Beard tack­ling long run be­hind wheel of an old Dat­sun

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - FIND A -

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.

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