The Southern Safari Rally is set to take off this weekend in the picturesque Geeveston Forests. This will be the opening round of the Tasmanian Rally series and will not be one to miss.

The high speed forests of Southern Tasmania are a rally driver’s heaven. Previous rallies have seen crews battle in thick fog, mud, ice and even snow, making the rally one of the most difficult to compete.

Expected to be at the top of the field on the weekend will be David Waldon in his 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX. David was the outright series winner in 2010 having fought a close battle with rival Lynn Rattray. Lynn also competing in a Subaru Impreza WRX will be fighting back this year in a hope to take the top position.

“It’s going to be very competitive this year and I think there will be a lot of surprises. There are new people, new cars and it’s going to be tough” said Waldon.

Fighting for the outright 2wd class will be Aaron Reader in his Mitsubishi Mirage and Andrew Morris in his Mazda RX7. Both drivers placed 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Tasmanian Rally Series in 2010 and are tipped to be the favourites this year. Past 2wd outright champion Lee Peterson will unfortunately be sitting the Safari Rally out with gearbox troubles. Peterson is expected to be back and running by the second round of the series.

With the growing popularity of the Tasmanian Rally Series several competitors have upgraded to 4wd turbo vehicles for 2011. Wild cards for the event will be Sam Kirkland in his new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 3 and Marcus Walkem in his new Evolution 9. Both drivers were very competitive in their classes last year and will no doubt stir up the pointy end of the field this season.

The 500 Car club is hosting the Southern Safari Rally in conjunction with Forestry Tasmania. The rally will kick start from shipwrights point just north of Geeveston at 9am. Cars will then head to the forests for an eager start to the first round of the championship. Last year saw a growing number of new entrants and vehicles participating in the series and 2011 is looking to be a huge season. Around twenty crews are expected to take part in the Safari Rally this Saturday with the support of many spectators and officials.

For spectators wanting to get amongst the action this weekend spectator guides are available at Auto Craft or online through

Written by Sam Button
Photographer: Stuart Edwards R40 Media
Picture of:  David Waldon Outright Tasmanian Rally Series Champion 2010 – at Round 4 Mt Stages Rally

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