Rally NSW Meet the Panel Members

Meet the Panel Members

Ian Bray
2022 Panel Chair

Ian first started rallying in the early ‘80s driving a Chrysler/Mitsubishi Galant and this included the Dunlop 2GO Rally in the list of events. He was a former President of the Mitsubishi Car Owners Club around the same period and also competed in numerous Club circuit events at Amaroo Park, Oran Park and Catalina Park. Avid rally spectator and photographer between 1978 and 1991. The majority of these photos are available on the “Australian Rally History” Facebook page.

In his working life he was instrumental at the following significant sporting events.
1991 – 1993 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix – Eastern Creek, NSW, Australia
Designed and delivered the telecommunications solutions for the event.
1996 Olympic Games – Atlanta, Georgia, USA (2 years)
Liaised and negotiated with all Technology Partners regarding their logistical requirements and venue space/power allocations.
2000 Olympic Games – Sydney, NSW, Australia (4 years)
Documented the Command and Control structure for all SOCOG divisions to determine technology requirement and allocation.

Upon retiring from the workforce in January 2016 he became actively involved in volunteering and organisational aspects of rallies. This has ranged from road closures, time controls, setup, Post Chief at Rally Australia in 2017 and 2018 and recently fulfilled the Secretary role for the 2019 and 2020 Caves Classic Rally and 2022 Oberon Stages Rally. Ian was the COVID Checker for the first significant rally event in Australia post COVID, Rally of the Bay, and the documents generated have been used as the template for numerous motorsport events around the country. Ian has CAMS Bronze Rally and Bronze Administration licences.

John Sparkes
2022 Assistant Panel Chair

John contested his first event in 1976 in a Datsun 1600, with brother Sid navigating. Soon after, John began a long association with North Shore Sporting Car Club’s Batemans Bay rally, known as various guises in the 80s, 90s and noughties, but best known simply as “the Bay”. John directed the event on four occasions in the 1980s and remained till around 2000.

John and Carol became a team in 1980 and contested many Clubman and State rounds together. When Carol and her father built her own Datto, John started navving for her as well. John was also president of NSSCC for 4 years, is now a life member and remains an active committee member. He was a member of the Rally Panel in the 80s – a vastly different animal to today’s panel. Family life soon took over and John retired from competition in about 1990.

Roll on 17 years and the addiction re-surfaced with John building one of the first rally Silvias in the country, contesting his first event in 2007 with son Andrew, and taking out the NSW 2WD Championship in 2008 and 2010. Later, daughter Fiona became co-driver and despite a roll-over is also hooked. John is having more fun in the sport than ever – loves the camaraderie and the competition – and has no intention of giving up any time soon. Now that their four kids are in their 20s and 30s, John and Carol are becoming more active again in all aspects of the sport. John directed the Caves Classic rallies from 2016 to 2018 and is back on the organising committee for the Bay.

In 2016, John joined the Rally Panel and became Chair in 2017. He’s enjoying working with a very committed and passionate team on the Panel and connecting with the broader rally community. John’s keen to make the sport more accessible and enjoyable for competitors, organising teams and officials.

Carol Sparkes
2022 Panel Treasurer

Carol grew up in a family that watched motor racing on TV and as a child went to watch Touring Cars at Oran Park and Warwick Farm. Carol’s father had previously raced bikes at Terrey Hills, Mt Druitt and Mt. Panorama. Her first contact with rallying was as a spectator at the Castrol International Rally in Canberra in 1978 and she was hooked by the sound of the BDA’s in the forest. After assisting with the NSSCC’s 6 Hour relay race at Amaroo Park in mid 1978 Carol joined the Australian Racing Drivers Club and was a lap scorer with them for 2 years at their meetings run at Amaroo and Bathurst.

Carol then realised that Rallying was a more interesting form of motorsport and joined North Shore Sporting Car Club at the end of 1979. She met John and starting Navigating for him, with their first event together being the Southern Ranges rally in early 1980. In 1981 she joined the committee of NSSCC, holding the position of Treasurer for 5 years, then Secretary for 2 years and then Treasurer again for another 5 years. During this time she built her own Datsun 1600 rally car with her father (and lots of advice and help from John) and competed in this for a few years with John navigating. Being on the committee of NSSCC, she was involved in the organisation of many club events and assisted John for 3 years when he was Director of the Bay Stages State Rally in the 1980’s.

Children then came along and car club & motorsport took a back seat for many years. Now that their 4 children have grown the time is right to become involved again and to rekindle the many friendships formed in the 1980’s. Carol joined the Rally Panel along with her husband John in 2016.

Bethany Cullen
2022 Webmaster, Pointscore, Seeding List & Results

Started Rally: 2000 Driver
Rally/ Competition cars
• Toyota AE86 Levin Coupe (gravel rally car)
• Evolution Lancer 6.5 (gravel rally car)
Notable Achievements
• 3rd outright 2007 NSW Clubman Series
• 1St P2 2007 NSW Clubman Series
• 2nd outright 2008 ARC F16 Championship
• 1st NSW Hyundai Rally Series Co Driver 2008
• 1st Outright 2011 ACT Gold Cup
• 1st Outright 2017 ACT Gold Cup
• 2nd Outright 2017 NSW Rally Championship

Bernie Webb
2022 Strategy & Customer Surveys

Bernie is a professional co-driver and rally coach who also runs Smoothline, a widely recognised Stage Note company. Bernie has competed at the pointy end of Australian rallying for almost 2 decades, along the way collecting first place trophies in most tarmac rallies in Australia, as well as a number of ARC events. Bernie began his rally career in NSW in 1997, winning the NSW Rally Championship in 2004 before moving on to the ARC where he won the ARC Privateers Cup with his long-time driver and now business partner Steve Glenney.

In accepting a position on the panel Bernie brings a broad range of experience drawn from his gravel and tarmac rally history as well as from cross-country rally and off road events.
Bernie’s career wins include:
2004 NSW Rally Championship
2005 ARC Privateers Cup
2006 Rally South Australia
2007 Robertstown Walky 100
2008 Rally Tasmania
2008 Targa Tasmania
2008 Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally
2009 Targa Wrest Point (Classic)
2012 Mt Baw Baw Sprint
2013 Targa Adelaide
2014 Great Tarmac Rally
2014 Snowy River Sprint
2014 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship
2015 Quit Forest Rally
2015 National Capital Rally
2016 Akademos Rally
2016 Targa High Country (GT4)
2018 Narooma Forest Rally

Robyn Annabel

2022 Social Media

Robyn spent most of her childhood surrounded by rally cars in service parks, or watching them fly past at spectator points in the forest as she travelled across the state with her parents, Steve and Jayne Annabel, who competed for many years. Having been born into a family that loved their rallying, it was only natural that Robyn learnt to drive at the age of 12 and began competing at a club level shortly after. Robyn then competed frequently in club-level motorkhana’s and khanacross’s before entering the NSW State Motorkhana Championship as a Junior and taking out 2nd place in 2007.

Many years of globetrotting put a hold on competing and spectating for a while but with roots being planted in Australia, Robyn is looking forward to becoming an active part of the Motorsport world once more.