Who would take a chair, then go and sit in a forest?
David Sheridan started rallying in 1969, navigating for his older brother in a VW before switching to driving once he had turned 18. His wide-ranging career saw him squeezing a Porsche engine into a VW for rallying, and building high-speed buggies for off-road events.
The highlight of his career was coming 39th out of 198 starters in the 1979 Repco Reliability Trial, circumnavigating Australia in a Datsun 1600 rally car.
“I spent a year building that car … it was bullet proof;” he says, “It had to be, because we didn’t have a service team. There was just the two of us!”
These days he runs his business, Gas Strut Engineering, from a workshop in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, and enjoys catching-up with his long time motorsport friends at car rallies.
The job of a road-closure official is vital for the smooth-running of an event such as The Courier-Eureka Rally.
“It’s not just a couple of blokes putting a piece of tape over a road,” says Sheridan, “Rallying has been going since the 1920s and it’s properly-sanctioned by the government, local councils, the forestry officials and police.”
“Our job is to make it safe for everyone, competitors, spectators and locals.”
“The roads are closed, and there are course-checking vehicles that go along before, and after, the rally as it goes through.”
The rally cars are two minutes apart, as the drivers and navigators race against the clock.
There are 135 road closures for this weekend’s Australian Rally Championship event in the forests to the east and south of Ballarat, as well as the start and finish stage officials of the eight closed forest stages.
If you would like to follow The Courier-Eureka Rally, go to www.EurekaRally.com.au or search Eureka Rally on Facebook.
On Saturday 3 March various State forest roads in the Wombat Forest will be closed for the Rally from 9.00 a.m. till 6.00 pm. in the area bounded by Spargo Creek, Blakeville, Greendale, Blackwood, Bullarto South and Korweinguboora, allowing for access along Lerderderg Rd from Blackwood.
On Sunday 4 March all, or part of, Sand Road and Kellys Road at Durham Lead, Treloars, Hansons, Monmouth, Incolls, Victoria and Skippers Roads forest roads in the Enfield/Ross Creek Forest and Golden Lake Road and Linton-Piggoreet Road at Devils Kitchen will be closed from 8.00 am till 4.00pm.