The City of Orange Classic Forest Rally is the 3rd round of the 2010 Pipe King AMSAG Southern Cross Rally Series and will take place this weekend, Saturday 19th June in the Canobolas state forest to the South of the Western NSW town of Orange.

The forestry roads of Orange have not seen rallying action for over 10 years and are sure to prove a worthy challenge to the near capacity field of 56 entries

The City of Orange Classic Forest Rally will be run over a total of 8 stages (4 stages run twice) totalling 205Km's competitive, including the last two stages being run at dusk, meaning the majority of the field will be running some part of the event in the dark. The stages are a mix of wide open flowing roads and tight switchback type roads over a variety of gravel surfaces, with the longest test being just over 34Km's and the first section totalling just over 50Km's of competitive stages before the first service at the Reliance BP Service Park located centrally to all of the stages. With the service park being so central to all of the stages the total event distance including transports is 337Km.

 The championship battle will be continuing in both divisions this round. Brad Goldsbrough will be making a welcome return to the series, Goldy will start as one of the favourites to take out the Classic Category win. Taking up the lead of the challengers will be the winner of the last round Kari Dirickx in a Datsun 1600, Kari and Brad have some scores to settle with the pair battling it out at the AMSAG Oberon Rally and Victoria's Alpine Rally last year, it will certainly be a battle to watch. Also taking up the fight will be last years Championship winner Bill Brown who will again have his son Mitch beside him in the very fast Datsun 1600, the pair coming off a strong result at the last round will sure be ones to keep an eye on. Making a come back in their first event this year will be cousins Mark Bramble & Michael Bannon in their Mitsubishi Galant, after missing the first two rounds due to upgrades being completed on the car, the 2nd place finishers in last seasons championship will be looking to make up for lost time and try to gain some points towards this years class championship, hot on their heels will be Jim Middleton with Orange local Kate Murphy sitting along side him in a Holden Commodore, freshly repaired after an off road excursion at the last round they are sure to try and do well in Kate's home round.

Not to be forgotten are regular front runners Dave King & Brett Maytom in a Nissan Skyline and Mick Lipping & Jeff Stevens in another Datsun 1600, these two drivers are always fast and will be fighting tooth and nail to try and reach the top of the podium by the end of the days rallying. Polar opposites in both location and ages are Andrew & David Travis and David & Peter Kayess, both in Datsuns 1600's. With the Travis's travelling from nearby Bathurst and young David proving one of the fast young talents within AMSAG, on the other end of the scale are the Kayess brothers who will travel all the way from Cairns in Far North Queensland to take on the event, with their experience from years of past competition and great speed proving they still have what it takes to mix it with the top guys.

The Modern or "Open Series" will once again be an interesting battle between the modern 2wd and 4wd vehicles, with Michael & Chris Long looking to improve on their mixed start to this year after winning the first round this year and trying to overcome the issues that plagued them in the second round, to hopefully come out back on top again. Taking up the challenge to the Long’s will be Gerald Schofield & Dean George and Scott Kuhner & Samantha Stevens both in Evo 6’s, Dan Vrubel & David Parsons and Bathurst local Leigh Gotch & Dave Green in taking up charge for the Subaru WRX’s. Also likely to feature highly in the Open 4WD class is Drew McPhee and Andrew Crowley in a Mitsubishi VR4.

Never to be outdone are the Open RWD cars of Mark Callinan & Matt Wilson in their magnificent sounding BMW, the always impressive Brett Kuhner being co-driven by Matt James in a Turbo charged Datsun 1600, and equally impressive Matt Young & Tony Bourke in a V8 Holden Commodore. Another crew to throw into the RWD mix in the top of the field is Jason Flint & Chris Dowsett in a freshly built Nissan Silvia being run in only it's 2nd event, the pair showed despite some teething problems, the car has the potential to be an outright contender.
The City of Orange Classic Forest Rally is also Round 3 of the Race Brakes Sydney Rookie Series, with all of the registered competitors entered it should be an interesting battle. The favourites for the Rookie Series win at this round would have to include Nikolaos Kouriefs with mum Sylvia alongside in his Datsun 1600, Glen & Bruce Watman in their Ford Escort who have shown terrific pace in the first two rounds, and the very fast Darren & Scott McGuire in the immaculate Datsun 1600.
The event director and AMSAG would like to thank the following sponsors for their assistance with getting this event up and running:-
City of Orange Shire Council
City of Orange Bowling Club
Reliance BP (Service Park Sponsor)
Western Batteries, Coleman's Earth Moving & Harvey Norman (Stage Sponsors)
Canobolas Canvas (Spectator Point Sponsor)
Race Brakes Sydney (Rookie Series Sponsor)
and as always, Pipe King (AMSAG Southern Cross Rally Series Sponsor)

As always, spectator information is available via the AMSAG Website or by visiting the event sponsors Orange City Bowling Club and City of Orange information centre.

Competitors interested in upcoming AMSAG events as part of the 2010 Pipe King Rally Series can also find information about the club at the website.
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