The recent State Bank Discovery Trial Rerun highlighted the enjoyment that many rallyists get from long distance events in the Australian outback. And after a big week, covering some 3,000 km around South Australia, the feedback from all on the State Bank was overwhelmingly positive.
Event winner Ross Dunkerton, with his vast experience in Australian and International rallying, was moved to say that it was the best event he has ever been in! High praise indeed…
The State Bank was a touring event and included a number of special tests and short, closed road special stages each day.
It started in the Barossa and quickly headed north into South Australia’s remote areas, including two great days in the Flinders Ranges. Crews visited some of the iconic names from Australia’s long distance rallying history – Burra, Blinman, Hawker, Curnamona, Frome Downs, Yunta and the Border Track. They encountered typical outback conditions – lots of creek crossings, rocky outcrops, sand, dust, bright sunshine, gateways, grids and of course, the local wildlife.
The competing cars represented a great cross section of past Aussie rallying – various Peugeots, Datsun 1600s and Stanzas, Toyota Corollas and Celicas, Ford Escorts, Volvos, Holden Commodores, Galants, plus Ford Falcons, a Mustang, a Sigma, a Renault, a Leyland P76, a Mercedes and even an Austin 1800.
Next year’s Classic Outback Trial will certainly appeal to those thirsting for more of this style of event – a competitive, long distance event in the vastness and variety of the Australian outback.
Congratulations to SBDTR Clerk of Course Graham Wallis and the HRA for running a great event – and thanks for giving us a great week in South Australia!