What is the backstory to the Classic Outback Trial?

The first Classic Outback Trial was held in Regional NSW in 2009 and 2010 finishing on the Gold Coast and since then it then has been held every two years. In 2012 and 2014 the Classic Outback Trial was centred in NSW, finishing on the Murray River in Renmark. In 2016 and 2018 the event was based in Alice Springs.

Competitor survey and feedback shows the competitor base wants to see a six-plus day rally – so that’s what we are going to provide for you!

You will also get special stages that are generally significantly longer than championship stage rallies, not too many special stages per day, easy to get to service locations with ample service periods and comfortable accommodations at night.

A big feedback point was to make access to the event easier for the majority of Australian rally enthusiasts, so for 2021 the event will be based around the major towns of Parkes, Orange and Bathurst in Central Western NSW.

Previous events have seen Australian Rally Champions such as Ross Dunkerton and David (Dinta) Officer compete.

In 2016 and 2018 International crews from Argentina, Belgium, New Zealand and Germany entered the Classic Outback Trial. In 2021 there were to be rally teams from Argentina, Belgium, UK and possibly from New Zealand as well. However, the spread of COVID-19 resulting in movement restrictions in most countries has resulted in these crews not being able to come to Australia for the event.

But don’t let us tell all the stories, read what our happy competitors thought about their COT experience.

For the history books, the 2009 event was won by Terry Naish and Ross Runnalls (Datsun 1600). In 2010 and 2014, Andrew and David Travis visited the top of the Podium in another Datsun 1600, as they did also in 2016 and 2018 (both latter occasions whilst driving a Nissan Gazelle V6). 2012 was Matt Swan and Paul Franklin’s turn in their Holden Commodore VL.

See also our Classic Outback Trial Honour Board.