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The CAMS NSW Rally Panel has announced the NSW Rally Championship and the Clubman Rally Series for 2018. The Clubman Rally Series will incorporate a Development Rally Series as a category specifically for novice competitors, where mentoring, training and advice will be available from more experienced crews. The NSW Rally Championship will always be the premier series in the State and 2018 will see seven events, to be shared with the recently announced East Coast Classic Rally Series. The NSW Rally Championship and East Coast Classic Rally Series will consist of the following events in 2018: 14 April: Caves Classic - Oberon, NSW 5 May: Mitta Mountain Rally – Mitta, Victoria 14 July: Border Ranges – Kyogle, NSW 11 August: Rally of the Bay - Batemans Bay, NSW 22 September: Bathurst Rally – Bathurst, NSW 20 October: Monaro Stages – Cooma, NSW 17 November: Rally Australia - Coffs Harbour, NSW (to be confirmed for ECCRS) There are a couple of date changes since the previous ECCRS announcement. The East Coast Classic Rally Series - catering for vehicles complying with the CAMS Classic Rally Car classes C1, C2, C3 and C4 and Club Rally Cars that are over 30 years old - is generating a great deal of interest and should produce some exciting action in 2018. Each event in the NSWRC/ECCRS will be split into two heats, solely for the purpose of allocating Series points. Series points will be split evenly between the two heats. The heats won’t impact on results for the individual events. If a crew DNFs one heat and finishes the other, they will still be classed as a non-finisher for the event, but will at least receive some Series points. It is envisaged that some of the NSWRC/ECCRS events will be pacenoted and the rest will use route instructions. It will be up to individual event organisers to decide whether their events will be noted or blind; however the event organisers of the Border Ranges, Rally of the Bay and Rally Australia have advised that they will be pace noted events. The Clubman Rally Series - a term that’s familiar to many a seasoned competitor – will consist of relaxed, highly social events designed for competitors who prefer basic rallies without the use of pacenotes. They will be single day events, structured to minimise time and cost impacts to competitors. In a lot of cases, Clubman events will be able to be contested without the need for overnight accommodation. The Clubman Rally Series will cater to all levels of rallying, with the following categories at each event: ¬ Clubman – similar to the current Development Rally Series, for experienced competitors with a seeding cut-off to restrict the fastest State-level competitors from stealing the Clubman glory ¬ Development – a new category specifically designed to encourage more Novice crews to participate in rallying. The Development category will be restricted to competitors with limited experience in the sport, with an appropriate seeding cut-off. The category will enable novice crews to compete in the same events as more the experienced crews, who can act as advisors and mentors. ¬ Hyundai – this will be a Series in its own right for the popular Hyundai Excels providing budget, low-stress rallying for all driver levels. This is highly recommended as a budget, entry level series. ¬ All-comers – for those crews whose driver seeding exceeds the cut-off for Clubman competitors. The Rally Panel would prefer these competitors to contest the NSWRC, but recognises a growing demand by top level competitors to contest a series of basic, low-cost events. This category won’t have the prestige of the Clubman, Development or Hyundai categories but its winners will receive some end-of-year recognition. NSW Rally Panel Chair, John Sparkes, said: “Everything we’re doing on the Panel is designed to encourage increased participation in the sport. “It’s particularly important to have a steady stream of new, young competitors entering the sport, and equally as important to retain existing competitors and even to get some ‘retirees’” back into the forests. “The new Clubman Rally Series will cater to all these needs and we’re hoping for a big year with the series.” The 2018 Clubman Rally Series will consist of six events as follows: 14 April: Oberon 23 June: Bulahdelah 21 July: Narooma 25 August: Clybucca 15 September: Termeil 20 October: Cooma Sparkes added: “The new Clubman Rally Series, combined with the NSW Rally Championship, NSW Rallysprint Series and the newly announced East Coast Classic Rally Series should present a full range of rallying options for new and existing competitors.” Dates and events for the NSW Rallysprint Series will be announced shortly.
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