All systems go for COT18…

Jorge Perez Companc, Ford RS1800

Argentinian Jorge Perez Companc has nominated the fabulous Viking Motorsport Ford Escort RS1800 for COT18.

This time 12 months ago we were recovering from a challenging but ultimately successful 2016 edition of the Classic Outback Trial (COT) despite mother nature doing her best to intervene.

Now the cogs are well and truly in motion as we look ahead to the 2018 event, and with just over a month until the early bird offer closes on July 31, 2017 we can confirm we’ve received 25 nominations to contend the 6.5 days of competition in Australia’s Red Centre from August 18-25, 2018. Continue reading


Announcement of COT18 – nominations now open

In formally announcing that the Classic Outback Trial will next be conducted during the period 18-25 August 2018, Event Promoter and Executive Chairman Phil Bernadou confirmed that Alice Springs will once again play host each night, following the a very successful 2016 event.

Now the only week-long competition event in Australia it will again be run under the auspices of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport. Continue reading


The Internationals are coming!

After hearing about the great events in Australia, and more importantly the Classic Outback Trial, the international invasion has started.

Val and Ian Swan have made some wonderful like-minded rally friends while competing in South America, Africa and Mexico in the past few years. Their aim has always been to get as many of them out to our great wide land to enjoy what we have to offer and this year there are friends coming from England and Sweden to get involved in the COT. Continue reading


The 2014 Classic Outback Trial – family friendly fun!

The 2014 Classic Outback Trial is shaping up as a very popular family activity. Of the 38 nominations we’ve received at the time of writing, and based on what we know about entrants’ plans, a shade over 28% are family crews.

So far we have:

  • Four husband/wife crews
  • Two father/son crews
  • Two son/father crews
  • Two crews that will be either father/son, son/father or both
  • One crew that will be father/daughter, daughter/father or both

“Family discussions” between now and official entry forms being completed will clarify the last two points. 😎

In recognition of the family crews entering the COT we have reinstated the “Family award” for the 2014 event – details will be in Supp Regs.

We know that it is not just competing crews that have family ties. Many service crews have partners, parents, in-laws, children and other relatives making up the support team.

Our officials have strong family connections too – the road crews will include three to five husband/wife teams and one or more father/son teams, depending on who comes and many other officials bring family members along. In fact, our Clerk of Course tops the lot with his son, son-in-law and grandson among the officials.

The 2014 COT is turning into a real family affair…

David Travis walking into a cpontrol on the 2010 COT

Andrew and David Travis, a son and father crew, won the 2010 COT. This pic shows David walking into a start control to check in while Andrew does some checks of his own.


10 reasons why you should enter the 2014 Classic Outback Trial now

10 reasonsIt’s that time. The last event of the year is over and many rally people sit down to plan their programme for the coming year.

We know there are plenty of you thinking about competing in the Classic Outback Trial in August so we thought we’d help you with 10 reasons why you should include the COT on your plan.

1. The Classic Outback Trial is unique

It’s a long-distance, daylight special stage rally for classic rally cars running on excellent farm roads and tracks in central and outback NSW. The COT is a serious competitive event over 7 days, offering tough competition on really unique roads. How many events can claim that?

2. Outback NSW is just spectacular

The COT runs in late winter when the weather is cool and the countryside at its best. The event runs across a variety of terrains, from forests around Parkes through to the red, sandy terrain around Broken Hill. It’s not just the terrain that changes – the vegetation and animals change too each day as we head west… It’s really special out there.

3. Outback hospitality is wonderful

Nothing compares to the welcome we get… all the towns, motels, clubs and properties we visit show us great hospitality. It’s not unusual to have the station owners at stage starts welcoming crews or cheering them on at their secret spot on the stage.

4. It’s the most fun you can have in a rally car with your clothes on

Organisers, officials, competitors and service crews all agree – the Classic Outback Trial is J-U-S-T G-R-E-A-T F-U-N! And of course, you DO need to wear appropriate clothing while competing – it’s a special stage event.

5. The COT is well organised and well run

The team is well experienced in running long-distance rallies and many of our officials have been with us since the 2009 COT – there is a bit of experience there to keep things running smoothly. Importantly though, it’s not us who say the COT is well run – it was the competitors. See what they said about the 2012 event on the Testimonials page.

6. There is a great outback atmosphere and camaraderie

With not-too-early daily starts and all crews are finished before nightfall, there is good opportunity to relax and swap stories after each day’s competition. Crews can often be found at the “daily pub” for dinner. Friendships forged on long-distance events are special.

7. The COT won’t wreck your car

COT roads are generally smooth and sandy. Sure, there are a few bits where we bash across paddocks or the odd rocky outcrop, but these are in the minority. Tyre wear is generally low. The countryside is gentle with few trees; there is ample warning of hazards. We also have with very liberal late time limits that allow recovery from any incidents. We only had five retirements in 2012.

8. There is a high proportion of competition

In 2012, 42% of the event was competitive – almost 1000 kilometres! We have 5 stages on most days, ranging from 10 to 90 kilometres long. Plenty to keep you amused…

9. We support Frontier Services and their Outback Links initiative

Frontier Services is a very worthy partner that provides valuable support to the communities through which the event passes. Frontier Services are an integral and visible part of the COT, providing the fantastic Frontier Services breakfasts each day, lunches in the middle of nowhere and fantastic support for the event and crews.

10. If you don’t enter soon it might be too late!

OK. As we write this we already have 38 definite entries, plus 7 definite-maybes and another 5 to 7 maybe-maybes. That adds up to 52 with the maybes. The event cannot take all-comers – we are restricted by accommodation and plain old logistics. We will definitely take 50 starters and may be able to stretch to 60.

If you are thinking of competing don’t leave it until the last minute to enter – you might miss out. And don’t forget, you can secure a place with a nomination form and a deposit – see the Nomination Form for more info.

That’s 10 reasons… and there are plenty more. Have a good think about it while planning your 2014 season. If you need to know more, there is more about the event on the website, see what some of the 2012 crews had to say and feel free to ask us any questions you may have.

We’d love to have you with us!