The 2021 Mitta Mountain Rally ‘Service and Spectator Guide’ is now available for download.
The current time is not an easy time to organise a large public gathering. On the one hand we appear to be on top of the COVID pandemic in this country and so can afford to relax after going through some highly restrictive times. On the other hand, our event, and motorsport in general cannot afford to be the source of a new wave of infection spread.
We want our COVID safeguards to be as least onerous as possible, but still effective.
It is now normal practice to sign in at public gathering places. Service crews will not need to sign into the event site at Mitta, as we have contact details on the entry form, and competitors will sign in as part of the normal event Book In process.
Spectators and others will have to sign on either manually or using QR Code reader at spectator points and on entry to the Mitta Recreation Reserve, not at the gate, as we don’t want to restrict traffic flow, but at the entry to the main Rally HQ building.
We have adopted a minimal contact procedure at controls for the handling of competitor time cards.
We urge everyone to not attend if they have Covid symptoms, and to maintain social distancing and good hygiene practice around the Mitta Rally Base and Service Park, where hand sanitiser will be on hand.
We look forward to a great weekend in the Mitta Valley amongst a welcoming community.
The first lady to win an Australian National Motorsport title, Kate Officer, will follow previous patrons; George Fury, Geoff Portman, Jeff Beaumont and Bruce Garland, in filling a prestigious but some would say somewhat useless 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. At a time when women are creating a greater presence in a range of high level sports that have been dominated by men, it is also fitting to acknowledge rallying’s own lady pioneer.
Kate has competed in a couple of Mitta Masters, and been part of the scoring team in two other years. This year, she is not competing, as there has not been enough time apparently to prepare the car after the 2019 Alpine and her driver will be performing Rallysafe duties at Mitta.
Kate started rallying in 1976 with Dinta in a Mini Cooper S, an exciting, iconic little rally car, but not so well suited to Australian conditions. The change to a Mitsubishi Colt Galant in 1979 allowed the talent of this crew to gradually shine, taking out the VRC in 1983, the first by a lady and missing out on the ARC by half a point. This was rectified the following year, 1984, when Kate became the
first woman to win an Australian Motorsport title and the first time a husband and wife team won an Australian title. They also found time to cement the relationship by getting married in amongst a busy rally year.
1986 saw a second ARC title for Kate and victory with Dinta in the 7000Km South Australia State Bank Discovery Trial in a Mitsubishi Starion. The pair took on the WRC with a 5th in 1987 and a 4th in 1988 in the NZ round of the WRC, again in the Starion, which has been beautifully restored and run by Brian Shand.
Kate and Dinta were fortunate enough in1985 to compete as part of the Mitsubishi Ralliart team in the first and seven more Wynn’s Safaris, a cross country event that started in Sydney and finished eight days later in Darwin. After a string of solid placings including two second outrights, they broke through for a win in 1992.
In this period Kate managed to have two baby girls, before a turbo 4wd Evo Lancer was acquired in 1993. This made a severe dent in the finances including tackling the 1995 Round Australia, which they lead comfortably until a broken gearbox struck a cruel blow.
A six year hiatus from competition followed until a Historic Rally Car spec Galant was built to tackle the burgeoning Historic events. The Officer’s long distance credentials came to the fore in taking out the 2008 Red Centre to Gold Coast event in the Galant. Since then it has been the Alpine and numerous HRA events.
In 2014 Kate and Dinta were inducted into both the Victorian and Australian Rallying Halls of Fame.
Kate will not be competing at Mitta this year, but will be at the event, free to dispense her well earnt wisdom as required, particularly to young lady co-drivers. She will also be interviewed at the post event presentation function about her career and current rallying before presenting trophies, including the Kate Officer Cup to the winners of the Mitta Masters.
Our Entries Secretary has noted that a number of entries have been submitted with an attached uploaded disclaimer form for the driver only and/or without self scrutiny forms.
The current Motorsport Australia General Disclaimer which includes some Covid related items, allows for only one signature, so separate forms are required for driver, co-driver and competitor if that is not the driver or co-driver.
The two self scrutiny forms were difficult to find, but can now be downloaded from the Entry Form site located under 9. Book-In with the other forms that must be uploaded.
Once an entry has been submitted it is not possible to upload documents from the entry form website, but they can be e-mailed to Deb Richards on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If required, this needs to be completed before close of entries on 10 March 2021.
It would be easy for competitors to be confused by the range of choices as to which event or events to enter at Mitta. We will try and explain.
The main event is the state championship level Mitta Mountain Rally, and then there are three multi club level sub-events, the main one being the round of the Victorian Club Rally Series which does the same course as the VRC event except the final two stages. It is not permitted to enter both the VRC and VCRS events.
Drivers with a seeding of 0.850 or less are eligible to enter the Victorian Sprint Rally Series sub-event which covers only heat 1 of the VRC. It is possible to enter the VRC, VCRS or Masters as well as the VSRS event.
The Masters sub-event has been run with the Mitta Mountain Rally since its inception as a multi club event for C1 and C2 Classic Rally Cars only, which includes many older PRC vehicles. The age of the competitor has nothing to do with eligibility, but there are awards for older drivers and their carer co-drivers. The Masters covers the same course as the VRC. It is possible to enter the VRC, VCRS or VSRS as well as the Masters.
VRC start first, then Masters as they do the same course, then VCRS as they do two less stages, then VSRS as they do only heat 1. Where competitors enter more than one event, they pay the higher entry fee and start in the event that starts earlier. Entry fees scale down based on permit fees, stage distance and start position.
Supplementary Regulations have been released today at www.mittamountainrally.com for the opening round of the 2021 Till Hino Victorian Rally Championship. Border Oils and Batteries are back on board again as the major event sponsor.
The event will for the first time also include as a multi club event, the opening round of the 2021 Victorian Club Rally Series. The Mitta Masters multi-club event for classic cars and competitors also returns this year. Round 1 of the new Victorian Sprint Rally series will form Heat 1 of this event.
The Road team reports that the planned route for the cancelled 2020 event with its new faster flowing stages is still in good condition. 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, results final on the day, 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 24 February.
Amidst a background of mild uncertainty, planning is underway for The Mitta Mountain Rally on 20 March 2021 as the series opener for VRC, and at Multi Club level, Round 1 of VCRS and VSRS together with the Mitta Masters.
The date was moved forward a week due to issues with access to RallySafe services as other events moved to 27 March to avoid clashing with the Grand Prix, on 21 March.
It is planned to try and run the course that was intended for 2020, but postponed less than a week out. The road team reports that some roads have received a grade since last year, and are in great condition.
Seven stages totalling 146 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 four stages of 74 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 two of the seven 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.