Each year the Kidney Foundation coordinates a major fundraising event to raise money and awareness for Kidney disease.
The Kidney Kar Rally has been held every year since 1989. It has generated millions of dollars to help run the Kidney Kids Camps, Kidney Kids Capers and Young Adult Programs. These programs allow children with kidney disease to enjoy fun filled days of activities whilst still receiving life-saving medical care.
Each year the rally is held in a different location. In 2017 participants travelled from Griffith to Wagga (normally an easy two hour drive!) via Tibooburra, a round trip of around 4000 kilometres.
This year our Technical Director (and rally virgin) Paul Dean joined up with Alex Daffy from BMD who has competed in the last four other events.
Paul takes up the story here …
The most important thing to realise about the rally is that it’s not a race. It’s a time and points based challenge that works on average time, per section.
Each section ranges in distance from 30 to 200 kilometres and there are up to five sections per day. The routes are through private property, national parks, stock routes and public roads, most are unsealed.
Each team starts with 1000 points and you lose points for falling outside the average time for each section. Each section is rated (classed) and each class has an upper and lower average speed.
All vehicles that finish the section with an average speed between this range have their time used to calculate the average time for the section. Every car is deducted one point every minute they are away from the average time for the section.
Cars younger than 20 years get a 10 point deduction and 4wd vehicles get a 20 point deduction, so to make sure your deducted points are at a minimum it is best if your car is two wheel drive and 20+ years old.
This year we drove a 1979 XD Falcon, a car which has now completed in 10 Kidney Kar events.
Overall 46 cars were entered and all but one finished. In many ways, we were also lucky to complete the course as we had a number of mechanical failures during the event, and essentially no clutch for the last four days of the event! The bush mechanic skills got a good workout over the trip!
We were pretty happy with our performance coming in 7th overall. We won the repechage (moving from 16th place to 7th over the last few days of competition) and the Teams Event with Bathurst Life Savers, Team Artline & Wild Thing 3.
We had an absolutely fantastic time and met some wonderful people. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I have convinced my fellow Director, Matt Turner and the team at Plant Assessor that next year we will enter a car in the event.
Matt and I have already started looking for a suitable vehicle and we’ve already had some submissions from the staff to be part of the support crew. I’m looking forward to it already!
The 2018 rally goes from Goulburn to Queanbeyan via Ballarat starting on August 3.
Plant Assessor intends to make this one of the regular annual events we get behind. We will share more details towards the middle of next year.