The Volksmuller Gravel Rallysprint, held by North Shore Sporting Car Club at Sydney International Dragway was first held in 2015. Since then it has attracted a high entry list due to its low cost entry fees and fantastic roads used around the dragway precinct.
With a massive 60 Car field, the vehicles ranged of a mixture of Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive cars, covering the last 5 decades. The 1 stage is run 6 times throughout the day. In the morning the course is run 3 times clockwise around the dragstrip and 3 times again in reverse. The course is a mixture of narrow high speed straights and tight twisty hairpins on a mixture of gravel and tarmac.
Drivers briefing saw all competitors gather around and learn the rules and regulations for the day. For a lot of competitors this was their first rally they have ever entered into.
Starting off the morning with the sound of a screaming BDA Escort. Such a unique sounding car to sweep the course, as it had a secret hiding under its bonnet with a F20C Honda S2000 powering the ever sideways Escort.
Shortly after, competitors made their way through the first pass of the morning. Many of them experimenting with lines through the tricky set of hairpins leading to the finish. Most of the RWD guys were spectacular into the loose carpark section.
Doug Grimes in his Toyota Celica was one of the many competitors having fun and throwing it sideways into the hairpins.
Spectators were taking advantage of the hillside viewing area to watch the cars on a beautiful Sunday morning.
Moving from place to place along the stage route, it was tricky to find a unique spot to photograph from. Eventually finding a sharp chicane, it was a great spot to capture the field sliding into view.
As the morning progressed to its third run, I found my way to one of the sharp hairpins on the course. Already on arrival, the ground was full of loose dirt, which provided for some dusty shots as the field threw themselves into the hairpin.
Speed Nation’s own, Dave Oliver was not being fazed as cars drifted towards him.
One of the most eye catching cars in the field was Bryan Price’s 1999 Subaru WRX STi, wrapped in the legendary, 555 Colin McRae livery, this was great to shoot.
After the first three runs of the morning, the top three competitors were;
Toby Ivanovic/Andrew Mohr in their 2001 Subaru Impreza – 02:26.3
Bethany Cullen/Matthew Cullen in their 2000 Mitsubishi Evolution 6.5 – 02:27.4
Brent Money/Mitchell Money in their 1992 Mitsubishi Evolution II – 02:29.4
With the midday service complete drivers started their final three runs in reverse.
First afternoon run saw drivers re-learn the course again. For most of the drivers the course was still slippery from the morning runs as competitors spilt dirt onto the new racing lines. This proved challenging for some of the RWD cars.
With the course run in reverse the final straight before the finish line saw a big jump to cap off the day. The afternoon light made photo opportunities perfect as the cars fly into view and was one of the perfect spots for all the photographers to gather.
The overall win of the Volksmuller Gravel Rallysprint went to Toby Ivanovic and Andrew Mohr in their 2001 Subaru Impreza with a combined time of 09:45.3 followed by Bethany Cullen and Matthew Cullen in their 2000 Mitsubishi Evolution 6.5 with a combined time of 09:48.9 and Brent Money/Mitchell Money in their 1992 Mitsubishi Evolution II with a 09:56.2.
C1 Class winners;
Bruce Mcdougall/Kellie Pearce in their 1991 Daihatsu Charade – 10:42.5
Ben Vanzyl/Chris Vanzyle in their 1999 Hyundai Excel – 10.57.4
Paul Jenner/Lynder Jenner in their 1989 Toyota Corolla AE93 – 11:08.8
C2 Class Winners;
Michael O’Hogan/Paul McCloskey in their 1978 Ford Escort MKII – 10:06.1
Doug Grimes/Luke Grimes in their Toyota Celica – 10:07.9
Michael Barry/Tresie Carey in their 1976 Ford Escort – 10:31.9
C3 Class Winners;
Jason King/David King in their 1970 Datsun 1600 – 10:05.2
Mark Page/Evan Boaz in their 1985 Nissan Skyline R30 – 10:22.7
Shane O’Hara/Brett Kuhner in their 1992 Holden Commodore – 10:30.3
Thanks to North Shore Sporting Car Club for running another great event, I know we can’t wait until next years Volksmuller Gravel Rallysprint.