“I’m so glad we’ve done this, this is amazing.” An ebullient Matt Lee, 2011 Australian Rally co-driver champion emerged from his Holden Commodore at the major service break this afternoon raving about the day’s stages. There was a similar theme through the service park, a 40 minute break for crews on the road between Cobar and the overnight stop in Ivanhoe. Regardless of any problems they may be nursing to day’s end, drivers especially were singing the praises of the long stages today.
There was a sensation in the event before lunch when the leading Datsun 200B of Neil Cuthbert and Ross Runnalls went over on its side while slowly making a U-turn to check an instruction. Continue reading
Cuthbert and Runnalls back in the lead. Despite hitting a fence on one of the morning’s stages, the troublesome-until-now Datsun 200B of Neil Cuthbert and twice 1981-1982 Australian Rally Champion co-driver Ross Runnalls have overtaken the overnight leaders Travis/Travis who are driving an earlier model Datsun 1600. Cuthbert was first car on the road at Sunday’s start in Parkes but was pushed down to 4th during the day. It was the Travis’s who started day 2 of the Classic Outback Trial with a 2 ½ minute lead over 2012 winners Swan/Franklin in car 1 and over 3 minutes to the better of Cuthbert Runnalls. Continue reading
The 2014 Classic Outback Trial got off to a roaring start yesterday afternoon on the 12 km Prologue Stage near Parkes in Central N.S.W. It was a chance for competitors to “blow out the cobwebs” and assess their car ahead of the first full day of competition. It was also the first opportunity for the organisers to gauge the relative performances under competition conditions and try and come up with a starting order for Sunday’s 111 km competitive stages. Many crews were simply glad of the chance to finally get the car into a stage. For some, it was their first rally since the 2012 event and they were certainly feeling it after just this short little introduction to outback special stage rallying. Continue reading
Rob Cranston of Boutique Statue Artistry has crafted a very special COT 2014 gnome for the traditional charity auction to benefit Frontier Services at the end of the event.
The gnome is resplendent in the COT’s green and ochre colours and is enjoying a beer – something many of the crews are bound to be doing at the presentation in Renmark, after seven hard days of rallying in outback NSW. Continue reading
… and links to photo galleries will appear here during the 2014 Classic Outback Trial. Come back soon!
Matt Swan and Paul Franklin have been assigned car number 1 for COT 2014, in recognition of their win the previous Classic Outback Trial in 2012.
Matt and Paul had a great run in 2012, with consistent good results and a trouble free run in their 1987 Holden Commodore. They clinched the win with a stirring drive on the last day around Renmark. Continue reading