QUEENSLAND driver Nat Dillon has made a dream come true by winning an entry in the final of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship ARC2 two-wheel drive series at Kennards Hire Rally Australia next month.
Class wins in Rally Canberra and in the MRF Tyres Queensland Rally Championship put Dillon, co-driver Mark Malpas and their Suzuki Baleno on top of the ARC 2WD pointscore and now they aim to take the final prize.
The Queenslander was one of the first to jump in when the ARC2 concept was announced earlier this year, although it seemed an impossible task in a car he’d barely driven.
He will be one of many Australian drivers taking the rare opportunity to test themselves alongside the world’s best on the Coffs Coast on 16-19 November. As well as the World Rally Championship and ARC, drivers will contest the ARC2 2WD and ARC2 4WD, Queensland Rally Championship and NSW Rally Championship finals and the Kennards Hire Cup.
“The goal for this year was always to try and make the ARC2 final at Rally Australia,” Dillon said.
“There have been lots of ups and downs during the year with the high of Canberra – even though it wasn’t easy, especially SS10 where it was wet and we almost ended it in a bank.
“On the other end of the scale, there was the P3 Solutions Benarkin Rally where we never quite made it to the start line due to an engine issue.
“As a life-long rally fan, it has always been a goal to compete in the Australian Rally Championship and Rally Australia, alongside the world’s best
“Being a rally fanatic and having gone to my first event when I was just six weeks old, seeing my name on an entry list along side past and present ARC champions, including a hero of mine Neal Bates, has just been amazing.”
In a sense, Dillon has “won” already by qualifying for a free entry and a free set of MRF tyres as an ARC2 finalist at Rally Australia.
He says ARC2 is an important link for State and club competitors wanting to make the leap to higher-level competition and rally in front of a new set of fans.
“I really hope that CAMS and the ARC see a future for the ARC2 and it continues for many years to come,” he said.