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Around a dozen top rally drivers and cars were gathered at Melbourne’s Calder Park on August 30 for the launch of Rally Calder 2012, a new ARC round to be staged on March 2-4 next year.

John Doutch was there ....


A course of about 5km was set out, involving various surfaces – a slalom on the Thunderdome infield, a section of the steeply banked track, then out onto the grassed car park area for a run on the gravel tracks. It is thought this will be fairly close to the actual event format, with perhaps the addition of some further spectator interest in the form of jumps and a water splash.
   
Most of the drivers seemed enthusiastic about the format, and the setting is certainly different from the forest tracks we are used to! In fact, it is, in part, a tour amongst rusting scrap iron, building debris, derelict buildings, and the iconic Calder dead dry thistles. Quite reminiscent of the setting for some of the Ken Block videos!
 
The attraction for spectators will be that the event is close to Melbourne, in a compact area, with a variety of surfaces and challenges, and can be watched from the Thuderdome stands.
 
Scott Pedder addressed the media on other ARC changes for 2012… the new G2 unrestricted  two wheel drive category, the SUV category, the SSV Challenge (Polaris and Can-Am SSVs were both demonstrated on the banking of the ‘Dome), and the Rally Safe Status Aware system, which allows accurate tracking and location of rally cars.
 
Rally Calder will be Round 1 of the 2012 ARC series, and will certainly be an interesting start to the year!

View more photos from the 2012 ARC launch here


 

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