The pine forests south of Bathurst, which hosted today’s 92 kilometres of stages in the 2022 Classic Outback Trial, set the scene for the seven day-long rally’s close competition amongst the leading crews on the penultimate day of the event.
Hard charging second placed Michael Valantine and his co-driver, son Timothy Valantine, steered their Datsun Stanza to a fastest stage time in the forest plantations near Black Springs today in a heroic effort to claw back some much needed time to the leader, Bathurst financial advisor Andrew Travis and his dentist father, David in their potent Nissan Gazelle V6.
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.
Whilst the mighty Nissan Navara of Tiny Quinn and John Doble continues to lead the Allcomers Competition, the Classic Competition in the 2022 Classic Outback Trial is being steamrolled by Andrew and David Travis in their Nissan Gazelle as they increase the lead they have held since the first day of the seven-day Special Stage Rally.
With only two “Did Not Finishes” on the third day of the 2022 Classic Outback Trial, crews are coming to grips with the change in terrain from the dusty outback forests of Far-Western New South Wales to the hilly and more traditional rally country towards the east, near Orange.
Today’s two DNFs were the Triumph Stag V8 of Tony Jordan and Richard Davidson and the Holden Commodore VL of previous Classic Outback Trial winner, Matt Swan and Paul Franklin.
The combination of Bill Gill, Kathy Gill and their Mercedes 350 SLC has again stomped on the opposition during Day 2 of the Classic Outback Trail Regularity Rally.
The Gills’ again showed a clean pair of heels to the remainder of the field over the four sections which totaled over 150 kilometers. The field included equal second placed Datsun 1600 of Paul and Mariella Kirkham and the 1972 Datsun 240Z of David and Stephen Gainer. In fourth place at the end of today is Bruce Power and Jill Robilliard, in their 1939 Chevrolet Master 85.
In a very significant turn of fortunes, the dice has rolled the wrong way for several fancied Classic Outback Trial competitors – on the very first day of competition.
Day one of seven hard and fast days of special stage rallying has seen the immaculate Nissan Navara of Queensland Tony Quinn and John Doble head the time sheets in the Allcomers competition.
The Day 2 Start Order is now available.
Clerk of the Course
Just a few seconds separated the 5 fastest cars following a prologue stage in the Gunningbland Forest near Parkes, in the 2022 Classic Outback Trial. The prologue provided a preview for the 42 rally crews of what they are likely to expect in the next seven days of hard and fast competition.
Michael Valantine stormed through the 10.3 kilometres of dusty forest roads and overgrown tracks to finish the Special Stage just a single second in front of Joel Wald and Cathy Elliot. Both crews were driving Dastun Stanzas.
The Start Order for Day 1 is now available.
Also, Results for COT Rally Prologue and COT Regularity Shakedown are available on the COT22 Results Portal.
Clerk of Course
In somewhat of a coup for the seven day Classic Outback Trial, starting on Sunday 27 March in Parkes, a competitor in the Regularity Rally will be driving a 1963 British sports car fitted with 2019 Tesla S electric running gear!
The car itself is a Sunbeam Alpine Series 3, the car which is probably best known as James Bond’s car in the 1962 movie, “Dr No”.