Classic Outback Trial reaches its final destination
FRIDAY 24 August: After six days racing through outback NSW, the Classic Outback Trial has reached its final destination, Renmark in South Australia.
Tomorrow will be the final day of competition before the presentation to be held Ruston’s Rose Garden and Visitor Centre in Renmark.
The crew behind the Frontier Services/Hartmann rally car took time out yesterday to visit the hangar which is home to the Broken Hill Patrol plane. Patrol Minister Jorge Rebolledo travels in the plane across far west NSW to visit isolated families and communities, providing practical and spiritual support wherever he can.
Money raised from the Classic Outback Trial will help ensure remote families continue to have the support of a Patrol Minister to call on when they need it.
Sturt Patrol Minister Jenny Swanbury joined the Frontier Services team in Broken Hill, helping at the breakfasts, cooked on the BBQ for up to 90 people each morning before racing begins.
Jenny’s Patrol covers an area 150 kilometres either side of the Barrier Highway from Peterborough to Cockburn. Many of the people she visits live on pastoral stations and have had a long association with the land. On many occasions the conversations will be long, thoughtful and much appreciated.
Day four sees crew arrive in Broken Hill
WEDNESDAY, 22 August: The roar of engines has hushed as Day Four of the Classic Outback Trial is complete and the rally crews have arrived in Broken Hill for the night.
Broken Hill is the base for Frontier Services Patrol Minister Jorge Rebolledo. Jorge joined the Frontier Services team that is following the Trial across outback NSW yesterday as the cars made their way to Ivanhoe. Jorge is a regular visitor to Ivanhoe where he is the prison chaplain.
Tomorrow Jorge will help serve breakfast to about 100 people before racing begins.
National Development Manager John Dickinson, also in Broken Hill, said the Classic Outback Trial really showed how vast and remote the outback can be. In seven days, competitors will drive 2300km.
“Our Patrol Ministers stand with these isolated communities and families, providing support and care.”
Frontier Services also supports rural and remote communities through its Outback Links program. Volunteers are placed with families who need a helping hand.
“The people involved in the Classic Outback Trial and crews taking part in the event have a great appreciation for the work of Frontier Services and especially Outback Links. We are very grateful for their support.”
Money raised from the Classic Outback Trial will support Outback Links.
Frontier Services/Hartmann car comes in second on day two
MONDAY 20 August: The dust is still settling as rally cars arrive in Cobar on Day Two of the Classic Outback Trial. Cobar is the base for Frontier Services Patrol Minister Ian Tucker who provides practical and spiritual support to people across the Cobar/Nyngan region.
The Frontier Services/Hartmann car, driven by Gary Williamson from Hartmann with navigator Peter Batt, had a terrific first day coming in second after qualifying 20th for the race start.
Gary and Peter took some time to speak to the Frontier Services crew before setting out today and got on board to support the Frontier Services Cover the Country campaign.
Watch this video of Gary and Peter taken before they set off from Condobolin this morning.
Visit www.coverthecountry.com.au to make a donation to Frontier Services.
Fine tuning before the race begins
Competitors are fine-tuning their cars and excitement is building for the start of the third Classic Outback Trial – a seven day competition which kicks off this Saturday, 18
August, taking rally crews across dirt roads and paddocks and through the towns of Forbes, Condobolin, Cobar, Ivanhoe and Broken Hill, finishing up at Renmark.
This year, Frontier Services is again charity partner for the Trial which will see 26 entrants battle it out across the bush. All the money raised from the event will go to Frontier Services and its volunteer program Outback Links. The program matches volunteers with people in rural and remote areas who could use a helping hand.
Classic Outback Trial competitors will drive up to 500km each day, with the majority of the stages taking place on private properties, incorporating a variety of challenging terrains. Locals will have the chance to see the cars as they pass through the towns.
This year Australian rally champion Geoff Portman and his wife Lisa will be the support crew for daughter Jamie and his friend Ross Runnells. Mr Runnells will be driving in a 3.3L six-cylinder 1981 Holden Commodore, while Jamie will be navigator. According to Geoff, the Trial is a skilful race and the atmosphere is set to be exciting.
“The backdrop of the dust, the rain, the mud and the cars all adds to the spectacle of the event. The contrast of the images of the cars in the outback is fabulous,” said Mr Portman.
Mr Portman has an impressive racing history, being a double Australian Rally Champion and a triple Victorian Rally Champion who has won the Alpine Rally five times. His latest win was with his long-time navigator and friend, Runnells. Mr Portman also has close ties with Frontier Services after spending many years working in remote Australia.
“I have a lot of respect for the work that is done in the outback which we got to see and appreciate more than most others,” said Mr Portman. “I don’t know what would happen if Frontier Services wasn’t there to assist people.”
Outback Links volunteers have supported families living in areas across the route of the trial, including Chris Tesseyman, from a station near Broken Hill
“I had a big shed to build and needed a hand,” he said. “Keith, an Outback Links volunteer, provided me with heaps of help. He is a highly skilled man in lots of ways and was a pleasure to have on farm!”
A team from Frontier Services including Outback Links Coordinator Davida Melksham and Patrol Ministers Jenny Swanbury and Jorge Rebolledo will be cooking breakfast each morning for competitors as they prepare their vehicles for the day of driving ahead.
Stay tuned to the Frontier Services website and Facebook page throughout the week to see photos, video, updates and stories from the event.