Regularity offers options for COT16 competition

Your car might not be a fire-breathing turbocharged all-wheel drive rally car but you too can compete in the 2016 Classic Outback Trial.

The Regularity section of the Red Centre trial gives everyone the chance to satisfy their competitive urge no matter what car they drive. You could even compete in your SUV, four-wheel drive, or your favourite classic. Overseas and locals can also hire a 4WD to compete. Contact the organisers for assistance.

No special preparation is needed to compete in Regularity, you don’t need to wear crash helmets or special driving suits, all you need are essential safety items like a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit and warning triangles.

A white Toyota Celica competing at an autocross

Standard car class rally cars would be ideal for Classic Outback Regularity

To enter drivers must hold a valid drivers licence, but navigators can be as young as 12 years old.

Being based in Alice Springs with competitors returning to rally headquarters at the end of each day of competition family members not directly involved in the Trial can enjoy all of the wonderful attractions of the Red Centre. Daily tours of Alice Springs and the surrounding areas are available.

Regularity crews get to compete over a similar course as the full-on rally teams, it totals 2000 km on dirt roads and includes 20 regularity tests conducted on the event’s special stages, the difference is that competitors in Regularity do it at more modest pace.

But don’t be fooled, while the Regularity competition might not be run at the same frenetic speeds reached by the rally cars it’s just as competitive.

Regularity is a competition based on time, speed and distance and demands precision from both the driver and the navigator.

While the rally cars blaze around the course, slipping and sliding through every bend in the road, Regularity competitors are challenged to maintain a strict average speed over each competitive stage.

At the start of each regularity test competitors are given an average speed by the organisers that they have to maintain as closely as they can.

The organisers calculate the time competitors should arrive at any given point along the stage if they have kept to the set speed.

Every car is fitted with a RallySafe unit, which records the time it passes beacons officials have placed along the stage. The locations of the beacons are kept from competitors, which adds to the pressure on them to precisely maintain the average speed.

A Ford Mustang competing in the 2015 Trans America Rally

Events like the Road to Mandalay and the Trans America Rally use regularity for competition.

For drivers there’s the challenge of keeping as close as possible to the average speed at all times, making up for any time lost when necessary if they’re forced to slow for any reason.

Navigators meanwhile must not only ensure they keep on the set course using instructions in the road book issued by the organisers they must also continuously work out whether they are on, ahead or behind the time determined by the average speed with the assistance of the RallySafe unit.

The maximum average speed organisers can set is 80 km/h, which will apply to the more open sections of a stage, but it could be as low as 30 km/h to reflect slower conditions. Organisers can also vary the average speed within a stage.

A modern SUV can be used in Classic Outback Regularity

A modern SUV can be used in Classic Outback Regularity

Penalties are handed out for every second a team is early or late as they pass each timing beacon, and the winner will be the crew with the lowest accumulated total at the end of the event.

Both the driver and navigator must have a basic CAMS Level 2 Non-Speed licence, which is easily obtained and costs just $70 ($25 for anyone under the age of 18) and gives them coverage under the national body’s insurance policy.

Regularity is open to competition and non-competition cars, and for the purposes of competition the organisers have created three classes for Classic and Historic Cars, 4×4 Recreation Vehicles, and Other Suitable Vehicles.

The entry fee for the event is $3,500 and for that you get CAMS public and personal insurance coverage, hire of the RallySafe unit, entry to the pre-event welcome function and two tickets to the presentation at the finish, road books, and some apparel.

Entries close in May 2016, but you can guarantee a place in the event now by paying a non-refundable nomination fee of $500. It’s also possible to pay the entry fee in instalments.

For more information:

Philip Bernadou
Event Director & Deputy Clerk of Course

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