Subaru Rally Tasmania will be an even playing field for national and local crews alike with most of the special stages using roads that have not seen competitive rallying since the 1990s.
Crews will enjoy more than 240 kilometres of competition over two days in the forests surrounding Launceston when round four of the CAMS Australian Rally Championship lands in the Apple Isle on 27-29 July.
Saturday’s heat will see competitors make two passes of five special stages. Crews will test themselves on the fast and flowing roads in the Diddleum Plains area before tackling the slow, tight and technical sections in the Sideling Range and Lisle State Forest.
Subaru Rally Tasmania’s Assistant Clerk of Course Matt von Bertouch said day one would be a big day for the competing teams.
“There is a wide variance in roads, with crews facing wide and flowing stages early before taking on some quintessential Tasmanian style stages that are exceptionally twisty and narrow,” von Bertouch explained.
On Sunday, competition will move to the north of Launceston, with three stages being run twice. The first two tests are held in the Retreat Forest, which is known for its fast and open forestry roads. The final stage returns to the Lisle State Forest, which will also be the longest and most demanding in the event.
“The final stage is the toughest,” von Bertouch said.
“At 25 kilometres long, the stage will feel more like a 30 or 35 kilometre long stage, as it is physically and mentally demanding with how tight the corners are and how narrow it gets in places. There is very little relief for drivers and co-drivers.”
“We are very lucky to have such strong support for rallying in Tasmania within the forestry industry. Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Timberlands Pacific and Forico have all been very accommodating with our road requests to ensure that we provide the visiting interstate teams the best rally roads in the region.”
Event Director Graham Malcolm also confirmed a super special stage on Friday night in Inveresk.
“The City of Launceston have been a very enthusiastic supporter of the event, and it is fantastic that we have been able to bring rallying to the city on Friday night,” said Malcolm.
Rally headquarters and the service park will be based in the heart of the city at the impressive Inveresk Precinct, which is home to UTAS Stadium, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and University of Tasmania.
“The region is seeing a boom in winter tourism, and we are very happy to be a part of it. The beauty of Tasmania in winter is a well kept secret, and we encourage the teams and families to take the time to explore Launceston and its attractions,” Malcolm said.