This decision has not been taken lightly, and in consideration of the wasted travels made by many competitors last year it was deemed appropriate to make a decision at this time. It is understood that there are some international vehicles in transit now and their departure was guided by the best information available at that time.
Using GPS an inspection of the track surface was undertaken at each mile mark, the salt was soft enough for a large screwdriver to be pushed in by hand. Where vehicles had driven over the salt, the depression left by the tyres immediately filled with water. On the Friday a DEH 4WD got bogged at the northern end of the course, fortunately they had a satellite phone and were able to contact DLRA members who brought out the necessary equipment to effect a difficult recovery.
It should be noted at the inspection at the lake in December 2007 by DLRA members even thought there was surface water, it took up to 5 blows of a mallet to drive a sharpened spike on 25mm into the salt.
Several teams are still planning on going out to the Lake around the 3rd March 2008, another inspection of the lake and track surface will take place at that time. It is not anticipated that the surface will be suitable at this time, so further inspections are planned of later in the year.
The issue of cancellation or postponement was discussed by approx 70 members at a meeting in Melbourne on 10/02/2008. There was overwhelming support to conduct a meeting later in the year if conditions were favorable. There are a number of other considerations to be taken into account for another date including the Newtons giving their approval, fire and safety crews availability, surveyors being able to mark the track at short notice and many, many other details.
The Test and Tune day at Mangalore was considered by all to be very successful and gave a lot of new vehicles the opportunity for a shakedown, saving valuable time and expense. There will be another Test and Tune day at Mangalore, date to be announced, Queensland are also looking for a venue.
There will be further announcements as and when inspections of the lake take place. Any news will be posted on this page, placed on the DLRA Forum and distributed via the mailing list.
Keep the shiny side up!