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Black Springs Rally
Saturday, November 12, saw 30 cars lining up in the picnic area at Black Springs for the fifth round of the 2016 AMSAG Rally Series. Rain had been predicted for the day but it all happened very early in the morning with 27 mm falling on the nearby forests after midnight. The day itself was fine (with the only rain being a light smattering when I had to change a tyre on my own car, but that's Murphy's Law for you) and the early morning rain almost completely soaked in and gave the advantage of keeping the dust level down.
Stages were run in the parts of Vulcan forest north of Black Springs off Beaconsfield Road, the section around Arkstone and the area between Abercrombie and Shooters Hill Roads. Roads were in good condition with only a few easily avoidable boggy patches from the night's rain, and the attrition rate was quite low with only about five cars withdrawing before the end of the event. All withdrawals were for mechanical failure, and nobody hit anything hard enough to do any damage. It is always a good day when the paramedics in the attending ambulance have absolutely nothing to do at any time, and while this is the normal situation for rallying it is comforting to know that medical assistance is available quickly if it's needed.
The stages were the same as in the rally in the same area on April 24, but were driven in the opposite direction.
There were no spectator points in Stage 2 in the Arkstone section of the forest, so I decided to find a way in that didn't involve using roads on the rally route. I was too clever for my own good. Unfortunately, the only map I had didn't show all the roads in the area, and without mobile phone coverage Google Maps couldn't download the correct maps (it told me I was at the University of Wollongong, which was the last place I'd used it). I finally admitted defeat and asked the lady in my GPS to lead me back to Black Springs, which she did, using a road that was very unexpected. When I get lost I do it properly, a skill that has remained since my days as a rally navigator.
Trophies for the event were presented at dinner in the evening, along with awards for performances over the entire championship series.
A report on the rally was published in the Oberon Review on November 17, 2016
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