Drivers on fast track through forest in John Giddings Memorial Rally

CHALLENGING RALLY: Steve Hodgkin and Russel Winks from Canberra with their VK Commodore replica with a rare twin throttle body 308 engine.  Photo: JUDE KEOGH  0531rally8

CHALLENGING RALLY: Steve Hodgkin and Russel Winks from Canberra with their VK Commodore replica with a rare twin throttle body 308 engine. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0531rally8

WITH adrenaline pumping through their veins, 43 drivers and their navigators from across NSW and interstate tested their skills in the John Giddings Memorial Rally of Orange on Saturday.

Teams were challenged by road conditions in the Mullion Range and Canobolas state forests over six stages and 220 kilometres in the third round of the Southern Cross Rally Series.

The rally was held in memory of driver John Giddings, who died in last year’s Orange round as a result of injuries sustained from an accident in the Canobolas state forest.

“We lost a mate. We try to take positives out of it and, to be honest, there was nothing more that we could have done,” event director Peter Crich said. 

Competitors from as far as Queensland, Victoria, Central Coast, South Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Dubbo and Canberra set up camp in the Orange Showground, which was the hub for repairs and accommodation.

Mr Crich said this was a new feature of the Orange rally.

“It was refreshing to see so many people sitting together. We’ve never done it before,” he said.

Driver Jack Monkhouse and his navigator Andrew Crowley were named the winners of the classic division of the rally, and were also named the event’s overall winners.

Driver Chris Jaques and his navigator James Game took out the modern division of the rally and placed second overall.

“There were no accidents, although the cars copped a bit of peripheral damage and there were some bent egos,” Mr Crich said.

“It was a huge day of rallying. Most rallies cover around 150 kilometres, this one was about 220 kilometres.”

Mr Crich said the event served as a fitting tribute to Mr Giddings.

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