Team News

Richie back on the winner’s list at the Bay

Those who have been around rallying long enough would be familiar with the rally film, Forty Split Seconds, and it was a very similar scenario at the Rally of the Bay at the weekend.

Forty Split Seconds told the story of the 1980 Castrol International Rally, and the fight between the local crew of Greg Carr and Fred Gocentas and the international icons, Ari Vatanen and David Richards.

The end result though fell in favour of Carr and Gocentas, winning the event by 40 ‘split’ seconds.

Fast forward 42 years, and another epic battle has played out on the roads of Batemans Bay at the Lazer Rally of the Bay.

This time it was Queenslanders Clayton Hoy and John Allen versus the Irish duo of Richie Dalton and Mac Kierans. Again it was the ARC front runners in Dalton and Kierans who were in the superior machinery. They were in a Neal Bates Motorsport prepared Toyota Yaris AP4 up against Hoy and Allen’s ageing Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6.

The day started out well for Dalton/Kierans, taking two of the first three stages and giving them a lead of just seven seconds over Hoy/Allen. Tony Sullens and Kaylie Newell, winners of stage two, sat just behind only 15 seconds off the lead and would eventually finish the event in third outright.

Hoy was able to fight back from his early time loss, though, taking wins on the following three stages, managing to flip the gap and turn a seven second deficit into a seven second lead.

Jumping to victory: Richie Dalton and his Toyota Yaris AP4 at the Rally of the Bay.

Dalton did not take this lying down and fought back on the following two stages to claw back the deficit. This ensured the Irishman took a three second lead into the final 10-kilometre stage, the repeat of the Big Bit stage.

Hoy had the slightly upper hand, having won the first run though the stage, beating Dalton by eight seconds.

All he would need was to pull out another blinder of a stage and he could claim victory. 

And he almost did, in a driving masterclass that had many celebrating. The Hoy/Allen Mitsubishi managed to beat the might of the Dalton/Kierans Toyota Yaris AP4 on the final stage to match their overall time and finish the event dead level. 

The pair were still tied on a count back. Each driver had won four stages apiece, and organisers were happy to announced a dead heat.

Live timing of the event showed it was Hoy and Allen who lead the timing by a mere 0.4 seconds, and that was also correct. Over a total of 1 hour and 13 minutes of driving, all that separated the pair of protagonists was 0.4 seconds.

Under Rally NSW competition conditions, events are timed to the second, rather than to the hundredth of a second, as recorded by RallySafe, the official timing system for the event. 

It was one of the closest battles seen in a NSW State event in recent times. This was an epic battle from two super fast competitors, and one that fans both at the event and following online were watching with bated breath to see who would come out on top.

A more detailed event report will follow.


=1st Clayton Hoy / John Allen – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 – 1hr 13mins 22sec

=1st Richie Dalton / Mac Kierans – Toyota Yaris AP4 – 1hr 13mins 22sec

3rd Tony Sullens / Kaylie Newell – Subaru WRX – +1min 22sec

4th Nathan Quinn/Ray Winwood-Smith – Hyundai i20 – +2min 14sec

5th Tim Wilkins / Jim Gleeson – Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 – +3mins 30sec