Anthony Tanzer and co-driver Lee Wilson put the Ford Escort through its paces at the Alligator Creek Rallysprint.
Anthony Tanzer and co-driver Lee Wilson put the Ford Escort through its paces at the Alligator Creek Rallysprint. File

The time has come

ERIC Schroeder always promised that once his WRX reached its 10th birthday he would turn it in to a rally car.

That plan should come to fruition this weekend, when drivers will be put to the test at the CQ Motor Sporting Club rally through Byfield forest.

Schroeder will look forward to running his one-time street vehicle over the dirt roads of the tricky route.

Club spokesman Danny Benson said there would be a mixture of new vehicles, first-time navigators and family teams entering the rally.

There would be plenty to test the drivers over eight legs of competition, with an eight-kilometre course raced twice in each direction.

There will also be a similar format for a 15-kilometre course, he said.

Benson is prepared to accept that Wayne Menzies will win the event.

“He will win it, as he has the best and fastest car (Evo 6),” Benson said.

Anthony Tanzar is another driver who is usually up for a challenge and he should make Menzies work hard if he is to win.

Benson is making a comeback to racing in the event.

“I’ll be as competitive as I can but I haven’t competed in a rally for two years,” he said.

“I have spent two years building the car.”

Now he has the car looking good and running perfectly he intends to propel his Nissan Bluebird Turbo around close to 200 kilometres of forestry circuit.

He should be well served by navigator Cameron McIntosh, who has worked with the driver for the past 10 to 12 years.

Benson said the course would give drivers an opportunity to turn their paintwork a different colour.

However, there are a couple of 30cm-deep creeks to wash away the grime, especially if a driver takes them at excessive speed.

This will be the first rally for Mark Burns, who will be racing with his teenage son as his navigator.

Veteran racer Allan Reinikka also has a first-time navigator, with fellow Morning Bulletin photographer Sharyn O’Neill fulfilling that role.

Hopefully everything goes to plan in the Nissan Stanza of Neville Barton, because sitting next to him and calling directions will be his wife Barbara.



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