re-join.

In the FIA Asia Pacific Championship’s Pacific Cup, it was the two Toyotas of Harry Bates/John McCarthy & Lewis Bates/Anthony McLoughlin leading the way ahead of Hayden Paddon/Samantha Gray.

While the CAMS Australian Rally Championship saw Harry Bates/John McCarthy (this is where you can now reference surnames only if you want as you’ve given full names earlier) leading most of the stages ahead of a steady and smooth run by Simon Evans/Bernie Webb into second. Third spot went to Lewis Bates/Anthony McLoughlin which has both Toyotas on the podium. With Harry Bates winning all 4 rounds this year, he already has one hand firmly on the trophy, and only two rounds remaining all eyes will be on the Toyota team to see if a clean sweep is on the cards.

In the Hino Geelong CAMS Victorian Rally Championship, local Arron Windus/Daniel Brick drove their Western Victoria Crane Trucks sponsored Subaru WRX to a storming victory.

Enjoy the Pics from Jack Martin and myself Ivica Glavas. Till next time