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Singleton Automotive Centre Caves Classic Rally
The Oberon region turned on perfect weather on April 8 for the Singleton Automotive Centre Caves Classic Rally, run in Hampton and Jenolan State Forests. 48 cars started the event with 36 classed as finishers.
The event was run in eight stages, with each of four stages being run twice during the day.
Stage 1/5 was a short loop in the northern part of Hampton State Forest, just off the road between Hampton and Rydal. There were some rough patches in this stage but they were well marked in the instructions so should not have been a problem to aware drivers. A wise man who had won a lot of rallies and several State Championships once told me "There are no rough roads, only rough drivers" and this piece of advice together with "To win, you first have to finish" has remained true over the years.
Stage 2/6 ran in the lower part of Hampton Forest, starting and finishing on Duckmaloi Road. This stage had about 400 metres of heavily rutted and eroded road, but again this was clearly marked in the instructions and shouldn't have been a problem.
The next stage (3/7) ran in the western part of Jenolan Forest around Boggy Creek Road and was the longest in the event at 27 km. It included a spectator point where cars had to zigzag through left and right hand corners. There was a round of applause for the Number 15 Commodore driver who turned right instead of left but just kept his foot down and spun the car until it was pointing in the right direction.
The final stage (4/8) was in the Mini Mini area east of Jenolan Caves Road, and gave the drivers the chance to stretch out on some nice fast roads.
The organisers, North Shore Sporting Car Club, should be congratulated on running an excellent event and for their hospitality which saw many officials and competitors enjoying the food and drink at the Hampton Halfway House hotel after the event.
A full report on the rally can be found at https://ausrally.com/2017/hampton17
This article was published in the Oberon Review on April 20, 2017
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