The Excel Rally Series is a one-make rally series run in Australia. The series is based on the popular X3 Hyundai Excel (also known as the Hyundai Accent in other countries) and is the most popular one make rally series in Australia.
The Excel Rally Series has a thriving national website and forum where current and potential competitors can ask questions, discuss the cars and competition, and learn how to become involved.
The Excel Rally Series was developed to be a replacement series to the aging Gemini Rally Series that has been around for two decades. Following a visit to the Bega Valley Rally in 2005 by Col Hardinge and John Carney from Victoria, both were very impressed with these cars and after some discussion decided to take the idea to Victoria. After an initial meeting with interested people toward the end of 2005 there appeared to be sufficient interest to create a Victorian Series, including the cars in the highest level of State Rallying in Victoria through the Victorian Rally Championship. With corporate support from several sources including Hyundai Motor Corporation Australia, several cars were built during the Summer of 2005/06.
The first appearance of the new cars was at a Gala function to launch the Series at Wights Motor Group Traralgon. This was attended by several high ranking Hyundai officials as well as two cars from the NSW Series. The first rally in Victoria for the series being the David Nutter Ford rally. It was not until the second rally being a very wet Cerberus Stages, which at the time was a day and night rally that the full Excel field arrived. Two years on a the Excel Series in Victoria is now making up close to third of the field in any Victorian Rally Championship, Excel teams have also scooped the pool in many of the outright awards in the Championship and have demonstrated their ability as tough little competitors which in the right hands are now consistently getting into the top ten in many events.
The NSW Excel Rally Series was first conducted in 2005. From 2007 RaceBrakes Sydney has been the series sponsor, but that sponsorship ended at the end of the 2009.
Winners of the NSW Excel Series have been: 2005 Glenn Farrant Driver, Jason Wood Co-Driver 2006 Mick Gillett Driver, Marek Dzidowski Co-Driver 2007 Glenn Farrant Driver, Anna Ritson Co-Driver 2008 Mick Gillett Driver, Ben Cullen Co-Driver 2009 Fro Horobin/Dave Roberts (tied) Driver, Kirrilee Gentleman Co-Driver
Winners of the Victorian Excel Rally Series have been: 2006 Tom Kaitler Driver, Loretta Kaitler Co-Driver 2007 Paul Batten Driver, Craig Jones Co-Driver 2008 Ross Allan Driver, Scott Allan Co-Driver 2009 Tony Moore Driver, Nikki Moore Co-Driver
2008 was the debut year of the Excel Rally Series in Queensland. The series will be following the events of the Queensland Clubman Rally Series but is run as a standalone series with a separate points score and prizes.
From 2009, it was decided to hold a national event for Excels, open to all complying Excel Rally Cars from the various states.
In 2009, the Bega Valley Rally was selected as the event for the inaugural "Excel Cup", being both a round of the 2009 RaceBrakes Sydney NSW Excel Rally Series, and the 2009 Hyundai Genuine Parts Victorian Excel Series. NSW driver Mick Gillett and navigator Harvey Smith won the event.
The 2010 Excel Cup is proposed to be held at Rally Victoria, the Victorian round of the 2010 Australian Rally Championship.