2021 Experts Cup Rally – Big Field!

And so we roll around to the end of the season! Let’s get going with the 2021 Experts Cup rally. It’d been an insane few weeks since the last time I had a chance to get a blog post out. We had our hands really full trying to get a slight dent out of a rally car to be ready for this last round of the state rally championship.

We returned to Collie for the 2021 Experts Cup rally and for a change the sky was blue! Most of the rallies during the year were wet and horrible. For the final rally nature turned it on. It was a lovely day in the low 20’s with plenty of sunshine.

Big Numbers

The 2021 Experts Cup rally attracted a big field of 56 entries. We hadn’t seen those numbers for more than 15 years. The event used the roads around Wellington Dam. Six stages for state and three for Clubman. All competitors had a 30-minute service.

Our team, the biggest for 2 years!

 We ran a four-car team, the largest for us for the year. In our state line up were Todd and Cash in their S15 Sylvia, Hugh and Karen in their WRX and Tim and Jon in their WRX. Tiana and Graham rounded out our 2021 Experts Cup rally team in their freshly rebuilt Impreza running in the Clubman.

Not only was there a big field, the 2021 Experts Cup rally would also be the decider of the state rally championship, the state two wheel drive championship and the clubman series. Let’s not forget Lee McIlroy was also celebrating a birthday with a big milestone as well.

 Back to our team. Todd and Cash were the first out on the stages and unfortunately Cash suffered a bit of motion sickness early in the rally. They had to stop on SS1 for a while and then take it easy to get back to service. Thankfully some travel sickness tablets at service and Cash was good to go. The boys went out and had a better second run of the stages.

 Our other state championship cars weren’t having any dramas. Hugh and Karen settled into the rhythm of the rally early and got on with it. The same with Tim and Jon, they were having a great time. Clubman format was slightly different with them starting later on in the event, having a service and then finishing the last two stages around the same time as state.

It meant Tiana and Graham would finish the 2021 Experts Cup rally just on dusk. After the big accident on the 2021 Safari Rally it took a stage or so to find their feet. The pairing did very well and increased speed as they went. They finished the Clubman in fifth place.

State 2WD Winners

Whilst we’re on the subject of two-wheel drive there’s the state two-wheel drive to talk about. Basically it was a three-way battle coming into the 2021 Experts Cup Rally. The two front runners were Mark Travers in his Toyota Sprinter and Glenn Alcorn in his Ford Escort. Both needed a win to secure the trophy and unfortunately both had troubles which put them out of title contention. Gary Mills and Mitch Gray benefited from the formers’ woes and won state two-wheel drive in their Ford Fiesta.

 Thankfully we weren’t under a huge amount of pressure for service for the 2021 Experts Cup rally. We didn’t have our full crew and 30 minutes is a very short time when you’ve got a lot to do. Apart from some routine maintenance and fitting spotlights, everything was good to go.

Having a much better second run of the stages Todd and Cash finished 27th. Tim and Jon had a trouble free run and finished 26th. Hugh and Karen were seemingly pleased with their 2021 Experts Cup rally finishing a solid 23rd.

2021 Rally WA outright champions

 That brings us to the state champions for 2021. Ben Searcy/Damon Nicoli led through the mid season in their Lancer Evo and were in with a fighting chance. John O’Dowd and Toni Feaver clawed back points on the last two rallies. They took the win on the 2021 Experts Cup rally in their Skoda Fabia R5 and the state title with it.

Huge list of thanks!

 Before I sign off, there’s a list of Thanks.

First up to Oakley Percival and Garrett McIntyre. Both guys go out and film rallies for their own Youtube channels and they’re good enough to let us use their footage for our Youtube videos and blog as well.

Second to all of our sponsors and supporters. Better Performance Products, Mobile Mechanical Air, All Lift Lifting Services, Morley Tyre Centre, Wheels on Yirrigan, Spud Spec, Richard Harris, Champion Autoglass and who could forget the amazing efforts of Mick and the boys from M&M Autospray.

Last and by no means least, thank you to our amazing Rally Action Team. Wet, cold, mud, heat, dust, late nights, early mornings, travelling long distances, changing gearboxes or rebuilding suspension in service, recovering cars in the pouring rain. If there was a task that needed to be done before, on or between rallies, these legends are onto it!

That’s how our 2021 season finished up. A high note as apart from a little bit of tinkering and a few little bits and pieces most of the stuff is development work for next year. We’re already in the planning stages for 2022 as it’s going to be a big year for us.

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