event reports, News

Rising river shortens Day 5 of Classic Outback Trial

The rising waters of the Turon River north of Bathurst has made the water depth at a causeway impassable for rally crews and has caused a critical Special Stage to be cancelled on Day 5 of the Classic Outback Trial.

The cancellation of the stage left rally competitors with today’s stage lengths adding to just shy of 28 kilometers – or in time, around 19 minutes.

Nevertheless, Bathurst crew of Andrew and David Travis continued to build on their lead over Michael and Timothy Valantine with South Australian Darkie Barr-Smith and Rob Hunt in third place at the end of todays 3 stages.

Tomorrow (Friday) sees the rally move to the pine plantations south of Bathurst, with the lunch break and service at Black Springs after the morning’s three special stages. Two Special Stages will be held after lunch, prior to the crews’ return to Rydges Mt Panorama for a well-earned final night’s rest.

No rest for the wicked – or the intrepid rally crews – on Saturday, the final day of the Classic Outback Trial.

Another 3 stages are on the agenda. The traditional final Special Stage of the Classic Outback Trial is aptly named “The Fat Lady Sings” – as in “its not over until the Fat Lady Sings”.

This year’s final stage will have a special place in the hearts of many as the current Organisers will not be undertaking any more Classic Outback Trial events. Given that backdrop, it will certainly be one to be remembered!

The Classic Outback Trial finishes in Russell Street, Bathurst at 13:00 hrs.


Despite a miscommunication which saw Allcomers leader Tony Quinn given a four minute time penalty, the mighty V8 Nissan Navara he shares with co-driver John Doble continued to show a clean pair of heels to the other competitors in the All Comers section.

Tony Quinn and John Doble

Second placed Paul Lahiff and John Paine driving a rare Toyota Altezza RS20 are nearly 45 minutes in arrears of Quinn and Doble, with Brian Canny and Matthew Hosking’s Porsche 944 in third place.


“Hold Station” was the cry from the regularity competitors after the cancellation of the Razorback Section.

Bruce Power and Jill Robilliard from Tasmania, in Sofala

Three regularity sections were held today. David and Stephen Gainer in their Datsun 240Z continue to hold the lead over the Mercedes Benz of Bill and Kathy Gill, with Paul and Mariella Kirkham’s Datsun 1600 in third place.

Banner: Joel Wald and Cathy Elliott near the end of the Box Ridge special stage, on day 5.