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The Straight On Rallysport Commodore Ute driven by Jamie Lawson along with navigator Nikki Doyle, recently competed in the 2010 Frontier Services Classic Outback Trial, and passed the test with flying colours.

In what is undoubtedly Australia’s longest and toughest 2wd car rally, they were proud to drive the ute across the finish line after six days of hard fought rallying through the Central West of New South Wales.

Although called a trial, it was far from a gentle reliability drive through the bush.  Competition was fierce and the pace flat out from the first prologue stage to the final 3km “Fat Lady Sings” around the Forbes showground.   A field of talent and experience lined up for the event, and with as many as ten crews capable of taking the outright victory, it was going to be a gruelling six day race to see who could outdrive and outlast the competition.

Not once could anyone take their eye off the game or become complacent.  Recent rains turned nearly every stage into a jungle of long grass and thick over growth.  It was a fine line between maintaining speed or biting off more than you could chew and breaking the car on a hidden log, stump or wash out.

“An event such as this should be a must do on every rally persons agenda.   It truly was an amazing adventure that provides an opportunity to experience the entire spectrum of emotions.  Tireless preparation, exhilaration of flat out rallying, heartache and the wonderful bond you develop with your own team , fellow competitors and event officials.  Everyone is pushed to the limit, but through that a mutual respect and admiration develops for everyone around you,” Lawson said.

“After fours days of solid competition and being dogged by flat tyres and broken rear control arms, we were finally able to reel in the leaders and take control of the event from the front.  As quick as the relief and excitement came, it was soon taken away again.  Due to the long grass, the ute over heated at the end of a stage.  Driving slow on the transport to the end of the day in Forbes, we had to book in late and were served with a 16 minute penalty, taking us from a comfortable lead to 5th place.  A position we were unable to improve on in the closing four stages of the rally.”

“Although it was tough to swallow, (losing the win on a transport technicality), the entire event was an amazing experience.  One that will remain a proud memory for the rest of my driving career,” Lawson stated.  

Jamie Lawson, Nikki Doyle and the “Dusty Devil Ute” finished 5th outright and won their class.  But their proudest achievement was winning the most amount of stages, leading the rally, albeit for just one day and putting their name on the 90km long Pilliga stage.

“ A 90km competitive stage is unheard of in modern rallying, so to win it was great.  Not only did we win the stage, but we also had to crawl the last 5 kilometres on a flat tyre and two bent rear control arms, so not a bad effort. Or the time Nikki and I had to literally push the ute out of a competitive section to get it into the control area.  Thirty seven degrees Celsius, helmets on and already exhausted from the 45 kilometre stage, we pushed the car 300m to get it into control and stay in the event.  It wasn’t much fun at the time, but it will be a fond memory and a good camp fire yarn we can tell for many years,” Jamie said.

Like any professional and well organised motorsport team, Straight On Rallysport relies on some dedicated sponsors.  The Dusty Devil Ute is quickly becoming an icon at the rally’s it competes in, and thanks to businesses like Central Queensland Petroleum, Maxi Steel Homes, The Silver Shop and Race Recall, the SOR team are always a stand out in the service park and on the rally track.  The motivation behind the teams professional image is to help enhance the profile of the sport of rallying.

The team are now enjoying a spell over the Christmas season before organising their rally calendar for 2011 and beyond.

Further images, results and information about the 2010 Frontier Services Classic Outback Trial can be obtained from: www.classicoutbacktrial.com.au  or view a very exciting Youtube clip shot from the Dusty Devil during the rally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr7U35fkhJc

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