Wow! Spend all year waiting for the WRC Rally event to come back to Australia and just like that it’s all over again for another year. What a spectacle though, I have to admit that I only saw the event through the camera lens and was not aware of all that went on with the championship battles, both the World and Australian titles, i had to rely on the summaries at the end of the day to confirm what had happened and who was leading etc.
Above – Toyota’s Jar-Matti Latvala on his way to victory in the Kennard’s hire Rally Australia.
Below – Msport and 6 time world champion celebrates.
M’spor’s Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia showed class and experience to wrap up their 6th World championship title, while misfortune befriended the other two title contenders – Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and Toyota’s Ott Tanak with crashes and retirements on the Sunday stages.
Above- Citreon’s Craig Breen makes a splash.
Above – 2018 ARC Australian Rally Champions Eli Evans and Ben Searcy.
Drama on Friday when a “track side distraction “another word for “tractor” surprised Andreas Mikkelsen’s Hyundai during the Sherwood stage causing a loss of concentration and resulting in overturning his car.
Below – Pictures from Thursday’s Shakedown.
Both Neuville and Ogier were conspicuously down the leader board on all three days suggesting they had a lot to lose and may have been driving with one eye on the World Championship battle or did the notoriously loose gravel stages play a part?
Above – Alberto Heller from Chile competed in the WRC2 category.
Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala & Mikka Antilla proved too good and claimed the win in the Kennard’s hire Rally Australia and stood on the top step of the podium with Hyundai and New Zealander Hayden Paddon & Seb Marshal claiming second, Mads Ostberg driving the Citreon C3 wrapped up third place.
Australian Eli Evans and Ben Searcy driving a borrowed Skoda were victorious and claimed the Australian 2018 ARC Rally Championship with a conservative drive on Sunday.
Talk continues to surround the success and viability of this world class event being held at Coffs Harbour with alternatives like New Zealand and Perth again being raised. Personally, I hope we can keep this event on our shores as it offers us, as photographers the opportunity to photograph the world’s best drivers doing their thing!