In near perfect conditions, 46 local gravel rally competitors ripped through some of Australia’s best rally stages yesterday (13th September 2020) for the Make Smoking History Forest Rally near Harvey and Collie, south-west of Perth.
After a chilly start with some low morning fog, the sun came out and the crowds flocked. There was enough moisture in the soil to keep dust low and give the roads grip, which competitors seem to relish.
In the WA Rally Championship, it was a tight battle with four different leaders throughout the rally, three stage winners, and loads of sideways action and dirt being flung that kept hundreds of spectators entertained. The ex World Rally Championship stages that were used for Rally Australia were a hit with drivers and spectators alike.
Competitors tackled 135 kilometres of flat out competition on eight closed road Special Stages including a mammoth 32-kilometre stage around Wellington Dam that was run twice, and travelled a total distance of almost 300 kilometres.
The last two stages saw nine retirements, most of which were mechanical failures besides a major non-critical incident on the final stage where a driver and co-driver and were taken to Fiona Stanley Hospital for precautionary checks.
Of the 46 starters, 36 completed the Make Smoking History Forest Rally.