Richie Dalton won last years Rally of the Bay, and is hoping to go back to back. Photo: Luke Whitten
Team News

Back-to-back wins the aim for Dalton

Fresh from a competitive weekend in Tasmania, Richie Dalton and the Shamrock Motorsport team head to Batemans Bay this weekend determined to defend their title.

Dalton and co-driver Dale Moscatt won the Rally of the Bay last year, and will this year head the field away in the one-day, 130 kilometre event.

This year, however, they’ll be driving their rapidly developing Ford Fiesta Proto, rather than the Skoda Fabia R5 they used in 2018.

The car is getting faster with each rally, thanks to the work of the Activ RallySport crew. While it has still suffered some technical glitches, Dalton is happy with its progress.

“We’ve shown we have good speed when everything is going well, and that gives us confidence ahead of this rally,” Dalton said.

“It’s a rally I’ve had success at before, so there’s no reason why we can’t look to repeat that.

“We’ll be running DMACK Tyres on the car for the first time, which rallying great, Alister McRae, has assisted us in getting.

“We’re excited to see how they work in Australian conditions.”

The rally features one of the most competitive state championship fields for some time, thanks to its inclusion as a round of both the NSW and Victorian championships.

Drivers of the ilk of Glen Raymond (Mitsubishi), Arron Windus (Subaru), JJ Hatton (Hyundai), Tom Clarke (Mitsubishi) and Darren Windus (Volkswagen) are all likely to keep Dalton on his toes.

“There’s nothing like plenty of time in the seat to get you in good form,” Dalton added.

“In reality we had a 200km test session in Tasmania last weekend, so I’m feeling good.

“We’re due for a little Irish luck, so hopefully that’s the case at the Bay.”

The Rally of the Bay ceremonial start will be in the main street of Batemans Bay from 8.45am on Saturday, with the first car due to finish after six hard-fought special stages at 4.45 pm.