SOUTHERN CROSS ANNIVERSARY TO FINISH AT WRC COFFS COAST

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SOUTHERN CROSS ANNIVERSARY TO FINISH AT WRC COFFS COAST

PHOTO: Ross Dunkerton on the Southern Cross International.

COMPETITORS tackling the 50th anniversary version of the legendary Southern Cross International Rally will cover 3000 kilometres to their way to the event climax at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November.

Organisers from the Historic Rally Association have finished planning the course for the Southern Cross Gold Anniversary Rally, which will run on 8-19 November as a support event to the World Rally Championship final round on the Coffs Coast.

Past winners Barry Ferguson (1967, 1970) and Ross Dunkerton (1980) have already entered.

The will rally start in Albury and take 12 days. As well as revisiting the roads used in the 1966 and 1976 Southern Cross rallies, there will be 40 timed competitive sections which include hill climbs, closed road forest stages, autocross tracks and khanacross courses.

The notorious Gordonville Ford near Bellingen, which attracted thousands of spectators in the 1970s as rally cars tackled the deep crossing, will be revisited, but not crossed.

A highlight for competitors will be driving on some of the Rally Australia stages.

Event Director Bob Watson, who recently completed the NSW section of the course, said: “The roads we have chosen in NSW will give competitors a real taste of the original Southern Cross forest roads and re-create the feeling of those original events.”

Regulations for the event are available for download from the event’s web site, www.southerncrossanniversaryrally.com.au, or the Historic Rally Association web site www.hra.org.au

Entries will be limited to a maximum of 70 and more than 20 have already been received. It is expected the event will be over-subscribed by the closing date in October.

People and cars that competed in any of the original Southern Cross rallies from 1966 to 1980 will be given preferential entries and a strong field of current historic rally competitors will make up the balance.

Roll over protection is not required for competing vehicles, which will allow classic cars of the 1960s and 1970s Southern Cross era to run without major modifications.

For enquiries, competitors should contact event director Bob Watson on 0427 201158, or check the event web site, www.southerncrossanniversaryrally.com.au.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.