Former shire postie Claude Murray is the one to watch in this year’s Bega Valley Rally as he puts his Datsun P510 against a field of Ford Escorts, Fiats and a BMW on Sunday.
Now living at Nowra, the one-time Bega resident is one of 72 teams who have signed up to make it one of the biggest fields ever for the 60-year-old event.
The rally covers five staged races in one adrenalin filled day, the State Championships for both New South Wales and Victoria, the Excel Series, ACT Regional Series and the Sapphire Coast Classic event.
Classic cars like Murray’s will lead the rally around the bush track circuit followed about 40 minutes by modern machines.
Deputy clerk of course Steuart Snooks said NSW and ACT were raring to go.
All the NSW guys are raring to go because three rounds been cancelled because of rain,” he said.
“ACT teams have also had a number of their events cancelled and are finding it harder and harder to use traditional roads around Canberra.”
Highlights for him will be the championship races, the regional series and a special return from the 2WD classic cars.
“The first of course are the Championship Cars, with crews from New South Wales and Victoria battling it out for championship points,” he said.
Steuart said there had been changes to spectator viewing areas following flood damage and road works.
“They have changed because we’ve lost Anteater, a very popular spot and another down south on Maxwell’s Road,” he said.
“Forests has done a lot of work on Maxwells so we don’t risk damaging it.”
Seven spots remain for viewers, two as far south as Genoa, along with the service area at Edrom, popular last year for its catering and close proximity to the northern viewing points.
Flood damaged bridges mean most of the action is being conducted off the main roads this year, a move which has created a bit of extra work following the wild weather in this week.
“The rain won’t be a problem but the trees down could give us a bit of work to do,” Steuart said.
“We’re spreading the word around the drivers that Friday will be a bit of a tree clearing day.”
For more information visit www.begavalleyrally.com.au/spectators or see the map in the Magnet office window in Imlay Street.