Tasmania’s return to the CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) continues to progress, with the confirmation of the event's base and competition areas for the July 27-29 event.Subaru Rally Tasmania is an entirely new event, with most roads having not seen competitive rallying since the 1990s, which will create an even playing field for national and local crews alike.
The rally will also provide great value for competing crews, with over 240 kilometres of competitive stages scheduled for the weekend's competition.
Rally Headquarters and the Service Park will be based within the City of Launceston at the impressive Inveresk Precinct, which is home to UTAS Stadium, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and University of Tasmania.
The location will bring rallying to the heart of the city, with Inveresk also hosting a super special stage on the Friday night.
"The City of Launceston have been a very enthusiastic supporter of the event, and it is fantastic that we have been able to bring rallying to the city on Friday night," Event Director Graham Malcolm said.
"The region is seeing a boom in winter tourism, and we are very happy to be a part of it. The beauty of Tasmania in winter is a well kept secret, and we encourage the teams and families to take the time to explore Launceston and its attractions."
Subaru's Cody Crocker passes the stricken Impreza WRX of Simon Evans during the Subaru Safari Rally in 2002 - all watched by the TV chopper. Photo: Stuart Bowes
The core of the event takes place in the forests surrounding the City of Launceston.
Five stages are run twice on the Saturday's Heat 1. The first two tests are located in the Diddleum Plains area, which feature fast and flowing roads.
The second loop of stages in Heat 1 takes place in the Sideling Range and Lisle State Forest. These stages are quite contrasting to the first two, with Lisle State Forest comprising of slow, tight and technical sections that will test the temperament of the drivers.
"Day 1 is going to be a big day for the competing teams," Assistant Clerk of Course Matt von Bertouch said.
"There is a wide variance in roads, with crews facing wide and flowing stages early, before taking on some quintessential Tasmanian style stages that are exceptionally twisty and narrow."
Heavy winter frosts could be a challenge for competitors at Subaru Rally Tasmania. Photo: Mitch Newton
Heat 2 is based north of Launceston, with three stages being run twice. The first two tests are held in the Retreat Forest, which is known for its fast and open forestry roads.
The final stage returns to the Lisle State Forest, which will also be the longest and most demanding in the event.
"The final stage is the toughest. At 25km long the stage will feel more like a 30-35km long stage, as it is physically and mentally demanding with how tight the corners are and how narrow it gets in places. There is very little relief for drivers and co-drivers,” van Bertouch added.
"We are very lucky to have such strong support for rallying in Tasmania within the forestry industry. Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Timberlands Pacific and Forico have all been very accommodating with our road requests to ensure that we provide the visiting interstate teams the best rally roads in the region."
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