HTCAV RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
A few years ago, after a big planning effort, the Club decided that we had the experience, the know-how and the resources to represent anyone who puts a roll cage in a pre-’73 touring car and who lived anywhere in Australia and who took part in any motorsport event.
So 2009 saw a major new direction for this Club of Racers, the introduction of a Championship for Tarmac Rallying which was exclusively for pre-73 touring cars.
We spoke to some of our members already mixing rallying and racing and learned that the big issue for them was trying to compete in their old touring cars with very high powered, lightweight sports cars from Germany and Japan on the narrow, or more modern V8’s, on the twisting, bumpy roads of Tasmania or South Australia or now Victoria. In a field which defines Classics up to 1980, they were even up against early turbo all wheel drive coupes.
In no time we had set up a four round Championship, worked out a points system and ran a new section of the Club Magazine which reports on the Championship and discusses issues affecting historic touring cars in tarmac rallies each month.
In the Archive, you can read about the 2009 and 2010 Championships and if you were one of the 50 or so historic tourers which competed in rallying in these years, see how you went in the Championship be referring to the comprehensive results sheet.
Who’s eligible ?
The HTCAV Rally Championship is open only to cars of a general type which would be eligible for Group N if they were prepared for racing – that is, built up to the end of 1972 or specific ‘run-on’ models – competing only against each other, rather than the cars with which they would never have competed in period. That is for touring cars built before 31st December 1972 (just like Group N). This translates into rally categories 2, 3, 4 plus 1972 and 1973 cars in Category 5.
All modification levels are allowed e.g. Standard Specification or C1, Limited Modified Specification or C2 , Modified Specification or C3 . But there are some adjustments. ‘Run-ons’ built in 1973 identical to 1972 cars are allowed (i.e. all LJ Toranas), as are all Mustangs. We have also decided to include cars which wer classified as sports cars for racing but which were really our kind of cars – such as fastback Mustangs and Jensens and the mighty Peranas (Ford V8 engined Capri).
Where does it happen?
In 2011, with the announcement of Classic Targa Adelaide, we can expand our Championship from four rounds to five rounds in four states:
Round 1: Targa Wrest Point (28 – 30th Jan) – see report on the first round results
Round 2 Targa Tasmania (5 – 10th April) – read the preview in Torque this month
Round 3: Targa West (25 – 28th Aug)
Round 4: Classic Targa Adelaide (14 – 17th Sept)
Round 5: Targa High Country (3 – 6th Nov)
If any new events are launched – such as the relaunched Classic Rally Tasmania – we will consider including them next year.
Our criteria are that there should be at least 10 HTCAV type cars entered and they should be at least 25% of the classic field; we are also keen to have a national perspective, but Targa West is marginal on these criteria and we may review that round for next year if the entry is still below 10..
How do the points work ?
Points will be calculated on outright results i.e. master base times, NOT the handicap systems. The points data will be that published by organisers at the end of the last leg and before the application of ‘podium penalties’ or other means of manipulating the outcomes.
The duration of the events, weather and course variations tend to level out performance in rallying; even Volvos do well especially when it rains. However, there is a lot of work being carried out on a more satisfactory handicap method and this may be trialled in parallel at a later date.
Data is sourced from the results websites produced by the organisers, from which the HTCAV record the day by day and final results of the selected pre-73 tourer entries.
Simply expressed, crews earn both Classification Points and Club Points and these are weighted by the number of competitive kilometres.
Our Champion should be a top performer against all comers, not only against other historic tourers – scoring well against the Porsches and Zeds and exotica is an important test. The number of total entries determines the points awarded. So in Targa ’08 there were 100 Classic entries and Steve Coad came 4th in Classic Outright so he gets 100 minus 4 = 96 points. Every finisher gets points for their overall result, non-finishers get no points.
Plus Club Points:
We want to give an extra incentive to the top performers in historic tourers and have elected to award 28 Club Points for first historic tourer, 24 for second down to 4 points for the 7th. So in Targa 08, the Coads got the 28 for best touring car and Mike and Paul Batten collected the 24 for second outright.
Times Competitive Distance:
The more the kilometres, the harder the test, the more points. Targa Tasmania is a bigger test (with 6 days and 440 competitive kilometres in 08) than Classic Adelaide (with 5 days and 253 kms in 08). Those doing well in Targa Tas deserve more points than those doing well in Classic Adelaide, so we multiply the points (Classification + Club) earned by the stage kilometres of each event. The total score is calculated by adding all the Classification and Club points together and multiplying by the competitive kilometres.
So for each Round, the Classification Points + Club Points x Total Kms = HTCAV Rally Championship score. The scores are accumulated over all the rounds and the Championship winner is the crew which wins most points.
BUT we only count your best two events – best as in most points. If you score in more than two events – plenty do – then we rob you of your lowest scoring Rounds. The reason for this is to avoid a situation developing where the crew with the most time and cash can win by just turning up.
Experience shows that you cannot do well in the Championship without scoring in Targa Tasmania – the length of this event makes it worth nearly two of the short ones. But you cannot win the Championship without doing well in one other Round than Targa Tasmania.
Finally, both crew members get a trophy if they finish in the top three. In rallying the crews seem to stay together – often they are family members or couples – but occasionally, a driver has more than one co-driver over the year. In that event, we count the results of the car / driver combination and if there is an award involved, ask the driver to nominate his or her preferred recipient..
Who can enter?
Unlike circuit racing, where only Club members can compete, the HTCAV Rally Championship is open to all entrants in appropriate cars, at least for a few years. What’s more, if we have your email address (and we only have about 35 of the 60+ competitors so far) you will receive free the monthly Club magazine ‘Torque’ which carries reports and pictures of the events.
Of course, we’d like rally competitors to join the Club and plenty have done so. Are there cash benefits ?
Yes, Octagon offers generous discounts to HTCAV members on entry to all their events.
For example, the next open Round is Classic Targa Adelaide and HTCAV members that have not previously participated at any Octagon ‘Targa’ event will pay only $3990 compared to the Early Bird (itself a discount on the full price) of $4490.
That’s nearly a set of tyres!
HTCAV members coming back for more may pay the Early Bird rate of $4490 right up to the close of entries so never need to pay the full price. Just quote your HTCAV Club number when you enter …
There are many members of the HTCAV who are experienced rally competotors in all types of historic tourer – Mini, Volvo, Cortina, Torana, Mustang, Jensen, big Fords, little Fords etc etc. We’ll put anyone who wants to have a go in touch with the person best able to advise them, to be a mentor in knowing best how to tackle the pretty forbidding task of preparing a car and yourself for this sport.
All of us have been there, all of us want to help new comers avoid the pitfalls, where to spend the money and where to skip.