It’s that time. The last event of the year is over and many rally people sit down to plan their programme for the coming year.
We know there are plenty of you thinking about competing in the Classic Outback Trial in August so we thought we’d help you with 10 reasons why you should include the COT on your plan.
1. The Classic Outback Trial is unique
It’s a long-distance, daylight special stage rally for classic rally cars running on excellent farm roads and tracks in central and outback NSW. The COT is a serious competitive event over 7 days, offering tough competition on really unique roads. How many events can claim that?
2. Outback NSW is just spectacular
The COT runs in late winter when the weather is cool and the countryside at its best. The event runs across a variety of terrains, from forests around Parkes through to the red, sandy terrain around Broken Hill. It’s not just the terrain that changes – the vegetation and animals change too each day as we head west… It’s really special out there.
3. Outback hospitality is wonderful
Nothing compares to the welcome we get… all the towns, motels, clubs and properties we visit show us great hospitality. It’s not unusual to have the station owners at stage starts welcoming crews or cheering them on at their secret spot on the stage.
4. It’s the most fun you can have in a rally car with your clothes on
Organisers, officials, competitors and service crews all agree – the Classic Outback Trial is J-U-S-T G-R-E-A-T F-U-N! And of course, you DO need to wear appropriate clothing while competing – it’s a special stage event.
5. The COT is well organised and well run
The team is well experienced in running long-distance rallies and many of our officials have been with us since the 2009 COT – there is a bit of experience there to keep things running smoothly. Importantly though, it’s not us who say the COT is well run – it was the competitors. See what they said about the 2012 event on the Testimonials page.
6. There is a great outback atmosphere and camaraderie
With not-too-early daily starts and all crews are finished before nightfall, there is good opportunity to relax and swap stories after each day’s competition. Crews can often be found at the “daily pub” for dinner. Friendships forged on long-distance events are special.
7. The COT won’t wreck your car
COT roads are generally smooth and sandy. Sure, there are a few bits where we bash across paddocks or the odd rocky outcrop, but these are in the minority. Tyre wear is generally low. The countryside is gentle with few trees; there is ample warning of hazards. We also have with very liberal late time limits that allow recovery from any incidents. We only had five retirements in 2012.
8. There is a high proportion of competition
In 2012, 42% of the event was competitive – almost 1000 kilometres! We have 5 stages on most days, ranging from 10 to 90 kilometres long. Plenty to keep you amused…
9. We support Frontier Services and their Outback Links initiative
Frontier Services is a very worthy partner that provides valuable support to the communities through which the event passes. Frontier Services are an integral and visible part of the COT, providing the fantastic Frontier Services breakfasts each day, lunches in the middle of nowhere and fantastic support for the event and crews.
10. If you don’t enter soon it might be too late!
OK. As we write this we already have 38 definite entries, plus 7 definite-maybes and another 5 to 7 maybe-maybes. That adds up to 52 with the maybes. The event cannot take all-comers – we are restricted by accommodation and plain old logistics. We will definitely take 50 starters and may be able to stretch to 60.
If you are thinking of competing don’t leave it until the last minute to enter – you might miss out. And don’t forget, you can secure a place with a nomination form and a deposit – see the Nomination Form for more info.
That’s 10 reasons… and there are plenty more. Have a good think about it while planning your 2014 season. If you need to know more, there is more about the event on the website, see what some of the 2012 crews had to say and feel free to ask us any questions you may have.
We’d love to have you with us!