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Lake Mountain and Marysville will come alive with the sound of engines next month, as around 50 cars converge on the area for the opening round of the 2018 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship. Made up of four events that are contested in Victoria’s Alpine region and East Gippsland, the ATRC’s Lake Mountain Sprint (Feb 10 to 11) will see the cars tackle several runs from Marysville, 98km north-east of Melbourne, to the summit of Lake Mountain on the Saturday (Feb 10). The road will be closed to public use during the competition runs. On Sunday, competitors will be timed against the clock in runs between Marysville, Lake Mountain and Cumberland Junction, with a total competitive distance for the weekend of approximately 210km. Melbourne-based events company Mountain Motor Sports runs the series, which offers multiple levels of driving: one for fully licensed rally drivers, competing against the clock in specially prepared rally cars. A speed limited category and a regularity section (Target Time and Super Sports) as well as a ‘touring’ category, which allows would-be rally drivers a ‘taste’ of tarmac rallying by driving their road car at higher-than-usual road speeds behind an experienced rally driver who demonstrates the right techniques. With support from Murrindindi Shire and Lake Mountain Resort Management Board, this is the tenth year the event has been run in the Yarra Ranges/Yarra Valley region
“Council and the Resort have been a fantastic support to us right from the first event, as have the residents,” series director Peter Washington says. “We’re delighted to be back in the area this year and we hope some of the residents will come along as spectators. They will be able to see the cars at the top of Lake Mountain at lunchtime on both days, and also at the Marysville community centre late on Friday when the crews are doing their paperwork and having their cars checked.”
While the series is based in Victoria, the entry list attracts competitors from every state in Australia. They are prepared to commute from WA, SA, Queensland and NSW to drive some great mountain roads under closed road conditions, with the protection of a rigorous safety monitoring system to ‘keep watch’ on them. All the ATRC events are open to modern (modified), classic (pre-1982) and showroom-spec vehicles which meet tarmac rally specifications (full rollcage etc). After the Lake Mountain event is run and won, competitors won’t have to wait long until the weekend of March 10 - 11 for their next fix (Mt Baw Baw Sprint) before a winter hiatus, then the last 2 rounds being the Snowy River Sprint( September 22-23) and the Great Tarmac Rally on October 13-14. As in previous years it’s likely the battle for the title will go down to the wire at that event. Further information on this year’s events visit http://www.australiantarmacrally.com
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