Southern Mountains Rally ready to roll
- 29th July 2010, 3:49pm
Based in the spectacular fishing town of Eden approx 480Km’s south of Sydney, the event is being run by the NSW Classic Rally Car Association in conjunction with AMSAG for the second time as Round 4 of the popular Pipe King AMSAG Southern Cross Rally Series on Saturday 31st July & Sunday 1st August.
A quality field of 42 cars will face the endurance test of nearly 355Km’s of competitive driving over 19 stages and two days including 4 stages to be run after dark on Saturday night. Using mainly fast flowing forestry roads, it will be the longest event of this years AMSAG Series. All of the cars, big and small, will be balancing a mix of pushing hard and saving the car to make the full distance and try to come out on top of what will surely be a testing event for all involved.
The range of cars entered vary from the Rear wheel drive Classic’s such as Queenslander Dave Gaines in his unique Datsun 240K & the ever present Andy Crane in a Peugeot 504, who will be competing in The Great Southern Inn – Southern Mountains Rally, this event is restricted to the AMSAG Classic Series entries.
Competing over the same roads but in a different named event, the Great Southern Inn 350, will be the Modern Category cars comprising of Turbo 4WD and Rear Wheel Drive Modern cars such as Gerald Schofield in a Mitsubishi Evo 6 and Mark Callinan in his resplendent BMW, also fitting in the Modern Category are the mighty little Front Wheel Drives such as Victoria’s Gerald Blum in the Hyundai Excel and making a comeback this year, Jarrod Gotch in a Toyota Corolla.
The Classic category will be headed by defending Champion, Bill Brown in his immaculately prepared Datsun 1600 and co-driven by his son Mitch, the father and son team are having a great start to the year and are currently sitting on top of the Classic Series Pointscore. With a lot of the AMSAG regulars sitting out at this event, and with some interstate teams stepping up to have a go, Bill & Mitch could potentially take a strong lead into the final few rounds of the Championship with a good result in Eden.
Taking the task of leading the charge in the Classic category will be Queenslander Dave Gaines and Nikki Doyle in their Datsun 240K, the pair travelling to Eden for their second run in the Southern Mountains Rally are sure to be a big contender for outright positions. Also a favourite to be at the top will be local South Coast driver Ben Barker in a BMW 320is, Ben’s local knowledge may help when it comes down to the crunch. Not to be outdone, ACT crews Richard Leitis & Robin Mules in a Ford Escort MkI and Steve Willett & Marc Kelly in a Holden Commodore will be sure to push hard to get a decent result.
A part of the regular AMSAG crews running, and looking to take valuable points from Brown are, Jamie Waterhouse & Tim Hammond in the mighty little Datsun 120Y, Mark Bramble & Michael Bannon in their Mitsubishi Galant, Jim Middleton & Kate Murphy in a Holden Commodore and the awesome sounding twin Ford Escort MkI BDA’s of Series sponsor John Hills & Mick Tuckey and John’s son David Hills & Paul Bennett. Also sure to be thrilling the crowds will be the thundering V8 Commodore of Anthony & Tony Campbell and V8 Skyline of Mick King & Brett Maytom.
The Modern Category will once again be an interesting battle between the modern 2wd and 4wd vehicles, with Sydney Brothers Michael & Chris Long absent from this round; the Open 4WD class is wide open. The favourite for a class win will be Gerald Schofield & Kirralee Gentleman in a Mitsubishi Evo6, hot on their heels will be Mal & Bernie Hurley in a Subaru WRX, adding to the mix will be Richard Troupe & Russell Hannah in their Toyota GT4, freshly rebuilt after a bad off road excursion in the last round, Richard & Russell will be looking to make amends and finish with a strong result at this event.
In the Open RWD class, the mighty BMW of Mark Callinan & Matt Wilson will surely start as favourite with the pair currently leading the class in the Championship Pointscore. They will be challenged this time around Denis Turkovic & Chris Tobin in a Turbo Datsun 1200 and Matt Thompson & Aaron Tams in a Turbocharged Nissan Skyline.
And taking up the Open Category’s Front Wheel Drive charge will be Sydney’s Jarrod Gotch & Max Ludowici in a newly built Toyota Corolla, also running a Corolla will be Joshua Hilton & Rodney Van Der Poel. Looking to challenge the two Toyota’s will be two Hyundai Excel’s in the hands of Victorian Gerald Blum & Chris Bolton and New South Welshman Andre Artarmonov & Gleb Blonch.
The Great Southern Inn Southern Mountains Rally & The Great Southern Inn 350 would not possibly run without the help of a large band of officials and sponsors. The event organisers wish to proudly thank the following event sponsors:-
• The Great Southern Inn
• PJ’s Service Station – Eden
• Eden Newsagency
• Linga Longer Café – Bombala
Be sure to get out and checkout the rally action on what are widely regarded as some of the best rally roads on the East Coast of Australia!
Spectator instructions are available on the rally website www.southernmountainsrally.org.au and the AMSAG website www.amsag.com.au
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