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Midstate Freight Oberon Stages Rally,
Oberon NSW,
Saturday April 23, 2022

After missing in 2021 because of COVID19 restrictions, Oberon hosted a round of the NSW Rally Championship for the fourth time. Based again at the Oberon Leagues Club, The Midstate Freight Oberon Stages Rally was run on Saturday, April 23. 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 took place in Essington, Mount David and Vulcan State Forests.


Supplementary Regulations

Some additional regulations

Service Instructions


Click to see the s
eeded entry list



Click to see the route in Google Maps.

The rally was run over ten stages (five stages run twice). The first stage was in the Roberts Road part of Essington State Forest (north of Sewells Creek Road) and Stage 2 ran through Essington forest from Chain Of Ponds Road to the intersection of Knights and Dog Rocks Roads. Stage 3 was in the Barrakee Road area north of Campbells River Road, Stage 4 was in Mount David State Forest (an area that hasn't been used in rallies for some time) and Stage 5 was around Beemarang Road south of Campbells Creek Road. Lunch and a service break were at the Oberon Leagues Club before the cars set off to do the course again. There was a refuel and tyre change point in Avoca Pioneer Park at Black Springs which crews could use after Stages 2 and 7.

Weather was almost perfect on the day despite pessimism from some visitors to the town. (One control official asked me if it was true that Oberon is the coldest town in Australia.) Despite quite heavy rain on the Tuesday evening the roads were all dry (and very dusty in places). There were 18 retirements out of the 50 starters, but only two of these were because of hitting anything - the rest were mechanical problems (except for the unfortunate driver who was excluded for taking longer than the allowable time to complete the course). This seems to be about average for non finishers these days, largely because of the lack of rallies over the last year or so giving few opportunities to test the vehicles.

While there were some disappointments, nobody could be unsatisfied by the event and Jon Thomson and his crew from North Shore Sporting Car Club put on their usual excellent and well-run event. Oberon provides some of the best rallying country around and the 300 or so people that an event brings to town to spend money on food, fuel and accommodation are welcome. We are all looking forward to the next rally in the area.


It was a day when Murphy's Law revealed itself with all its force.

I like to get photographs of all the cars in an event, and I'd planned out my day to have all the cars pass by me twice - once in Stage 4 (Mount David State Forest) and again in Stage 7 (Essington State Forest). The timetable for the day showed that this was possible.

  • Murphy strikes - the first time
    Google Maps led me wildly astray when taking me to where I had to be in Mount David Forest. It told me to turn right at a particular intersection and then look for a road off to the left in about a kilometre. After driving around looking for this road for a while I finally got the GPS unit out and it located where I was supposed to go. Remember that "turn right" at the intersection and then go a kilometre? The correct thing was to turn left and go about five kilometres to get to the road into the forest. Need I say that I was in an area with no mobile phone coverage so Google Maps on the phone was paralysed? And people ask me why I have the NavMan and don't rely on using just the phone for navigation.
  • Murphy has a second go at me
    By the time the first car got to me the field was running about 50 minutes late. This meant that if I stayed around for the entire field I wouldn't be able to get to my next photo point in time to see the first car on the road, so I left after about half the field had gone by. When I got to where I had to be next there had been another long delay and I waited around for more than an hour before the 000 course check car arrived. I could have spent that hour at the first place and photographed all the cars.
  • Murphy goes for the trifecta
    I somehow managed to knock one of the many controls on the camera and set it to take black and white photos instead of colour. I realised this when I got home and started looking at the 1,228 photos that continuous shooting had captured. Photoshop has a "neural filter" which is supposed to apply artificial intelligence principles to b&w photos to colourise them, but saying that it's far from perfect would still be giving it too much praise. As an example, the winning car is blue but Photoshop decided that it is really red. An expert suggested that the raw images captured by the camera should contain all the colour information needed, but the clever camera turns off RAW mode when black and white is selected and only stores JPEG images. I will be very careful in future and check that all the right knobs are in all the right places. I try to only make the same mistake once. I tried colourising a sample but finally gave up. Life's too short.


Go to the photos from the first Mount David stage



Go to the photos from the second Essington stage


Results 
PlaceCar NoCrewCar 
119

Riley Walters/Andrew Crowley

Subaru WRX
213

Peter Dimmock/Leigh Pierce

Toyota Yaris AP4

33

Jamie Neale/Tommi Flegl

Subaru WRX
410

Sean McAloon/Mulreann Hayes

Ford Escort Mk2

522

Ron Moore/Jo Moore

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6


Full Results 
Stage Winners 
Retirements 
See a full analysis of results at https://www.chrissport.co.nz/events/

Something appeared in the Oberon Review on April 28, 2022


Click for a larger, more readable view.

Once again I didn't get credit either for writing or the photos. I'm not too worried about no byline because the text bears little resemblance to what I wrote. And I would NEVER refer to a rally as a race of any kind. Here is the article as submitted to the paper, and for which I was chased and reminded.

Oberon hosted a round of the NSW Rally Championship for the fourth time on April 23 after missing in 2021 because of COVID19 restrictions. Based again at the Oberon Leagues Club, The Midstate Freight Oberon Stages Rally was Round 2 of the MTA NSW Rally Championship, the East Coast Classic Rally Series and the NSW Clubman and Hyundai Series.

The rally was run over ten stages (five stages run twice). The first stage was in the Roberts Road part of Essington State Forest (north of Sewells Creek Road) and Stage 2 ran through Essington forest from Chain Of Ponds Road to the intersection of Knights and Dog Rocks Roads. Stage 3 was in the Barrakee Road part of Vulcan State Forest, Stage 4 was in Mount David State Forest (an area that hasn't been used in rallies for some time) and Stage 5 was again in Vulcan around Beemarang Road. Lunch and a service break were at the Oberon Leagues Club before the cars set off to do the course again. There was a refuel and tyre change point in Avoca Pioneer Park at Black Springs which crews could use after Stages 2 and 7.

Weather was almost perfect on the day despite pessimism from some visitors to the town (one control official asked me if it was true that Oberon is the coldest town in Australia) and the roads were all dry (and very dusty in places). There were 18 retirements out of the 50 starters, 15 for mechanical problems, two who touched trees and one who ran out of allowable late time. This seems to be about average for non finishers these days.

The overall winners of the rally were Riley Walters and Andrew Crowley, who would have been hard to beat as they were fastest over eight of the ten stages. Second place went to Peter Dimmock and Leigh Pierce, with Jamie Neale and Tommi Flegl taking the third place on the podium.

Nobody could be unsatisfied by the rally and Jon Thomson and his crew from North Shore Sporting Car Club put on their usual excellent and well-run event. Oberon provides some of the best rallying country around and the 300 or so people that an event brings to town to spend money on food, fuel and accommodation are welcome. We are all looking forward to the next rally in the area.


North Shore Sporting Car Club's site can be found here.




Copyright © 2016- Peter Bowditch

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