The very first rally

Tim_Sarah_Car_46_CTS_Safari_RallyIf you have little experience and have never competed in any form of Motorsport, entering a rally as your first event is a daunting prospect.

That however, is exactly what one Perth pair did in October.

Tim and Sarah bought a 2nd hand rally car, found the details and rules of ┬áthe rally online and put in their entry to what is often described as the most challenging event in the WA Rally Calendar. The Carringtons Safari Rally, run through the forests of Mundaring, just East of Perth was to be the team’s debut. Changing conditions, slippery ball bearing gravel and narrow tree lined roads lay ahead, it was going to be a baptism by fire.

With entry accepted and all the required gear, the pair turned up with friends and family to rally scrutineering (where the rally cars and equipment are inspected for safety) just a couple of days before the event. To say that Tim and Sarah looked a little daunted was an understatement.

Without prior knowledge of: Time controls, route instructions or rally time, the pair were going to have their work cut out to get through the event. As soon as we found out that Tim and Sarah were on their first event, the organising team swung into action.

Straight away we gave the pair a fast track course in how to navigate, what time cards are, how a rally worked and what would happen on the event. We had to literally cram years of knowledge into the space of an hour or so to give them the best chance of getting to the end of the rally.

At the end of the evening scrutineering, both looked a little “frazzled”, however said they felt better knowing they had some knowledge of how a rally worked.

Tim and Sarah had entered the Clubman Cup section of the CTS Safari Rally and were seeded as car 46, the last rally car on the road.

Fast forward to the Saturday morning of the rally and at the driver’s briefing, all the Clubman competitors were brought together for a special chat. Amongst conveying other event information, it was requested that those who were more experienced competitors, help out the “newbies” in the rally. Also as each rally stage team was set in position, Rally HQ informed the stage commanders of the new competitors and requested that they provide any help as needed.

During the rally, no news was heard about car 46. Rally HQ or Rally Base as it is known on the command radio is the nerve centre for the rally. All information relating to operation of the rally and safety passes through rally base. There’s an old saying that no news is good news and this is the case with rallies. As we hadn’t heard any news on car 46 during the afternoon, things were probably going ok.

So how did Tim and Sarah go on their first event? At the finish control for the Clubman section of the rally, an orange Toyota Levin rolled in, looking straight. Tim and Sarah both grinned at completing their first event. They’d made it home unscathed and in Tim’s words “That was absolutely Epic!”

What about their results? Well in their very first rally, Tim and Sarah had not only completed the event, they’d taken a top ten finish, with 10th place!

No doubt, Tim and Sarah have been bitten by the rally bug and will definitely be back out in the forests in a few short weeks for the last WA rally of 2013 in November.

For those people looking for a gift idea in Perth, how about a rally driving experience? Get behind the wheel of Turbo 4WD rally cars, where you just have to turn up and we take care of the rest.