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When the Australian Rally Championship returns it is going to be worth the wait – but incredibly, it's still nearly two and a half months away! Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Melbourne, and Sydney is starting to show signs of another explosion in positive test results. What that could do for rallying in the immediate future is unknown, but one thing that is certain is that rallying won't go into a 'hub' type scenario that some professional sports have undertaken. Being a sport contested by amateurs and officiated by volunteers, it just can't happen.
The biggest threat to September's National Capital Rally are the border restrictions that are currently in place.
It really doesn't matter where you are in Australia at the moment, to travel anywhere interstate you need to undergo a 14 day quarantine period. And that pretty much puts paid to any hopes of the ARC getting underway – at least as it stands now. Rather than look at the negatives, though, let's look ahead with a positive mindset and what the opening round of the ARC will offer.

Darren Windus in action in last year's National Capital Rally. Photo: Peter Whitten

To be held on September 26 and 27, the National Capital Rally will again be based in Woden, with the event headquarters at the Abode Hotel, and the service park in the adjacent car park. Rally action will get underway on Saturday evening, with two 3.10km spectator stages out in the Kowen Forest near Queanbeyan. The stages don't start until after 5.30pm, so while the days will be getting longer by then, driving lights may still be an essential addition to the cars. On Sunday morning the action continues with 10 special stages in the Brindabella Ranges. Five traditional Canberra stages will be followed by a service back in Woden, before the same stages are repeated in the afternoon. Sunday offers 121km of competitive action, with the winner to be celebrated late on Sunday afternoon. Entries for the Nat Cap Rally open on July 31. It's too early to speculate about whether the rally will run or not, but if it does, it promises to be an enthralling opening to a shortened, four-round, ARC season.

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