The 2012 Rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Challenge has been launched with some minor changes to enhance one of the real success stories of the 2011 Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
Regulations for the 2012 Rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Challenge (RAJC) have been published with the series set to be staged over four rounds compared with three rounds in 2011.
In 2012, one two wheel drive and one four wheel drive crew from each of the four qualifying events will go through to the final at the Coffs Coast Forest Rally in October along with two additional wild card entries in both categories.
This compares with three qualifiers for two wheel drive and one for four wheel drive from each round in 2011 which is sure to make the competition even more intense at each round.
The other major change for the RAJC in 2012 is the way winners are determined. In 2012 times will determine the winner of the qualifier rather than an accumulation of points per stage. The move aligns the RAJC with the Bosch ARC's system and not only rewards consistency but gives teams who have a poor stage the chance to catch up throughout the rest of the event.
The four finalists and one wildcard in the two wheel drive category will then battle it out at the Coffs Coast Forest Rally in October for an all-expenses paid entry in the Bosch ARC final round at Rally Victoria in November driving a four wheel drive turbo car for an outright result, along with a day's tuition for both the driver and co-driver courtesy of Rallyschool.com.au.
The four finalists and one wildcard in the four wheel drive category will also battle it out at the Coffs Coast Forest Rally in October for a free entry and substantial assistance package at Rally Victoria along with a day's tuition for driver and co-driver at Rallyschool.com.au.
Bosch ARC Tyre supplier Kumho has continued its support of the RAJC in 2012 providing four free tyres for the winner of each qualifying round and eight tyres for the two RAJC final winners to be used at Rally Victoria.
Rallyschool.com.au director Mick Ryan believes 2012's RAJC will be even more competitive than the inaugural year.
"An extra round and the potential for 10 finalists means the 2012 Rallyschool.com.au Australian Junior Challenge should provide healthy yet fierce competition among the rising stars of rally." Mick Ryan said.
"We are proud to be a part of the series and play a role in the shaping of future Australian and World Rally champions through our partnership with the RAJC," he said.
"The beauty of the RAJC's prize pool is it directly relates to the development of the driver and co-driver and assists in the progression of their rally career," Mick added
The Rallyschool AJC is open to drivers under 28 with no age restrictions for co-drivers.
CEO of the Bosch ARC, Scott Pedder describes the Rallyschool AJC as the ideal training ground for future rally stars.
"The Rallyschool Junior Challenge unearthed two very talented combinations this year with Will Orders and Rian Calder in the two wheel drive class and Tom and Nerralie Wilde in the four wheel drive category," said Scott.
"To have Tom Wilde finish on the podium at Rally Victoria last year is a testament to the success of the RAJC in 2011 and also shows that junior development and raw driving talent is very strong throughout the country."
"I have no doubt that in 2012 we will discover another two talented and worthy drivers who will be capable of climbing onto the step up to the Bosch Australian Rally Championship," he said.
"By having a junior category, up and coming drivers have their own competitive environment to become accustomed to rallying without having to run directly against the more experienced, outright leaders."
The 2012 Rallyschool AJC's first round will be at Rally Calder presented by East Coast Bull Bars on March1-4 at Calder near Melbourne.
Regulations for the 2012 RAJC can now be found at www.rally.com.au. More than 2.5 million Australians will see the Bosch ARC on TV in 2012 and the series will generate more than 36 hours of national television across the Ten/One HD network - a media equivalency value exceeding $6 million. The Bosch Australian Rally Championship has also re-signed multi-national fuel and lubricant giant BP as the primary fuel supplier and Korean tyre giant Kumho as the exclusive tyre supplier for the championship for the third year.
The opening round of the 2012 Bosch ARC, Rally Calder presented by East Coast Bullbars, is scheduled for March 1-4 at Calder Park in Melbourne with round two, the Quit Forest Rally in WA on March 30-April 1, round three, the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast, on May 24-27, the Rally of South Australia in the Adelaide Hills from July 29-31 making up the fourth round, while round five, the Coffs Coast Rally will be run over the same roads used for Australia's World Championship round at Coffs Harbour on October 13-14. The grand finale to the Bosch ARC will be Rally Victoria in Gippsland on November 9-10.
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