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This weekend’s BP Clybucca Rally to be held on the north coast of NSW looks like being a dry and dusty affair, conditions that will favour crews high up on the starting order.

Despite good summer rains, the area is now enjoying perfect autumn weather but this has resulted in forest roads being dustier than usual, favouring the lead crews.

Wingham driver Dave Darby and Forster navigator Shane Griffis will lead the field of around 25 crews away from the start at the BP Clybucca Roadhouse in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 3 on Saturday afternoon. Darby will be chased out of the starting blocks by last year’s winners, Garry Yeomans and Kam Baker, but this time in suitably-updated machinery, a newer Evolution 4 Mitsubishi Lancer.

Four wheel drive turbocharged cars make up the top five on the entry list – Peter Leicht will start as car three, with the Armidale crew of Adam and Grant Kennedy next in their Evo 3. The first Subaru on the start list is that of former Kempsey driver, Erkki Kytola, who will have co-driver Pete Graham alongside in their red Subaru Impreza WRX.

While the 4WD turbo cars are expected to set the pace, a host of 2WD cars, headed by Nathan Quinn and Bruce Tyler (Mazda RX2) will be snapping at their heels. Also in contention for a podium finish will be Mal Keough who is making an active return to rallying in a Datsun 1600 with Greg Wiseman reading the notes.

After a 1.30pm Saturday afternoon start, competitors will head into the forests for the first leg of four stages before returning to the start location for a service break. With the sun setting in the west, crews will again head off for a further four stages in the Tamban Forest which will be run entirely in darkness.

Kempsey Sporting Car Club officials expect the first car to arrive at the finish at the South West Rocks Country Club at 8.45pm where results will be tabulated.

Four spectator points have been provided for rally fans to see the action, and spectator guides will be available at the start on Saturday. The BP Clybucca Rally is a round of the 2007 NSW Clubman rally series, as well as a round of both the Northern NSW and the NSW Gemini series.

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