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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 https://ausrally.com.
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.
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
Roberts Road stage – Essington State Forest
Beemerang stage – Vulcan State Forest
Stage length: 20.02km Fastest time: 11.13.9 (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO9) Average speed: 106.95km/h
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