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Before the oil cools: Tarmac crews ready for bumper season

The inaugural Targa Great Barrier Reef in Queensland has been run and won, but before the oil can cool, many of the crews prepare to head south.

The winter hiatus has given way to the spring start of the tarmac rally season in the southern states.

The calendar opens on September 22nd and 23rd with the Snowy River Sprint, the first round of the Australian Tarmac Rally Championship. A real test of machine and crew with its 300km of competitive driving, the rally is based out of Lakes Entrance in Victoria’s beautiful East Gippsland.

As the saying goes, ‘there’s no rest for the wicked’.

Round two of the Australian Championship, the Great Tarmac Rally, is just three weeks later. Centred in Marysville, a small town 34 kilometres north-east of Healesville and 41 kilometres south of Alexandra in Victoria, the event is held over the weekend of October 13 and 14.

If you thought crews would be pining for action with the next round of the Australian Tarmac Rally Championship not until February 2019, you would be mistaken. Mansfield, in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, plays host to Targa High Country, from the 9th to the 11th of November.

Before crews take a well-earned Christmas break, it’s a fitting end to 2018, when the City of Church’s bells toll. Tarmac competitors find themselves in South Australian for Rally Adelaide.

The event features four days of competition and three days of touring within the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Fleurieu and Murray Mallee region and is run from the 29th of November to the 2nd of December.

With Christmas over and new years’ resolutions forgotten, tarmac rallying for 2019, kicks off on the Apple Isle, with Targa North West, the opening round of the new CAMS Australian Targa Championship. Based in the port city of Burnie, crews will tackle 170km of competition over the weekend of February 16 and 17.

The mainland once more calls competitors with Rally Mt Baw Baw, the third round of the Australian Tarmac Championship beckoning. The rally is based on Mt Baw Baw, within the Baw Baw National Park and Great Dividing Range.

The event is considered the most technical and precise of the Australian events, with the famous Porcupine Creek stage and its 350 corners. The rally is held over the weekend of February 23 and 24.
The title round of the 2019 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship takes place one month later when crews return to Marysville for Rally Lake Mountain, held over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of March.

With the Australian Tarmac Champion(s) crowned for 2019, crews can focus on the Targa Championship. They only have five weeks after Lake Mountain in which to prepare for the famous Targa Tasmania.

The Apple Isle once more welcomes all visitors, as competitors tackle the gruelling six-day event from the 29th of April to the 4th of May.

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