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The state's best rally drivers converge on the Huon forests south of Hobart this Saturday for the third round of the 2010 Tasmanian Rally Series.

The Southern Safari Rally will see 15 entrants tackle 125 kilometres of forest road divided into 8 competitive stages.

The series is evenly poised, with Burnie's Lynn Rattray and Hobart's David Waldon sharing one win apiece. Defending champion Rattray currently leads the series with 76 points, with Waldon a mere six points adrift.

With 20 points available for a win, Rattray is well aware the series lead could change hands this weekend. “The competition at the front is very hot between David and myself, but we are hoping we can hold on to our slim lead”.

Rattray upgraded to a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti at the beginning of the year, hoping the purpose-built machine could take him to a fourth state crown.

“We have a a good package that should suit the Huon roads, the car has good corner speed and outstanding brakes”.

Waldon and Rattray have been separated by seconds on every stage this year. Waldon sensationally won the opening round in the Styx Valley after a two-year hiatus from the sport, before giving best to Rattray on home turf at the second round in the North-West coast's Hellyer region.

The fight for two-wheel drive honours will be just as fierce between Stephen Turner (Falcon XR6) and Lee Petersen (Pulsar GTI).

The first competition car will start from Port Huon at 9am, spectator information is available from the startline.

Photo courtesy Stuart Edwards

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