Preview: Dimension 1 Rally of Oberon
- 28th October 2009, 9:11am
The Dimension 1 Rally of Oberon is the 5th round of the 2009 Pipe King Rally Series and will take place this weekend, Saturday 31st October on the fast State Forest roads in the Shooters Hill area of Oberon.
A maximum subscription of entries is expected for the last event of the series, in what is starting to become a tradition with this event, a quality field of over 70 cars are expected to line up to take on the challenge of the Oberon roads, with the stages being run over 180km’s through 11 stages in the recently felled State Forests drivers will be tested, with only the fastest and bravest coming out on top.
Event Director, Jamie Neale, has told the roads are in excellent condition and he expects a fast event.
“At the moment, looking at the list of entries, anyone within the top 20 is a very realistic chance of taking out the event win. With a mix of Classic 2WD cars and Modern 2 & 4WD Turbo cars being piloted by some of the fastest drivers in NSW, throw the odd Turbo Classic 2WD cars into the mix, I really think this year’s event will be a blinder”.
The championship battle is tight in the Classic category, with the unfortunate cancellation of the last round in Eden it now means any one of 5 drivers could take out the Classic Championship. Bill Brown and Trent Murphy, winners of the last event in Cowra and current Classic Championship leaders, will lead the field out from the Oberon RSL Club. Hot on their heals will be current Classic champion Brad Goldsbrough with his brother Ashley sitting beside him, Brad will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing event in Cowra as he winds up for his assault on the upcoming Alpine Rally in Victoria. Another Alpine Rally entrant looking to complete a shakedown at Oberon is Kari Dirickx, Kari is a very fast steerer and will be surely be checking his pace against one of his main competitors for this years Alpine title.
There are 3 other crews battling it out for the Championship, only 3 points behind Brown and Murphy are cousins Mark Bramble and Michael Bannon in their Mitsubishi Galant, they have been consistent all year finishing in the top four at every round, a vast improvement from their disappointing year in 2008. Sitting 4 points further back is Jim Middleton, in his V6 Commodore, Jim will be partnered by Jim Gleeson, the veteran pairing surely will be drawing on their experience to take it to the top boys and really fight for the title.
Also in the title fight after a mixed year is young Newcastle pairing of Jayke Skeffington and Mark Patroni in a Datsun 1600, the boys have shown they have the speed to be at the top, but due to unfortunate mechanical problems they have been denied a chance at an outright win and will be looking to prove their obvious ability this weekend.
Another fast contender, past Championship winner Jamie Waterhouse will team up with Tim Hammond in his Datsun “240Y”, the potent 120Y coupe with a 2.4ltr engine conversion is a past winner, and Jamie should be able to mix it with the best of them after a long lay off from competitive driving. Another show stopper, or should it be show stoppers, will be Father and Son, John and David Hills driving identical BDA Escorts, these two immaculate machines are definitely crowd favorites and the sweet sound of the BDA should be echoing across the valley for everyone’s aural pleasure.
There will also be the unknown factors, with several new crews taking on the AMSAG regulars in both the Classic and Modern Categories, with competitors coming out from all areas of the state including the North with Armidale, and South with Canberra and Bega. Michael Nordsvan and Kate Murphy in a Mazda RX7, Brett Wright and Peter Johnson in a Holden Commodore and Tony Jordan and David Travis in the Triumph Stag should be up there, another regular pairing with a new twist is the Long Brothers, Chris and Michael, who will be swapping roles for this event, this will be a first time for both of them with Chris driving and Michael strapping himself into the silly seat calling the notes.
The Modern Category, as always will once again be an interesting battle between the modern 2wd and 4wd vehicles, with Mark Callinan and Matt Wilson looking to carry on from their maiden victory in the category at the last event in Cowra, the immaculately presented BMW should be very fast and very hard to catch. Taking the lead in the Open RWD charge will be Jason King and Aaron Topliff in a SR20 Turbo powered Datsun 1600, with the Turbo engine running at it’s strongest on the faster sections, Jason should be able to match the front runners for pace and will be a real spectacle to watch the spectator points.
Also joining into the fray will be Graham Cook and Brad Armstrong in their Nissan S13 Silvia who finished 2nd to King in the Open RWD Class at last years event and will be looking to make amends this year. The dark horse would have to be Jon Waterhouse and Carolyn Wilson in the Mazda RX7, with this crew not being AMSAG regulars it will be interesting to see how they end up at the end of the rally after Jon finished 12th overall and 2nd RWD at the recent Bay Stages Rally in Batemans Bay.
In the Open 4WD class, The fight for the win will be a hard fought battle as well, with a number of strong crews entering. AMSAG Regulars Gerald Schofield / Jim White and John Joyner / Chris Warwick with another experienced crew of Richard Opie and Kam Baker all in Mitsubishi Evo’s will take the fight to the Subaru WRX brigade of Leigh Gotch / David Green, Andrew Williamson / Matt Ruggles and Dan Vrubel / David Parsons.
Taking up the Front Wheel Drive challenge will be Sydney Brother and Sister duo Adam Casmiri and Adriana Pallister in a Honda Civic, they will be pushed hard by experienced pairing of David Witherdin and Tommi Flegl in a Toyota Corolla, both of these cars are driven hard by their crews and will likely figure in the top 10 to 15 cars at the end of the days competitive stages.
There will also be two Cross Country vehicles competing in the form of a Mitsubishi Triton run by Warren Denham and Gordon Trigg and a Mitsubishi Pajero Evo piloted by Michael Denham and Ross Arico, these to monster machines will be a sight to see out in the forest.
A unique feature of the AMSAG Dimension 1 Oberon Rally is stage sponsorship, this sponsorship helps to make the entry fee as low as possible by taking away some of the costs associated with running such a large event.
The organizers wish to thank the following sponsors for their generous offer of sponsorship for the event:-
Dimension 1, Mick King Automotive, BEMW, Laser & Press, Nepean Engines, Waterhouse Auto Care, and of course our series sponsor, Pipe King.
As always, spectator information is available via the AMSAG Website www.amsag.com.au. Competitors interested in upcoming AMSAG events as part of the 2009 Pipe King Rally Series can also find information about the club at the website.
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