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Rallying comes back to the heart of Oberon.

Rallying returns to the centre of Oberon on Saturday, April 14, with the running of the 2018 Singleton Automotive Caves Classic. The rally will be the Round 1 of the following series: MTA NSW Rally Championship, East Coast Classic Rally Series, TechWorkz Clubman Rally Series, NSW Development Rally Series, SpeedMaster Open Rally Series; and Premier Panel Beating Hyundai Rally Series, so it will be a busy weekend for many competitors and the first chance in 2018 for many to use their cars in competition. The event will be based at the Oberon Rugby Leagues Club and will take place in Hampton, Jenolan and Lowes Mount state forests.

The first car starts at the Leagues Club at 11am, flagged off by Oberon Mayor Kathy Sajowitz, who sees rallying in the forests around Oberon as yet another of the tourist opportunities in the region. A full field would bring about 300 competitors, officials and support crew into the town, plus spectators, all spending money on food, fuel and accommodation.

The service area at the Leagues Club will be open all day, with competitors returning regularly for refuelling and any necessary repairs, and spectators are welcome. Food and drinks will be available throughout the day and Club Manager Natalie Ryan is quite excited about the day's activities.

The East Coast Classic Rally Series is new this year, and is restricted to cars over 30 years old in attempt to tap nostalgia for those old Datsun 1600s and Escorts. It certainly got my nostalgia running, and the photo is my Datsun surfing through a creek in Vulcan State Forest in the University Car Club Winter Rally in August 1979. Not only was the rally based in Oberon, but the driver now lives there and the codriver's family owned property at Porters Retreat.

This article was published in the Oberon Review on April 5, 2018

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