While much of the country has been receiving heavy rains, the Mitta Valley has received only light falls this week following a dry February, so that road conditions in the forest are currently close to perfect.
Significant thunderstorm activity and rainfall is forecast for the day of the event, but the forest authorities consider that the forest roads should stand up reasonably well to rally traffic under wet conditions.
So, if you are preparing to leave for Mitta, keep on coming. The local community has stocked up with supplies and looks forward to your visit this weekend.
Timing by satellite using the Rallysafe technology and equipment has been employed by many events in recent years, but this will be the first time used at Mitta. There will be a few aspects not seen at previous events, as Rallysafe have made changes as a result of Covid that reduce contact between officials and competitors, and satellite timing will be used for all time controls, not just for special stages.
The key differences to control procedures as currently described in the NRSR will be:
Time cards will be for competitor use only to assist in calculating due times at Time Controls, and recording check in, check out and stage times.
Crews will check in at Time Controls using the in car units, so they can remain in cars and must arrive at the Time Control ready to proceed to the start line after being issued a start time from the official that is relayed to the in car unit.
At Time Controls where a check out time is required, this will be the crew check in time unless replaced by the time control official and relayed to the in car unit.
Crews will move up to start line and count themselves down.
Stage time displays on in car unit after completing a stage by crossing the Flying Finish
Crews must stop at Stop Point. If there is no tablet at the Stop Point, then the official may ask to view time on in car unit for purposes of entering on stage time board.
The stage time is no longer displayed on the in car unit after the crew leave the Stop Point, but can still be viewed along with other stage times using the Options button and View Times option.
If a stage finish time is not able to be recorded due to car equipment malfunction or very rare aerial failure then a derived time will be determined for the affected crew by the simple rule of comparing times on stage before and after to the fastest times, and applying that factor to the fastest time on the stage in question.
A time due at Regroup Out will be issued in writing to crews. Crews will check in at the Regroup out control as for other Time Controls, where the check out time will be the crew check in time unless replaced by the time control official and relayed to the in car unit.
The variations to the NRSR that allow for satellite timing will be outlined in Further Regulations.
An up to date guide for competitor use of Rallysafe in car unit will be made available before the event.
A total of 54 entries have been received so far from the following drivers listed below. If you thought you had submitted an entry and your driver’s name is not on this list, then please get in touch with our Entries Secretary, Deb.
For those still contemplating entering, and you are still welcome to, you have until 2030 this Wednesday 23 February.
Matt De Vaus
You may have participated in the Mitta Masters or the Mitta Mountain Rally on the Saturday 5 March, but what about fronting up for the Mitta Masters Golf Tournament on Sunday?
The rally organisers have arranged this opportunity for competitors, service crews, officials and hangers on to wind down with a relaxing nine holes, followed by lunch at the pub, and till get home before dark.
Of course the service park will have to be clear to enable hit off from 10.00 am from the first tee, which is hidden by the Service Park Control on the Saturday.
So, throw the golf sticks in the back of your vehicle and front up from 10.00-10.30 am on Sunday after the rally. Cooked breakfast will be in operation from 8.00 am.
If you intend to enter, and have not yet, then get online and get that entry in if you want to take advantage of the early entry fee discount.
A total of 34 entries have been received so far from the following drivers listed below. If you thought you had submitted an entry and your driver’s name is not on this list, then please get in touch with our Entries Secretary, Deb.
Matt De Vaus
Four entry fees, but no entry form have been received from:
If you are one of those four and thought you had submitted your entry from, please get in contact with Entries Secretary Deb, who is on holidays at the moment, but is checking email and phone and can respond in the evenings.
A local Albury boy who has made a global career from rallying, Philip Rodgers, will follow previous patrons; George Fury, Geoff Portman, Jeff Beaumont, Bruce Garland and Kate Officer, in filling this unique but some might say somewhat dubious role at Mitta this year.
Why have a patron at a rally, you may well ask? The organisers of the Mitta Mountain Rally thought that having an event patron that was a respected elder of the sport would provide a great link between contemporary competitors at the state championship level and older crews and their cars in the Mitta Masters. Philip has not made a name for himself as a competitor, but has carved a niche as a “team coordinator” that not only looks after event and team logistics but oversees car set up and driver development.
Phil grew up on a farm north of Albury, then went off to Sydney Uni to do engineering, and joined the University car club. He spent all his meagre earnings rallying a Datsun 1600, as all aspiring young drivers did back then. He did finish as high as 5th outright in the 1979 Alpine Rally.
He spent a year teaching in Japan and came home with a Japanese wife and language skills that made him useful to Japanese teams that came here on masse in the 70s to compete in Southern Cross Rallies.
He forged a relationship with one of those Japanese drivers, Nobuhiro Tajima, which saw him involved with Tajima and Suzuki in WRC and APRC events in the 90s, when he also linked up with WRC campaigns for the Japanese Sti Gp N Subaru team and Michael Guest in the Winfield World Rally Team in Hyundai.
In 2003 Phil became involved with Subaru’s Production WRC program with drivers, Possum Bourne and Toshi Arai. After Possum’s tragic death he managed Subaru Rally Team Australia while Cody Crocker won three national championships, which in 2006 turned into four APRC wins.
Since 2011 his business Captec Motorsport has worked with Hyundai on a range of projects including: suspension tuning, electric vehicles, press launches, Targa Tasmania, and the “N Performance” brand, often with Brendan Reeves as test driver.
Phil will be floating around at Mitta this year, so feel free to have a chat to him. He may have some useful advice as to how to make your car go faster, and as to how best to get one of those elusive sponsored drives.
He will also be interviewed at the post event presentation function about how he made a career out of travelling the world attending rallies and his thoughts on present day rallying before presenting trophies, including the Philip Rodgers Cup to the winners of the Mitta Masters.
Supplementary Regulations have been released today at www.mittamountainrally.com for the opening round of the 2022 Till Hino Victorian Rally Championship. Border Oils and Batteries are back on board again as the major event sponsor.
The event will also include as a multi club event, the opening round of the 2022 LDV Geelong Victorian Club Rally Series. The Mitta Masters multi-club event for classic cars and competitors also returns this year as the opening round of the East Coast Classic Rally Series.
The Road team reports that the planned route has held up well to the stormy summer endured in Victoria. The superb views of Victorian peaks remain for co-drivers to enjoy and drivers to occasionally glance at.
The unique features of the Mitta event are all still there including the amazing service park on the golf course, modern Rally Base with excellent local catering, no repeat mountain stages, wrapped up with presentation that night in the cosy Mitta Pub. The bus will operate from Dartmouth again.
It might pay to get online at www.mittamountainrally.com and get that entry in soon. Discounted early bird entries close at 8 pm Wednesday 10 February.
Amidst a background of mild uncertainty, planning is underway for The Mitta Mountain Rally on 5 March 2022 as the series opener for VRC, and at Multi Club level, Round 1 of VCRS and VSRS together with the Mitta Masters, which is also first up for the East Coast Classic Rally Series.
The road team reports that some roads have received a grade since last year, and are in great condition.
Six stages totalling 149 km are planned for VRC and Masters, and five stages of 95 km for VCRS. The Sprint Rally Series event ends at end of Heat 1, with three stages of 68 km.
The Multi-Purpose Centre at the Mitta Recreation Reserve will again provide an excellent dining and relaxation hub for the Service Park. The Bar and Café will be operated by local volunteers over the weekend, subject to Covid conditions applying at the time. Servicing will again take place on the excellent adjacent fairway of the first hole of the local golf course. Spectators will be catered for by walk-in points at the end of three of the six stages.
Results will be final on the day, so the trophy presentation will take place Saturday night at the Mitta Mitta Pub. A bus will be provided from and to Dartmouth for those staying there.
There is plenty of basic accommodation in the valley; taking in Eskdale and the former dam construction village of Dartmouth, both only 15 km from Mitta Mitta.
So, start planning, get that car prepared and book your accommodation.
Supplementary Regulations should be available before the end of January.