2024 will see a number of changes focussed on attracting new and previous competitors to the sport of rallying. This is intended to grow the grassroots level of the sport over the coming years and will receive its fair share of promotion via our Social Media channels.
The Newly Expanded Hyundai/Kia Rally Series
It was identified the Hyundai Excel X3, the basis of the current Hyundai Rally Series, was becoming harder and more expensive to buy from the second hand marketplace. The Series has now been renamed the Hyundai/Kia Rally Series and expanded to include Hyundai and Kia models that meet the following criteria:
- Front wheel drive only
- A swept engine capacity of 0-1600cc
- An advertised standard production factory power output of 83kW or less
- Originally sold in Australia through the respective new car dealer network
Some more recent 1600cc VVT models have standard production factory power outputs of 91kW to 103kW so are therefore not eligible, though models with 1400cc versions of those engines are eligible.
The type of modifications allowed are heavily restricted and are generally only to fit protection/strengthening and mandatory safety equipment. Motorsport is not cheap, but this ensures this Series is the most economical way to go rallying and also maintains a degree of parity between all Hyundai/Kia Series competitors where talented crews will stand out from the crowd.
To get a mechanically good standard road car ready for rally competition, the following minimum items will be required:
- safety cage structure
- safety harnesses
- towing points
- reflective triangles
- first aid kit
- fire extinguishers
- driver and co-driver apparel
- RallySafe wiring and mounting kit
- rally trip meter
- rally tyres
- underbody protection (sumpguard as a minimum)
The driver and co-driver will also need approved helmets, frontal head restraints (HANS device) and driving suits. After the purchase price of a standard Hyundai/Kia road car, the above additions/preparation should be achievable with a minimum budget of $11,000 – 14,000. Take it easy on the first event and you will soon find out what areas of the car will need improvement, such as brakes and suspension. Alternatively, you may find a fully prepared Excel X3 car in the various Facebook Rally Car Sales Groups for sale at a similar price.
The following documents found at https://www.motorsport.org.au/regulations/manual/technical-appendix will give you all the detailed information you will need to comply with the relevant basic regulations.
- Schedule A Automobile
- Schedule D Apparel
- Schedule H Fire Extinguishers
- Schedule I Safety Harness
- Schedule J Safety Cage Structure
Also check out our page on “Getting Started” at https://rallynsw.com.au/getting-started/
Pocket Rocket (0-1600cc) class added to the Clubman 2WD Category
The other major change is the addition of the Pocket Rocket (0-1600cc) class to the Clubman 2WD Category. This is intended for competitors who wish to modify their Hyundai/Kia Rally Series car beyond the limited modifications allowed in that Series (formerly the “Hyundai Open Class”), novice competitors wishing to start in a more heavily modified vehicle or more experienced competitors who wish to return to the sport but in a more economical way than the budgets needed to run a Mitsubishi Evo, Subaru WRX, etc. Any 2WD vehicle can be used with an engine capacity of 0-1600cc and complying with one of the eligible vehicle groups (except for R5, G4 and AP4) found at this link (https://rallynsw.com.au/vehicle-eligibility/) are eligible.
You will still need to have a driver seeding of 89 or less at the start of the year to be Clubman eligible, but if not, there is always the equivalent Pocket Rocket class in the NSW Rally Championship! This means that somebody joining the sport for the first time in their Hyundai/Kia Rally Series eligible vehicle can gain experience and as budget allows and more performance beckons, can migrate to the Clubman Rally Series. Then, as skills and results improve to be no longer eligible for Clubman, they can move onto the NSW Rally Championship all in the same car and in a class that is tailor made for the vehicle. These changes are designed to make the sport more economical to join, provide close competition and encourage more recent models into the sport.