February’s Rally Tasmania will be the first round of the all-new Australian Classic Tarmac Rally Championship, a series for classic cars that has recently been created by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS).

The event joins the Suncoast Classic, Targa West and Classic Adelaide in the new series, developed specifically to meet the strong demand from Classic car competitors.

The 2009 event will be the 29th running of Rally Tasmania, and will provide tarmac rally crews with 21 special stages over a total competitive distance of 220 kilometres.

Stages that have made the event famous - including Hellyer Gorge and Savage River - will be back, and a number of new stages including section of the famous Cethana stage will also be introduced.

Based in the seaside city of Burnie on the north west coast of Tasmania, the rally will be held from February 13 to 15, and has again received the backing of local councils.

As well as the new Australian Classic Tarmac Rally Championship (ACTC), Rally Tasmania will also be the first round of the 2009 Australian Rally Championship (ARC).

Rally fans will again be treated to the popular one kilometre Burnie street stage, which made its debut at the 2008 event. Held right in the centre of the city, the stage will be run twice on the Saturday afternoon of the rally, and is certain to attract thousands of spectators.

“We are really looking forward to an exciting year with the inclusion of the Classic Championship adding even more spectator appeal,” said event manager Scott Spedding.

“Fans love to see the classic cars in action, and we’ll also have the top ARC competitors here for the only tarmac round of that series.
 
“The street stage was a tremendous success in 2008 and we look forward to its return again in 2009. It was hugely popular with competitors and the thousands of spectators that came out to watch, and everyone is already looking forward to its inclusion in next year’s rally.”

Classic cars running in the ACTC category will start the stages first, followed by the Modern Class and then the ARC competition.

Cars competing in the new ACTC must be pre-1982, and comply with the CAMS Classic Tarmac Rally Regulations.

Rally Tasmania will once again run a streamlined timing system during the event, providing actual times for each stage, and will have full safety support from Motorsport Safety and Rescue.

After a review of the data cards from the top competitors showed top speeds did not exceed the desired maximum in 2008, no speed limits will be imposed in 2009. Other safety measures will be utilised to ensure appropriate speeds are maintained.

For further information on Rally Tasmania, visit the event website at: www.rallytasmania.com.au, or call the rally office on (03) 6432 3988.

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