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AMSAG Black Springs Rallysprint 2020
The Oberon area saw rally cars for the third time this year at the running of the Australian Motor Sport Action Group (AMSAG) Black Springs Rallysprint on November 21. This was round two of the 2020 Midstate Freight Rallysprint Series.
Rallysprints are a shortened form of rallies. This event consisted of three competitive stages, each run twice, for a total distance of 80 kilometres. Stages are often run more than once in full-length rallies but in rallysprints only a competitor's fastest time for each stage counts towards the final result. Timing, car specifications and categories, safety measures and competitor licensing requirements are the same as for longer events.
As is traditional for rallies in the area, rally headquarters was in the Black Springs Community Hall and the service area was in the Avoca Pioneer Park across the road.
To add to the drama of the weekend, there was a magnitude 3 earthquake just before 10pm on Friday evening. The epicentre was beneath Isabella, about 8km from Black Springs. (The yellow dot on the map is Black Springs. The red dot is the epicentre. The blue dot is my house in Oberon.)
The rally used three parts of Vulcan State Forest - Ponderosa Rd/Staceys Rd (north of Riverview Forest Road), Wombat Road area (south of Riverview) and Beemerang (south of Campbells River Road). The Beemerang stages were introduced to rallying this year, Wombat was last used in 2018 and the Staceys Rd stages seem to be an integral part of every rally conducted in Vulcan so the cars can almost drive themselves.
Details of each stage with pictures and videos can be reached from the links below.
There were 37 starters (see the list here) of whom 12 retired during the event. Most retirements were for mechanical reasons which might indicate that drivers were trying too hard given the short length of the rally. One very inexperienced crew had some navigation problems and another newcomer punctured all their spare tyres plus one more.
No rain during the week meant that there was a lot of dust, but this affected competitors less than it did control officials (and photographers). With perfect weather and excellent fast roads on the day plus an earthquake 8km away on Friday night nobody could be disappointed.
Information about this and other events can be found at https://www.amsag.com.au
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