Dalton's ARC campaign has been canned for the remainder of the 2019 season. Photo: Aaron Wishart

Short-term pain, long-term gain for Dalton

Popular Australian Rally Championship front-runner, Richie Dalton, has called a halt to his title aspirations this year.

Dalton contested the first three rounds of the ARC in his G4-spec Ford Fiesta with mixed results, but work commitments have put an end to his ARC campaign.

He will miss the upcoming Eureka Rally in Ballarat, as well as the Adelaide Rally in South Australian in September.

“Work is just too busy for me to commit the time to compete in either event,” Dalton said.

However, Dalton and co-driver Dale Moscatt will complete the reconnaissance at the Eureka Rally in order to plan for next year.

“It’s very hard to go to a rally without having doing the recce beforehand and being able to revert back to recce videos.

“While we won’t be competing, we’ll at least be there to begin preparations for next year.”

Richie Dalton and co-driver Dale Moscatt. Photo: Matt Whitten

It’s not all bad news for rally fans though, with the Sydney-based Irishman all but confirming that he’ll be on the start line for Rally Australia in November.

“The car has been competitive in the events we have done this year, and we’ve got some big changes coming for it before Rally Australia,” he added.

“It will be fully stripped and upgraded over the next couple of months, and we should be at Coffs Harbour running the ARC component of the rally.

“A podium finish will be the aim, and it would be good way to finish the season off.”

Dalton also revealed that he hoped to be behind the wheel of an R5 car for next year’s Australian Rally Championship, although that is all dependent on the sale of his Ford Fiesta at the end of this season.

Meanwhile, he also confirmed that he’ll be on the start ramp at next year’s Otago Rally, driving his brand new Ford Escort Mk2.

A new, 2.5-litre Duratec engine producing 320 horsepower will soon be arriving from SRD in England, with the car ready to rock and roll for the tarmac rallysprints in Sydney in October and November.

Dalton’s Escort is nearing completion.