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It’s all systems go for round two of the Tasmanian Rally Series this Saturday in the Huon forests, an hour south of Hobart.

Nineteen cars will depart the official start in Geeveston at 9:30am and head out to eight special stages, which cover 110 competitive kilometres.

Leading them out will be 2006 title-holder and winners of the first round, David Waldon and Ross Ferguson, in the e-Home Subaru WRX.

“We love these roads.  They’re fast but tricky at the same time, and the surface is also quite hard on the car, so it’s a bit of a balancing act as to how fast you actually go,” Waldon said.  “Forestry Tasmania do a great job of maintaining the roads, and it’s just fabulous that they allow us to use them.”

Chasing them down will be Craig Brooks in the Total Alarm Services Subaru WRX.  In the last round Brooks landed his brand new car in the scenery and has undertaken a major re-build to get it back onto the road in time for the rally.  

In another change, Brooks’ regular co-driver, Adrian Hodgetts, will be unable to accompany the team to this rally due to work commitments.  Stepping into the hot seat instead is experienced co-driver Daniel Willson, fresh from guiding Andrew Miedecke around Targa.  Apart from Targa, Willson is more used to co-driving for his brother James in a Daihatsu Charade, so the awesome speed, stopping and turning capabilities of the WRX might take a bit of getting used to for the diminutive Willson.

Another outright contender keen to make up for a miserable first round is Lee Peterson and navigator James Booker in the ARM Subaru WRX.  Peterson’s crew have worked hard replacing all the necessary mechanicals that failed in the first round and the former Australian Rally Championship class winner is really looking forward to having a big go in forests that he knows quite well.

“I’ve been competing in these forests for years, so I guess out of all the rallying that I’ve done, this is my backyard,” Peterson commented.  “They’re maybe not as open as other forests that we use, but I enjoy the tight roads, and the car is set up really well to cope with them.”

The contest for the two-wheel drive category will be fought out between a couple of locals and once again it’s Holden versus Ford.

In the Holden camp are Craig Sault and Scott Creswell in their self-funded Commodore, who currently lead the 2WD pointscore.   They’ve only had to perform minor work on the car since the last round, and are ready for a repeat winning performance.

In the Ford corner are rookies Christian Philp and Mark Watkinson in the Rockit Asphalting Ford TC Cortina.  This will be their first time in the Huon forests, but they plan on hounding the more experienced Sault/Creswell crew the whole way.  After a top three showing in round one, they’re certainly capable of taking the top points this round.

In a David and Goliath battle will be one of the other 2WD contenders, Brad Gunn and Fiona Mackie in the Motul/Fulton Enterprises Daihatsu Charade.  This pair might not have the outright grunt of the Holdens and Fords, but the nimble Charade might just have what it takes to cause an upset while nobody’s watching.

The Southern Safari will start in Church Street, Geeveston at 9:30am this Saturday.  Cars will assemble in the area from 8:30am and the public is encouraged to wander around the cars and chat to the teams before the start flag drops.  The first car is scheduled to finish back in Geeveston around 4pm.

There are two spectator points where the public can see the cars in anger.  Spectator guides are available from Autocraft, Eurotech and Moonah Auto Salvage in Hobart, and Tyres N More in Legana.

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