reasonably early night, as another long drive was waiting for us the next day.
Sunday started again early, leaving Burnie shortly after 6am. Today, everybody was breathalysed, before we could leave. It was a long drive to the first stage. It was a magnificent drive through forests and morning mist into the sun rise. The first stage at Mount Black woke everybody up, after the dreamy drive through the mist. Then it was Rosebery and early lunch in Queenstown. The stage after lunch was a beautiful hill climb, which I enjoyed immensely. For the Mt Arrowsmith stage, we changed driver, as I was not confident for the long 45 km stage. And then, the last stage was in front of us, Tarraleah. From there, it was back to Hobart via New Norfolk. On the way, we skirted a little rain, but nothing to write home about really. In Hobart, we re-grouped and drove across the finish line with running television cameras and commentary. Every driver and co-driver received the finishing medal. And that was the end to the driving part!
We took our car back to the hotel and got ready for the celebration dinner; quite a noble affair; many black ties and evening dresses were seen. Provisional results were announced with outright winner and places. Monday morning was the traditional farewell breakfast with more trophies collected and then it was all over for good for this year.
Did we enjoy ourselves? We had a ball, we made new friends and were happy to see familiar faces along the way (thanks Lui, Jeff, Thommo, Carole). Although only driven at official speed limit, the tour offers a great opportunity to find out whether you would enjoy an event like that, before you invest in all the relevant safety gear.
Would we recommend it? Absolutely; if you are new to this type of event, it is the perfect entry level, giving you a taste of the real thing. Just a word of warning: there is no time for relaxation, shopping or anything else. It is full on, with early starts and long days.
Will we do it again? Absolutely!
What would we do different? Maybe not driving another rally just a week later. It was a bit much (for me anyway), to do the Forest Classic on the way back to Sydney. I am still recovering, a week after the Forest Classic and I only just stopped dreaming of driving a car. And the Cappo didn’t miss a beat!!