Hi again SCGAR people. Our event is nigh! In fact, bloody nigh!
Everything is in place. The CAMS course check has been successfully done, the road book is being printed, all required permissions from authorities have been granted. All we have now before the event starts is scrutiny, which is on Wednesday 2 November at Performance Exhaust, 11 Trade Place Vermont. 03) 98731412. Thank you to long time supporter of HRA events, David Robinson for the use of his excellent facility.
Non Victorian competitors are required to arrange their own scrutiny with a local CAMS approved scrutineer. You will need to present a valid scrutiny slip at book in / documentation at Lake Hume Resort or for Sydney to Coffs Harbour competitors, at the Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club, venue for the mid event dinner. Details of location and time in Further Instructions.
You will have seen in the Guide to the Event that all of us owe a debt of gratitude to our magnificent officials who, by foregoing payment for fuel and accommodation have enabled the event to go ahead. Every time you see an official, give him or her a big smile. They deserve it.
A final list of competitors will appear in Further Instructions. There may be further changes before the start, but this is correct at the time of writing. If by some misfortune a crew member is unable to continue in the event, the organisers will permit a change of personnel at its discretion. This does not mean that if you are in a winning position with one day to go you can substitute your driver with Rauno Aaltonen!
We must apologise for a couple of errors of information. After the NSW course survey it was decided to change the overnight stop venue on Tuesday November 15 from Port Macquarie to Kempsey as Kempsey was more convenient. This information was posted on the Notice Board on the event web site, but not all people look at this and some confusion ensued. If you have booked at Port Macquarie for both November 14 and 15 you will have the minor inconvenience of a 50km transport from Kempsey to Port Macquarie after the night navigation event, and a similar transport back to Kempsey next day for the start.
Prices for the dinner in Sydney and the Presentation dinner at Sawtell have also been misquoted. The Sydney dinner cost is $60 per head for competitors and officials, and the cost of extra tickets for the Sawtell function (included in the entry fee for competitors and free for officials) is $42.50 per head.
At the dinner at the Penrith Panthers Leagues Club in Sydney we are planning to have a live cross to Andrew Cowan, winner of two London to Sydney Marathons and six Southern Cross rallies. During his years as both a competitor and as manager of the Ralliart Mitsubishi Rally team, Andrew made many friends in Australia.
Among them are Barry Ferguson, who won the ‘Cross in 1967 and 1970 and finished second to Andrew in four other ‘Crosses, Dave Johnson who co-drove Ferguson to victory in 1967 and Cowan in 1969, John Bryson who also co-drove Andrew to Southern Cross wins in 1973 and 1974, and Bob Riley who managed the Ralliart workshop in Australia. All will be at the dinner in Sydney, hopefully chatting to Andrew across the world if the wonders of modern communication work. I hope!
Rally Australia involvement: This a bit of a moveable feast, but we are assured of at least the following:
Thu Nov 17: Closed road stage Raleigh Raceway, closed road stage near Lower Bucca, Rally Australia Rally Car show (15 SCGAR cars).
Fri Nov 18: Closed road stage at Lower Bucca. Spectate Rally Australia cars at Raleigh Raceway. 50% of our cars participate in Rally Australia Super Special night stage in Coffs Harbour.
Sat Nov 19: Spectate the WRC in Bowraville area in morning then the other 50% of our cars participate in Super Special stage in Coffs.
This is the agreement with Rally Australia at the time of writing, However we must accept that things may happen that will change the program. Obviously with a World Rally Championship up for grabs, the needs of the WRC event and competitors will come first.
One question I have been asked by a number of you is the need for driving lights. Certainly they will be an advantage for the two night navigation sections out of Sale and Kempsey respectively. These sections are designed to replicate rallying in the 1960s and 70s before the advent of special stages, daylight running and god forbid, pace notes.
Simple navigation – but no room for errors – and timing to the minute mean that good teamwork on these sections is essential. A few seconds can mean “going over the minute” and copping another minute of time penalty – just as it used to be. Enjoy!
At next Tuesday’s committee meeting we will discuss the possibility of providing limited transport for wheels and tyres and some spare parts. We will keep you posted.
Finally, as this will be the final newsletter before the event starts, please keep in mind that it is an 11 day event, and it would be a pity not to experience it all. Every timed event and every touring section has been carefully selected to give you the best rallying experience.
So, early over enthusiasm and some kind of mishap would be a shame. Sure, the top competitors will be going hard from the start, but they are top drivers in well prepared cars. I tried to get this message over to competitors in the Red Centre to Gold Coast Trial, but obviously failed as a number of cars were virtually out of the event after the first day. Don’t let it happen to you.
We hope you all have a great event.
Bob and the organising committee.