With less than three weeks to go until the epay Silver Fern Rally 2010 hits the roads of Central Otago, organisers are busy making changes to the competitors road books and schedules following the new Central Otago District Council’s decision at yesterday’s meeting, to decline the road closure application for part of the special stage using the roads through the Lake Onslow area.
The decision was as a result of an objection by one land owner who may have cows and calves in one section of the unfenced roadway through the area.
Rally Manager Carl Rabbidge expressed his dismay at the last minute decision which sees this iconic special stage, which at just over 100km in length, and was the signature stage of the event, now being shortened to just over half distance.
Carl said “We only became aware of the property managers concern last Friday” and after communicating with him, and advising him that organisers could adequately manage the situation of any stock that maybe along the roadside.
This was followed up with a discussion on Wednesday morning when it was identified that the area of concern was only approximately 5km in length, and both parties agreed on the possible option of splitting the stage into two parts, one either side of where the stock maybe located as an alternative to the full length of the stage being interrupted, and Council was advised so that it could consider the compromise.
Carl added “to lose 50km of this unique part of the event is very disappointing, however the competitors, many from overseas will still enjoy the pleasure of driving through the section of road, but at touring speeds rather than at rally speeds, as they make their way to the new stage start on Linnburn Runs Rd.”
The epay Silver Fern Rally 2010 will start in Christchurch on November 14th with the drivers and cars then taking on over 1000km’s of competitive high speed stages with overnight stops in Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill and Alexandra before the event finishes in Queenstown on November 20th.
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