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With less than 30 days until the opening round of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship the countdown is well and truly underway for the National Capital Rally.

Clerk of Course Adrian Dudok is promising a technical challenge for drivers while spectators will be treated to brand new viewing locations in the Canberra forests.

The National Capital Rally marks a welcome return to the forestry roads surrounding Canberra, the event not seen as part of the ARC since it last ran in 2008 when it was also a Round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

At its last staging Cody Crocker and Neal Bates were victorious in the APRC and ARC categories respectively.  Entries for this year’s edition close in one week, organisers are expecting a strong field across all categories including the outright 2WD Championship as well as the national 4WD, classics,  side-by-sides and SUV classes.

“For those who have competed at the rally before they will recognize some of the stages that last ran as part of the Rally of Canberra,” explained Clerk of Course Adrian Dudok. “And for those who are new to the rally I’d say it’s going to be very technical.”

“The roads are really in excellent condition though. I’ve been in this area for many years and I can honestly say the roads we’re using are in the best condition they’ve ever been. When we set the course we really picked the eyes out of the best on offer.”

Heavy rain over the weekend, including up to 60mm in the centre of Canberra, had caused some concern for Dudok but checking of the stages by his team has alleviated any apprehension.

“I don’t know exactly how much rain fell up in the hills but since the bush fires the authorities have really put a huge amount of work into the roads, including building proper drainage, so I’m not expecting any problems,” Dudok said.

For spectators, who have had access to some of the best viewing locations in Australian rallying in the past, Dudok has promised an impressive range of fresh, new points to watch the countries best drivers.

“We made a conscious decision to find new spectator points, not just to reuse the same, tired spots people have seen before. All of the points this year are brand new, apart from the Mineshaft which is always a favourite amongst rally fans,” commented Dudok.

The National Capital Rally commences with the Power Stage on Friday 1st March, with a spectator start ramp later that afternoon at Garema Place in Civic before the rally action gets underway over 11 special stages on Saturday and Sunday.
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