By Michael Doran
The Toolangi Forrest will be buzzing on Sunday 16 September when the Victorian Rally Championship and the Victorian Club Rally Series run through the area.
“Planning for the event started eight months ago and has involved Victoria Police, DELWP, VicRoads and local Shires,” event director Craig Jarvie told the Mail.
“The rally is run on closed roads in the forest with no speed restrictions.”
While the event is being promoted by the Nissan Car Club Australia, it features cars of all makes, including the Subaru WRX, Lancer Evolution, Ford Escort, Holden Commodore and a purpose-built Volkswagen S2000 from Europe.
“The starting interval between cars is usually two minutes but because dust will not be an issue, we have reduced that to one minute,” Mr Jarvie said.
“This makes for exciting racing and great watching with cars coming along all the time.”
Spectator points will be set up at prime spots along the course, and the fast pace and shortened intervals means there will be plenty of action to see.
With points in both the championship and rally series’ on the line, some big names in the rally world are among the 78 starters including Brendan Reeves, a World Rally Championship and Rally America series driver.
The first cars depart Yarra Glen racecourse at 9am and travel up the Melba Highway and into the forest to tackle the racing stages, before returning to Yarra Glen for service to both cars and drivers.
After the break, a second heat follows, giving a total rally length of 130 kilometres, not including the transportation sections to get the cars to the stage starts.
The Victorian Club Rally competitors follow a similar path but their course is a slightly shorter event of 120km, also comprising two sessions.
A post-event social function and a presentation to the provisional winners at Yarra Glen racecourse will follow both series events.
Full information and stage maps can be found at www.nissancarclub.org.au.