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Rally NSW Test Day
Rally NSW conducted a test day at Macquarie Woods (between Bathurst and Orange) on Saturday, February 19, 2022.
The location at the Macquarie Woods Recreation Area was ideal, and the roads in the forest made it a perfect place to hold an event like this. It would even be possible to hold short rallies or rallysprints there. A test day at the start of the year is a very good idea, particularly after a year with almost no rally activity because of the COVID19 epidemic. A chance to find out any weaknesses before the real competition starts is always welcome, and some of the crews there were in cars that were very new, either to them or coming out for the first time ever. It's better to learn about the car in a non-competitive situation than half-way through a stage in a championship round, remembering that except for some special occasions it is not legal to practise in forests at anything above 60kmh and you can't learn much about the cars at that speed.
Apart from a bit of dust (that was preferable to the deluging rain I experienced at an event a couple of days earlier) the weather conditions were perfect. Nobody could have had any cause for complaint about the location, the roads, the weather or the organisation of the event. (Even the black snake that I almost trod on while walking out to take photos seemed to be very relaxed and enjoying himself. I didn't stop for a conversation.)
The day concluded with the official launch of the 2022 NSW rallying season at the Bathurst Light Car Club. The club must be thanked for making their facilities on Conrod Straight available and for having beer at just the right temperature to wash away a day's dust. Here's the view from the car park.
I had this to say in BLCC's magazine, The Blower:
On February 19, Bathurst Light Car Club played host to the launch of the 2022 NSW rally calendar. As well as some speeches outlining the events coming up during 2022 those at the club function were treated to some wise words about rallying from former Australian Rally Champion Nathan Quinn and almost certain future Champion Lewis Bates. The year ahead looks very exciting with the addition of entry level series like the S1 Rallysprint series designed to attract new competitors without the high cost barriers associated with higher level rallies. Almost any program of events would be exciting after 2021's series of cancellations due to weather and COVID, but the 2022 calendar for NSW has a good selection of events suiting people just coming into the game right up to national championship level.
The evening function at the BLCC clubhouse followed an excellent test day at Macquarie Woods run by Rally NSW. One of the things that rallying has always needed is somewhere to try out the cars and crews before the season starts and the day gave competitors a good chance to see what they had forgotten after the very sparse previous year and to find any weak points in the cars. Forestry rules prohibit testing at any useful speed so having a test day which simulates real rally conditions was welcomed by everyone.
BLCC turned on an excellent buffet for everyone plus some cold beverages to wash away the day's dust (and there was plenty of that). I can only speak for myself but I'd like to thank the club for having us there.
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