It won’t just be classic Formula 1 machinery delighting fans at this year’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival – rally fans will get their fix as well. The Rally Legends demonstration will see a host of classic World Rally Car, Group B and Australian Rally icons lap the Victoria Park Sprint circuit at speed on Sunday, 10th of December.
While several cars and drivers will also tackle the challenging roads of the Adelaide Hills during the Shannons Adelaide Rally (that commences on the Thursday prior to the Victoria Park Sprint event), the Rally Legends sessions will be the only chance fans get to see the cars in question perform at speed and in a closed-circuit environment.
Four-time Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates headlines the entrants, set to drive his ARC-title winning Toyota Celica GT4. The Canberra driver is one of the all-time greats of local rallying and through his long association with Toyota won the ARC in 1993, 94 and 1995 and sealed his fourth title in 2008.
Bates continues to be a mainstay in Australian rallying thanks to recent success racing an historic Celica in classic Rally competition. His sons Harry and Lewis have also made their mark on the ARC in recent times, while Bates’ himself has been heavily involved in the one-make Toyota 86 racing series.
Meanwhile, long-time Bates’ associate Darryl Bush will drive a WRC-spec Toyota Corolla – a car that in the day served as a spare for World Champion Carlos Sainz. The Corolla WRC was a successful car in its era and helped Toyota win the 1999 WRC manufacturers title prior to their withdrawal from the sport to focus on Formula 1. Bates contested the local championship in a WRC Corolla during the famous era where he battled long-time rival Possum Bourne.
Another Toyota will be in the hands of Stuart Bowes, his Celica GT4 driven by Belgian driver Freddie Loix in the 1997 World Rally Championship.
The remarkable Group B World Rally era is well represented with several iconic cars entered. Group B regulations were introduced in 1982 however a spate of serious accidents saw the cars branded ‘too fast to race’ and were banned after the 1986 season. The cars have since obtained legendary status amongst rally fans around the world for being some of the most spectacular and powerful ever produced.
Three Audi’s will be demonstrated, including Stewart Reid’s perfect replica of the iconic 1984 Audi S1 Quattro that produces more than 600hp. Tim Possingham and Hillary Evans will drive A2 Quattro’s in Group B Specification, while the star of the show could be Gerry Duyvestyn’s Renault A5 Turbo.
A genuine factory Group B Car, the Renault raced in the Rally of Italy in its day and continues to be presented in period livery. Duyvestyn will also drive a March 701 Formula 1 car across the AMF Event.
Joe Ricciardo, the father of Australian Formula 1 star Daniel, will drive a Porsche 911 RS, while Justin Gan and Brian Kidd will also be Porsche-bound.
Attempting to make the Group B cars look slow will be Irish sensation Frank Kelly, who will tackle both the Adelaide Rally and the Rally Legends demonstrations in his Mk 2 Ford Escort. The Irish champion has a cult following online thanks to several YouTube videos of his exploits that have notched up several million views online.
The Rally Legends demonstration will be held on Sunday, 10th December - following Saturday’s completion of the Shannons Adelaide Rally.
Rally Legends – Entrants List.
Stewart Reid Audi S1 Quattro
Tim Possingham Audi A2 Quattro
Hillary Evans Audi A2 Quattro
Gerry Duyvestyn Renault A5 Turbo
Neal Bates Toyota Celica GT4
Darryl Bush Toyota Corolla WRC
Joe Ricciardo Porsche 911 RS
Frank Kelly Ford Escort Mk2
Justin Gan Porsche 993 RSR
Brad Kidd Porsche 911
Stuart Bowes Toyota Celica
Tim Davies TBC