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Hyundai Excel: Challenging and fun to drive!

Photo courtesy Skot Carter – OffWithThePixels

2007 has proven to be quite a successful year for the Excel series with not only increased competitor numbers, but also Excel teams taking out the P2 class in the Victorian, New South Wales and South Australian State Championship series. In both VIC and NSW the Excels also finished 3rd Outright for the 2WD group, and in SA 2nd Outright Driver and 3rd Outright Co-Driver for the Clubman series.

There were also guest appearances by Ed Ordynski/Iain Stewart and Geoff Portman, all former Australian Rally Champions. Ed and Iain competed at the Lithgow rally whilst Geoff competed in Rally of Melbourne, incidentally his second event in an Excel. Both Drivers were quite impressed with the performance of the cars, Ed being quoted after his drive at Lithgow as saying "The Excels are strong, fast (both finished inside the top 20 of a 55 car field ahead of many 4WD, turbocharged cars) and best of all, very challenging and great fun to drive."

The NSW series saw 7 cars competing this year, 3 of the teams new to the series. The series was won by Glenn Farrant and Anna Ritson, Glenn winning the drivers title for the second time. Glenn and Anna also finished 1st P2 and 3rd Outright 2wd in the NSW Rally Championships.

The VIC series had 9 crews compete throughout the season (there are a number of additional cars in VIC looking to compete in the new year) with Paul Batten and Craig Jones the eventual winners. Incidentally Paul and Craig also won the BP Challenge Trophy in the ARC this year driving a Subaru WRX. Craig and Paul also finished 1st P2 and 3rd Outright 2wd in the VIC Rally Championships.

Season ahead for 2008
Through the course of the 2007 season a set of national regulations was agreed upon and will be adopted by all states in 2008. The series is also set for further expansion with 2008 being the first season for both the Queensland and Tasmanian series. QLD currently has 4 cars in build and Tasmania with 2 so far. I believe there are also a couple of cars underway in WA with a view to adopting the series in 2009 leaving only the NT to create a truly national series!

Bega 2008 - State of Origin
Currently the Bega Valley Rally is a combined round of the NSW and VIC Championships and also the respective Excel series. 10 cars competed this year with the Victorians taking home the 'State of Origin' honours this year. There should be at least 15 cars competing this year (David Marriner will be in attendance), and it is hoped that some of the new Qld and Tas teams will also be able to make it along to compete for the title of "National Excel Champion".