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The Alpine Rally preparations for the Datsun Stanza of brothers Justyn and Steuart Snooks are just about complete.

The Snooks brothers (Justyn on Gold Coast, Steuart in Melbourne) have been preparing specifically for the Alpine over the past 15 months, contesting 2 events late last year and 6 events this year, with progressively better results.

The three day Alpine Rally, starting on November 29, is Australia's largest and longest gravel rally for two wheel drive cars, with a full range of the Datsuns, Escorts, Toyotas, Mazdas, Hondas and Holdens that have featured in Australian rallying during the 1970’s and 80’s.

With the extra expenditure needed for the 850km long event, Royal Oak Floors have stepped in to generously lend some assistance to the team. As a competitor himself, Kim Harper of Royal Oak Floors understands the costs involved in such a big event and quickly stepped in to offer assistance when asked.

This year’s preparations began when Justyn competed with Craig Robinson in the Bega Vally Rally in June (while Steuart was busy as Assistant Clerk of Course), overcoming a range of niggles to gain valuable competitive kilometres and record a finish. The brothers then got together for the Nissan Nightmoves at Heathcote in Victoria but dropped out with a broken panhard rod on the 3rd stage while lying 3rd outright.

In August, they travelled to the Bago Rally near Taree in NSW, enjoying an untroubled run to finish 6th O/R and 1st Classic. Later that month they achieved a 9th outright in the Border Ranges Rally (QLD state championship event) based at Kyogle, without the benefit of the pace notes which most other leading crews used!

October saw them running as high as 4th outright in the Rally of the Bay (a NSW State Championship event) when they found a damaged strut top at the last service break. “With the extent of the damage, we would normally have been forced to retire there and then but, needing only to finish to win the East Coast Classic Rally Challenge, we opted to limp through the last two stages. As a result, we dropped to 13th outright and 2nd in the Classics” said Justyn after the event.

However, that result was enough to ensure their victory of the East Coast Classic Rally Challenge (contested over 3 events - Bega Valley Rally, Border Ranges Rally and Rally of the Bay) to win the $1000 prize on offer from Brisbane based web design company, WebStor, which creates some of the best rally websites in Australia.

And finally, just week after the event at Bateman’s Bay, they finished 3rd in the Bombala Rally, overcoming regular pace setters in these AMSAG events, Bill Brown/Aaron Topliff. The Snooks were just 3 seconds behind 2nd placed David Hills/Paul Bennett in a BDA Escort and with striking distance of winner David King in his Datsun 200B.

So now, the stage is well set for the Alpine. Justyn and Steuart will start just two places behind the third Snooks brother, Darryn, in another Stanza (winner of the 2007 Alpine) when the action begins with the prologue stages on Friday 29 November, just north of Lakes Entrance.

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