Singleton Auto Caves Classic Rally at Oberon

THE Singleton Auto Caves Classic Rally was based at the Oberon Leagues Club last weekend for the second year.

As the name might suggest, this event had traditionally been run in Hampton and Jenolan state forests.

The stages added Lowes Mount forest in 2018 and this year, as well as Hampton and Jenolan, the cars travelled in Vulcan and Essington forests.

Essington forest had not been used in a rally for about 30 years.

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The weather was perfect, and the only problem that competitors (and spectators) had was the amount of dust, but if that was all anyone had to complain about, then a good day was had by all.

It might have been a bit boring for the medical emergency team, because they had nothing to do all day, but this just shows how safe the sport is and what is expected these days anyway.

The rally was run in eight stages: four stages run twice across Hampton, Jenolan, Lowes Mount and Essington state forests. The first cars were flagged off by Oberon mayor Kathy Sajowitz.

Local support is vital for sports like this and the organisers were pleased to know that the council welcomed them to the town.

The first stage was in the Bindo Road part of Hampton forest, the second in the north-western part of Jenolan, the third all over Essington and the fourth in the part of Vulcan north of Riverview Road and east of Abercrombie Road.

All roads were in excellent condition and the spectator points were well chosen to see the action.

The rally was part of several series, with Tom Clarke and Ryan Preston taking first place in the NSW Rally Championship round in their Lancer EVO9 and Thomas Dermody and Eoin Moynihan topping the East Coast Classic Rally Series in an Escort RS 1800.

The ECCRS is restricted to cars more than 30 years old.

As well as the winners, congratulations have to go to Jon Thomson and his team from the North Shore Sporting Car Club.

It was Jon's first time directing a rally.

The event was based on the Oberon Leagues Club, which provided a perfect location, with plenty of space for the service park, food available throughout the day and a good venue for an evening meal, some refreshing and dust-clearing beverages, presentation of awards and somewhere to swap war stories, all just a short walk away for competitors, service crews, officials and spectators.

Thanks to the Leagues Club and Junior Rugby League for providing great facilities for rally headquarters, and of course the host town of Oberon for its hospitality and for being right in the middle of some of the best rallying places in the country.