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The Make Smoking History Forest Rally has competitors raring to go, starting on one of the old Rally Australia stages near Harvey before moving towards Collie on September 13. Usually a round of the Australian Rally Championship national competition, changes have had to be made due to COVID, which sees the Make Smoking History Forest Rally and the Experts Cup held concurrently as part of the Motorsport Australia WA State Championship. Rally Australia was a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) and last held in Perth in 2006, attracting the world’s best drivers who competed on some of the best rally roads in the State. Clerk of Course Ross Tapper said that although this year’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally has a compacted format, it’s a course that has drivers excited. “Arguably, the stages around Wellington Dam and the old Rally Australia stages of Harvey Weir, Brunswick and Wellington are some of the best rally stages in WA, if not Australia,” Mr Tapper said. “The famous ball-bearing gravel adds an extra level of complexity for drivers, it’s like trying to control a car driving at speed on thousands of marbles.”

Ben Searcy kicks up clouds of WA dust in a round of the state championship. Photo: Blake Rattenbury

Competitors will race the clock along 140 kilometres of flat out competition on eight closed road Special Stages including a mammoth 31-kilometre stage around Wellington Dam and travel a total distance of almost 300 kilometres. A rally differs from other forms of motorsport in that the cars do not compete on a ‘circuit’ instead they compete on closed road sections that they have only driven over twice in order to make their ‘pace notes’, a short-hand system of symbols that enables the co-driver to describe to the driver what lies ahead, hides around the next corner or over a blind crest. During a rally, drivers may only see a particular corner four times and given that the gravel conditions will be different each time with the traversing of a field of competitors, it can be argued that rally drivers are the most skilled of all motorsport competitors. The Make Smoking History Forest Rally is free for spectators and there are dedicated spectator points for the best vantage points to watch the rally action. Get a close look at rally cars in the Service Park based in the centre of Collie and see how crews miraculously fix huge mechanical problems in record time. For more information including spectator points and maps, please visit https://forestrally.com.au/

Related news:

https://rallysportmag.com/classic-rally-australia-stages-to-feature-in-warc/
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