Rally repeat likely for Tasmania

Since returning to the national scene in 2018, the popular Rally Tasmania has continued to grow and gain a lot of interest from motorsport fans in Tasmania and around the country.

While the event is considered a physically taxing and challenging course, the past two years have seen crews enjoy the picturesque nature and scenic views of what Tasmania has to offer.

In 2020, the Motorsport Australia Rally Championship will once again return to the apple isle for the third round of the season and event organisers are ready for everything that comes with it.

Despite the event being six months away and still in its infancy, Clerk of Course Graham Malcolm was unsure about would exactly be in store for competing crews, but was confident the event’s identity would remain the same.

“We’re a little far out from organising the official course as well as signing and announcing sponsors. We will most likely tackle that in the new year,” Malcolm said.

“What I can say though is the course will remain quite similar to that of the previous two years. The event is generally pace noted so I can’t imagine it will change a lot.  I do believe there will be some basic changes but nothing too out of the ordinary.

“We may also be hosting the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship again but we won’t know for sure until we have had the chance to discuss it. It would be great to sign it up because we are keen to have them again.”

While Subaru has been the only team to confirm its position in 2020, a number of national and state-level competitors and crews are yet to reveal their plans.

However, Malcolm is sure the event will attract a combination of big names and new drivers looking to make their mark on the national level.

“Rally Tasmania has generated a lot of interest from a number of local crews to come and compete on the national level,” Malcolm added.

“There are four or five new turbo charge cars being built and I expect they would come out and play. We’re definitely going to have a few local guys running on the national stage, so it’s going to be a little bit like the locals taking on the mainland guys for bragging rights.

“We have some good competition down here and some great drivers, including people who have moved sideways from Targa. The outright contenders at Targa level want to step up and have a go at Rally Tasmania.”

As for the administration side of the two-year-old event, Malcolm believed Motorsport Australia officials will return holding the same enthusiasm to put on the event, with more passionate people expected to join the ranks.

“The Rally Tasmania event team generally works together on most state events around Tasmania and other club events too, so on the ground, it’s realistically another rally for us,” Malcolm explained.

“The administration side of the event is huge. It takes a lot more effort than a state round but at the moment, the team is getting bigger and people are coming out of the woodwork to come and help which is great.

“By virtue of the event just being there, creating some notoriety, people just want to come help and be involved. All these new people will help us grow the event as we reach our third year in 2020. It’s going to be a great rally.”

The 2020 Rally Tasmania will take place in Launceston and the surrounding forests on 19-21 June and follows the Netier National Capital Rally and the Make Smoking History Forest Rally.