Unfinished business for the Kaplan/Penney RX7

Multi-faceted businessman, Adam Kaplan is going all out to prove that his Mazda’s reliability and his well-known speed can deliver a victory in the 2021 Classic Outback Trial.

Kaplan, together with 26 year old co-driver Aleshia Penney, hopes to show their pace of the 2018 event , where they were fastest on most of the special stages they finished, was no flash-in-the-pan.

With some more reliability from the Series 4 Mazda RX-7, they hope to be at the top of the podium come the finish line.

The car will have more power this year as well!

“We will be configuring the RX7 with a bridge ported 13B engine and a 6 speed sequential Hollinger gearbox”, enthused Adam from his Sydney corporate headquarters.

“We won’t be running the snorkels that we fitted to cope with the red dust around Alice Springs, so the car will look less like a DeLorean and more like a Mazda!”

“In the last Classic Outback Trial we were fastest in every stage we finished (they suffered from intermittent electrical gremlins on critical stages) bar one, when Aleshia  begged me to slow down over the blind crests – to be fair to her, we were doing 207 km/h – and that allowed David Travis to beat me by just 0.2 seconds!”

After competing in tarmac rallies for 30 years, Adam switched to gravel rallying 5 years ago.  “I wish I had switched sooner!”, he quipped.

Kaplan and Penney have been competing together in the Australian Rally Championship for several years, firstly in the Mazda RX7 and more recently in a potent Nissan 370 Z. 

Kaplan/Penney in the 2019 Eureka Rally
Kaplan/Penney in the 2018 Eureka Rally in the Mazda

Their rather unusual choice of cars has paid off, as the pair can claim the title of Australian Rally Champion in the two wheel drive class, 3 years in a row!

All competition of this year’s Classic Outback Trail will be held in daylight, much to Adam’s relief.

 “In the most recent event, we pulled out to go to the pub instead of completing the last stage in the dark”

The 2021 Classic Outback Trial will start in the Central West NSW town of Parkes on Sunday, 7 March.

After two days of special stage rallying around Parkes, the event will move to Orange for two nights before heading further east to Bathurst for the final three days.

COT21 will finish on Saturday 13 March with the much-anticipated celebration and presentation dinner to be held at the famous Mt Panorama Motor Racing Circuit.

Adam Kaplan & Aleshia Penney in COT18
Adam Kaplan and Aleshia Penney with those distinctive air intakes in COT18n COT1
The Kaplan RX7, with those distinctive air intakes in COT18.