Perth Rally – What’s changed in the 2019 Championship

Perth rally car Silvia sideways

The Western Australian rally calendar for 2019 was announced toward the end of last year and cited some alterations to events and dates. What some Perth rally people may not know about are the other changes taking place in the WA championship.  

The Clubman Cup

For 2019 CAMS have made changes to the standards regarding personal safety gear below state level. Clubman Cup competitors are most likely to feel the effects of the changes.

Personal Safety Gear

All Perth rally competitors who enter a Clubman event will need to have a frontal head restraint (FHR) and compliant helmet. FHR’s come in two types; HANS or Simpson Hybrid. The devices are designed to be worn on your shoulders and tethered to your helmet. Some therefore will need to buy a FHR and upgrade to a helmet fitted with the correct posts to accept the tether.

Seats & Harnesses

For FHR’s to work correctly the vehicle also needs to be fitted with 5 or 6 point race harnesses. These types of harnesses require a race seats with a crotch strap hole. So if you have four point harnesses and seats without a hole in the base they too will need to be upgraded.

Where do I find the standards?

Interestingly the rules regarding clothing have not changed. CAMS have obviously identified that fire is a lower risk and therefore did not need to enact higher standards. Most Perth rally competitors already wear fire retardant race suits anyway.  You can find the standards (Schedule D) by clicking here. If you’re confused it’s worthwhile having a chat to a reputable local safety gear outlet such as Performance RaceGear.

GPS Tracking

In addition to the nationally imposed changes, the Perth rally panel have added some extras. Rallysafe will be compulsory for all Clubman competitors from this year onwards. The GPS based system is designed to track and monitor all competing vehicles during a rally.

Fitting & wiring

It requires the fitment of a mounting bracket and a special wiring harness which includes satellite and WiFi antennas. At every event competitors will need to fit a unit into their vehicle. Once powered up the unit should transmit data to the organisers during the event, helping them to track the vehicle.

Rallysafe does come at an additional cost which will no doubt be added to the entry fee for each rally. Many organisers believe this system improves the safety of their events.

Timing for all competitors

Trialled at the last WA rally championship event of 2018, timing will now be via Rallysafe for 2019. Most importantly as all competing vehicles will have Rallysafe units fitted the timing function can therefore be enabled. The hope is to improve reliability over the aging timing equipment currently in use.

Sponsor Change

Late last year a preview of a new windscreen banner was posted on social media. Perth rally people got their first glimpse of the new major sponsor for 2019. It appears that Better Value Tyres/Zestino has replaced Onslow Contracting.

The bottom line

There probably isn’t a lot of change for WA State championship competitors this year. Apart from the stage timing and a re-shuffling of the 2019 Rally WA calendar, its business as usual.  The Clubman Cup will by far feel more impact.

 It may cause some Perth rally competitors to reassess their plans. As safety gear requirements are almost identical, perhaps some Clubman will transition to State Championship? Perhaps some will look towards Rally Sprints as a cost effective alternative instead. Only time will tell as the 2019 season unfolds.