Beard tackling long run behind wheel of an old Datsun
IT’S going to be a different experience behind the wheel next month for rally driver Mark Beard. The BP/Kumho Tyres Woolgoolga Service Centre business owner will head to Burra in South Australia to contest Australia’s largest historic/ classic rally, the AGL Rally Of The Heartland. Beard will be driving his 1973 Datsun 1200 coupe against other classic and historic rally cars over two days and a night through challenging conditions. The gruelling event covers more than 1200km, 438 of those are competitive. “This is certainly different to what we have been doing over the past two decades, that’s for sure,” Beard said. “To compare, I am driving my 45-year-old car, no pace notes, so we are not allowed to drive over course beforehand, on a road book given to all competitors an hour before the event starts. “We drive flat out on the Saturday and night, the same distance as three days of an Australian Rally Championship round, then back that up on Sunday only, the equivalent to two-day Australian Championship rounds.” Beard expects the night stages to be the most fun. “Approximately 170 competitive kilometres on Saturday night with a huge 73km stage run twice, it will certainly sort a few of the drivers out,” he said.
ADVENTURE: Woolgoolga rally driver Mark Beard test-drives his 1973 Datsun 1200 coupe ahead of the AGL Rally Of The Heartland.