2023 Karri Rally – 230km/h roads!

The start of the 2023 Karri Rally

In mid-August, the 2023 Karri Rally unfolded in the quaint town of Manjimup, marking the fourth round of a six-round series. Our journey commenced with a leisurely 350-400 kilometer drive to this destination. It was another long trek after the previous 2023 Grimwade Stages Rally.

Karri Rally format

The proposed format comprised two forest stages, a service break, two laps around the motocross track, two repeated forest stages, another service interval, and culminating with the final two stages conducted under the cloak of darkness. The competitive distances over the eight stages were proposed at around 100 kilometers for state championship and 60 to 70 kilometers for Clubman participants.

Manjimup town centre

Our base of operations for the 2023 Karri Rally was situated in the main street of Manjimup, serving as both the service area and headquarters, proved strategically central. Positioned there, the event garnered the attention of the townsfolk, creating an engaging spectacle.

The initial moments of the 2023 Karri Rally were not without some commotion, particularly during the ceremonial start. A minor hiccup occurred as competing cars navigated through a side street, requiring a bit of organization. State competitors, having completed pace noting (recce), reported favorable road conditions.

At the driver’s briefing, Dylan King and Lee Tierney drew the infamous car one position, rendering their Evo 9 the road sweeper for the initial stages. Before delving into the competitive aspect, a brief introduction to our team is in order.

Rally Action team for Karri

Our team comprised two cars for the Karri Rally – Glenn and Max in the VR4 for the state championship, and Jack and Luke in their Impreza for the Clubman category. Now, onto the competition.

The first third

The first leg of the 2023 Karri Rally covered a shade under 35 kilometers, with Craig Rando and Scott Beckwith taking an early lead in their WRX. However, on stage two, the competition tightened, with Dylan King and Lee Tierney, along with Alex Rullo and Ben Searcy, breathing down their necks.

Retiring early

Moving into the second leg of the 2023 Karri Rally, featuring four stages and two laps around the motocross track, the event witnessed minimal retirements compared to the previous rally. Shane Smith and Wayne Richardson faced a troublesome misfire in their WRX, forcing them to retire, while Will Carpenter and Tim Jackson succumbed to mechanical troubles. Rod Fowler and Keith Mays experienced gearbox failure on the first run of the motocross track in their Peugeot.

High speed and off road excursions

SS5, a repeat of the forest stages, posed challenges with its high speed. Top cars were clocking blistering speeds of over 230km/h! An unfortunate incident involved two-wheel drive Championship leaders, Alex and Lisa White. Their Nissan Silvia S13 veered off the road and crashed. It caused a delay of over an hour and prompted the organizers to cancel the last two stages. This drastically reduced the competitive distance by some 40%.

Clubman Cup winners

As the 2023 Karri Rally concluded with Stage 6, a 14-kilometer stretch, Jack and Luke secured third place in the Clubman category. The podium place maintained their overall Clubman Series lead. Lochie White and Kai Rasmussen (Daihatsu Charade) claimed second. Young driver Sam Moody with Dave Christian navigating clinched the top spot in their Impreza.

State 2WD Championship

Within the state two-wheel drive standings, Tony Oates and Riley Griffiths secured third place (Honda Civic). Jerry McGroarty and Kirsty Moore claimed second (Datsun 1600), and Dave Smith and Roger Pederson emerged victorious in their Ford Fiesta ST.

The Top Ten

Wrapping up the 2023 Karri Rally, Glen and Max finished a commendable 17th in the VR4. Tenth place was taken by Cam Puzey and Ben Madlener in their Subaru Legacy RS. For their team it was great to get a good result. They’d been struggling with teething troubles with the car all year.

Cody Reynolds and Anthony Stoltari hadn’t been out for a while in their WRX. They had an exhaust drama early in the rally that they sorted in service and went on to take ninth place.

Eighth place was taken by Ray Bradley and Tim Batten in their WRX behind seventh place Dale Faulkner and Rachel Ferrante in their WRX.Tim Hiles and Morgan Ward gave their “Gramps” Subaru Legacy RS a good run and finished sixth. Clinching a top five position John O’Dowd and Tony feaver brought their Skoda Fabia R5 into fifth


In another Skoda Fabia R5 current state championship leader Daniel “Speedy” Gonzales with new co-driver Bernie Webb were fourth. First rung on the podium went to Dylan King and Lee Tierney in their Evo 9. Alex Rullo/Ben Searcy took their Hyundai i20 rally 2 to second place.

100 rallies down

That left the top spot and the win was taken by Craig Rando and Scott Beckwith in their WRX. The only win thus far this year with a production car. The victory no doubt sweeter as this was Scott’s 100th rally start and a win in his hometown.

In conclusion, the 2023 Karri Rally delivered thrilling moments, challenges, and triumphs, showcasing the resilience and skill of the competitors. Until the next rally, this concludes our recap of the 2023 Karri Rally, a pivotal round in the state Rally Championship.

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