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Midstate Freight Caves Classic,
It's on again in Oberon.
Oberon hosted a round of the NSW Rally Championship for the third successive year, based again at the Oberon Leagues Club. You can see the Supplementary Regulations by clicking on the image at the right.
Jon Thompson and his crew from North Shore Sporting Car Club brought another excellent rally to Oberon with the 2020 Midstate Freight Caves Classic on October 10. It was all a bit Goldilocks on the day - not too hot and not too cold, not too windy (just enough to blow the dust away) and not too dusty, roads not too rough (to break the cars) and not too smooth (so the drivers were challenged).
The roads in the three forests (Lowes Mount, Essington and Vulcan) were in excellent condition and provided a good mix of fast, open running and twisty bits where the brakes and handling could be as important as power and straight line speed. Even the competitors who didn't finish for a variety of reasons had no complaints about the organisation or the course. The Oberon area has always provided good rallying country, and it lived up to its reputation.
The event was Round 2 of the MTA NSW Rally Championship, the East Coast Classic Rally Series and the NSW Clubman and Hyundai Series, and matched its championship status. New naming sponsor, Midstate Freight from the Central West region, would be satisfied with their investment (and one of their owners was in the car which placed fifth).
A rather disappointing field of 44 cars started the event. The low number of starters could be a result of the COVID-19 epidemic because so few rallies have been run this year that competitors might have felt that they hadn't had enough practice. Eleven cars were classed as non-finishers - nine through mechanical failure (another possible symptom of lack of match fitness) and two dropped out after leaving the road (although one managed to recover and complete the final stages). The medical team had nothing to do all day, which is how it should be.
COVID-19 restrictions affected the way the service park was arranged and used. You can see more about this and some photos of the competitors getting ready by clicking on the photo below.
Special Stage 1 - Lowes Mount
The stage in Lowes Mount State Forest was used in this event in 2018 and was revisited in 2020. You can see details about the stage including a map, photos and a video by clicking on the image below.
Special Stages 2 and 6 - Roberts Road
The stage in the Roberts Road part of Essington State Forest would have been new to all except the very oldest competitors. Map and video can be reached by clicking on the image.
Special Stages 3 and 7 - Essington
The stage through the main part of Essington State Forest was the same as in the 2019 Caves Classic.
Special Stages 4 and 8 - Beemerang
The Beemerang stage in Vulcan State Forest would have been new to most competitors. Part of it was used in the AMSAG Training Day in March 2020.
Special Stages 5 and 9 - Stacey's Road
Everyone who sets a rally in the area seems to use Stacey's Road. By now the drivers could probably drive themselves over it while the codrivers look at the scenery.
You can see all the results at https://www.chrissport.kiwi/events/?db=cavesclassic2020 or a summary here.
A report on the rally appeared in the Oberon Review on October 15, 2020
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