Preview: Rally of Cowra
- 9th September 2009, 3:24pm
The Shire roads used in this event have a reputation of being some of the fastest roads of the series, quickly followed by some tight and technical forestry stages. With event director Peter Crich saying â€œthe roads in the best condition I have seen them in for years, this will be a great eventâ€ 235km's of competitive stages including 70kmâ€™s on Shire Roads this event will challenge for all of the crews.
One of the great spectacles of the Cowra Services Club Rally of Cowra is the Woodstock speedway stage held on the Sunday morning, with the carâ€™s completing two laps of the speedway circuit, it will certainly be a good spectating opportunity with plenty of grunter 2WD cars and several thumping V8â€™s sure to put on a show. As well as the speedway there will be 3 spectator points on the Saturday and with a second spectator point on the Sunday before the cars get to the Woodstock Speedway stage. There will plenty of opportunities to get out and support the event and cheer on the cars as they fly past at speed.
The championship battle will be hotting up in both divisions this round. Brad Goldsbrough will be returning this round, looking to carry on his excellent form from The Rally of Otago earlier this year and trying to shake the bad luck of last years event in Cowra, which was the only event where he didnâ€™t figure on the podium. Heâ€™ll be trying to claim back the top spot from young Newcastle driver Mark Bramble who has capitalised on some good luck and the reliability in his 1974 Mitsubishi Galant, Mark is starting show the potential he has to be a competitive driver he wonâ€™t want to give up his first place position without a fight.
Showing the contrast between youth and experience, only one point behind Bramble in the current standings is Jim Middleton in his excellent sounding V6 Commodore. This will be a personal battle between these two as Jim used to compete in a similar Commodore with Markâ€™s dad Paul Bramble in the early nineties, Mark will be trying to prove the young breed can still top the old dogs. However as always there will a large mass of fast drivers ready to take up the challenge.
The Classic category at Cowra consists of a number of competitors who could take the lead in the series. As well as Bramble, Middleton and Goldy, Jayke Skeffington another fast driver from Newcastle in his Datsun 1600 will feature highly in the Classic field, with his exciting sideways driving style he will be one to watch at the spectator points.
Two more exciting cars to keep and eye & an ear out for are the beautifully prepared BDA escorts being run by John & David Hills, these cars are what true classic rally cars are like. Another easily recognisable car will be the thundering V8 of Rob Inall in the 05 Peter Brock liveried Commodore, Inall will be a surprise package for the event with his go hard or go home attitude, he will certainly be one to watch out for.
The Open Series will once again be an interesting battle between the modern 2wd and 4wd vehicles, with Michael & Chris Long looking to carry on their good form this year after an impressive first overall win at the last round in Bathurst. Taking up the challenge to the Longâ€™s will be John Joyner and Gerald Schofield both in Evo 6â€™s, Dan Vrubel and Andrew Williamson in WRXâ€™s. Never to be outdone Trevor Parsonage will make an appearance in his Turbo Bluebird, Matt Young in his very nicely prepared V8 Commodore and Mark Callinan in the mighty BMW.
Taking up the Front Wheel Drive charge will be Canberraâ€™s Ray Baker in a Charade and Dave Roberts in his Excel. There will also be Dennis Turkovic in his freshly built Turbo Datsun 1200 trying his hand at the fast roads of Cowra.
Again this is not a round of the new Rookie Series introduced by AMSAG this year, but there is still a strong contingent of Rookie Series drivers, with Jayke Skeffington, Anthony Campbell, Michael Batt and Robert Alexander all showing up looking to hone their skills in preparation for the next Rookie series round late next month at the Rally of Oberon.
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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