Peter Bowditch's Web Site

Rally roads near Oberon – October 10, 2020

One of my hobbies is driving around doing media work at forest rallies. During the 1970s and early 1980s I competed in rallies, both as driver and navigator. I was also on the other side of the fence as an official, both at the organisational level (I set several rallies in the Oberon/Bathurst region as rally director and was heavily involved in running others) and as a worker bee (for many years I was a control official at both the Australian Rally Championship round, the Bega Valley Rally, and at the international Southern Cross Rally). I retired from rallying at the end of 1981 for reasons that don't matter now. In 2015 I moved to Oberon to go into semi-retirement and soon noticed a lot of familiar landmarks. Nostalgia broke out.

Part of my semi-retirement was to reinvent myself as a freelance journalist. I had been writing about science for many years, and after a few months driving around the roads and forests near my new home I thought that perhaps as part of the journalism reinvention I could get back into rallying, not as a competitor but as a spectator with better access. You can see some of the results of this at

Part of the media coverage is to go into the forests after the events and record the stages from inside the car. These videos aren't to prove how fast I can drive, they are to show people what rally roads look like. I stick to about 60km/h because a) it's the legal speed limit in State Forests, and b) my 2001 Commodore wagon with Falken road tyres and standard suspension and brakes is not a rally car. This means I try to avoid sliding the car on stony roads or jumping it too high over crests. Also, I have to remember where to go without anyone sitting beside me reading out instructions.

This is not a rally car.

These videos were recorded at the 2020 Caves Classic rally based at Oberon. You can read a full report of the event here.

Here's what the roads looked like from inside the car. Remember that in a car in the event the scenery would have been going past at least twice as fast.

Lowes Mount stage
West from Lowes Mount Road

Stage distance: 10.22km Fastest time: 6:33.8 (Audi Quattro S1) Average speed: 93.43km/h

Full stage report with photos here.

Roberts Road stage – Essington State Forest
North from Sewells Creek Road

Stage length: 10,29km Fastest time: 7:07.8 (Citroen DS3) Average speed: 86.59km/h

For the video I took a shortcut indicated by the green line.

Beemerang stage – Vulcan State Forest
South from Campbells River Road

Stage length: 20.02km Fastest time: 11.13.9 (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9) Average speed: 106.95km/h

I shortened the course for the video by following the green line.
Full stage report with photos here.

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