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"Mr Sideways" Jack Monkhouse to make rally return in Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA

Sideways as ever, Jack Monkhouse will slide his way back into the Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA next weekend.

One of the most flamboyant rally drivers ever to grace the high-speed forrest roads of the Sprint Auto Parts Rally South Australia will return to the event in 2009 after a three-year absence.

Former works-supported Australian Rally Championship (ARC) star Jack Monkhouse will return to his home roads next weekend, after taking time away from his rallying career to work full-time as a professional stunt driver with the Toyota Hilux stunt team, performing at major shows, fairs and other events.

Well known locally for having a driving style that matches even two-time ARC champion Simon Evans in the excitement stakes, Monkhouse is known for predominantly driving products with a Mitsubishi badge on the front however this year he’ll be behind the wheel of something more... eccentric.

With co-driver Neville Whittenbury, Monkhouse will this year throw a classic Datsun 180B SSS around to the delight of thousands of local spectators set to attend across the three-day (July 31 – August 2) event.

The blue ‘Datto’ is the same car that Monkhouse forged his rallying reputation for sideways, crowd-pleasing antics as a teenager contesting the 2001 and 2002 South Australian rally titles.

Now based in New South Wales, the 28-year-old said he couldn’t wait to get the crowds cheering once again.

“The last time I drove the Datsun at Rally SA was in 2002, and we were running after a group of front-wheel drive cars,” Jack grinned.

“There were people bowing down and going crazy cheering as we came past because they loved seeing rear-wheel drive cars being driven as hard as possible.

“There’s just no other way to drive a Datsun other than going from lock-to-lock on the steering, sideways, at 7,000 RPM!”

Though admitting his competitive nature would shine through, Monkhouse said that he was running this year’s event to have a blast and entertain the crowds.

“I had a spare weekend away from work driving the Hiluxes, the car was ready to go and it just seemed like a fun thing to do again,” he said.

“I haven’t run the event since my last full year in the ARC driving the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which was 2006, but it’s always been an event I’ve loved. The roads are fantastic and it’s well organised and it’s good to run in front of a big crowd, too.

“I might not have rallied competitively since I contested the Alpine rally in 2007, but doing the Hilux stunt shows and some drifting has kept me sharp. I’m ready. I'm not registered for SARC points and I know I'm not going to beat the top ARC cars in stage times - but we'll be driving as hard as we can and having as much fun as we can.

“My driving style has always been naturally pretty 'out there', so this was a great opportunity to get back in the old girl, have some fun and show the rally fans how a car should be driven – sideways and quickly!”

Monkhouse’s Datsun 180B SSS will be one of 58 cars entered for the 2009 Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA, the final round of the 2009 Australian Rally Championship.
The Rally kicks off on Friday, July 31st with the inaugural Pedders No Bull shootout to be held in the Mount Crawford Forrest that morning.

Crews will then tackle the first of two Angaston Oval Super-Special stages on the Friday night, an event that last year drew nearly 7500 people over two days to witness the superb rallying action.

Tickets can be pre-purchased online for the Angaston Super Special stages, costing $10 per night or $15 for a two-day pass for Adults. Family passes – for two adults and two children – are available for $20 / night or $30 for both nights.

The two heats of the Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA will then be contested on Saturday and Sunday on the high-speed and challenging roads around the Barossa and Eden Valleys and other regions north of the city.

Action can be followed live on with live vision of the super-special stages and in-car camera vision being updated during the weekend.

For more information about the event head to