Red Hill’s Phil Blunden and his son Tom are gearing up for this year’s Hotham Auto Corsa Alpine Tarmac Rally from November 14-15 in their 1995 Mazda RX-7.
The inaugural Hotham Auto Corsa will be held over 250 competitive kilometres around Mount Hotham in Victoria’s North East and take in towns including Falls Creek, Mount Beauty, Omeo and Harrietville.
Phil, a successful construction engineer, will drive his rotary-powered Mazda at the two-day, 11-stage rally. Tom, a professional sports massage therapist, will navigate for his dad.
Phil is a long time tarmac and endurance rally competitor having recently completed the Icelandic Saga historic endurance rally where he and his wife Lyndy drove their classic Mini Cooper S to a second in class result.
Phil is excited by the opportunity to compete in the new Victorian tarmac rally, which will be based at Hotham Heights Village. “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to drive the roads around Mount Hotham,” he says. “This is the first time they have been used for a closed-road motorsport event, which adds to the excitement and uniqueness of it all.”
“I understand the event will also interact with a lot of the small communities around the course, which is great from a competitor’s perspective.”
Hotham Auto Corsa will be Phil and Tom’s third rally together. The pair’s last competitive outing was in the 2010 Targa Wrest Point in Tasmania in Phil’s 1998 model RX-7. Here their campaign came to a sudden and unfortunate end, crashing out on day one of the event. Luckily, both escaped unscathed but sadly the car was a write-off.
Two years later Phil finally found himself a suitable replacement RX-7, which enabled him to get back into competitive tarmac rallying. Recent events in his Hotham-bound car have included the 2013 Targa High Country and the 2014 Targa Tasmania with Auto Corsa Group Director, Darren Fogarty, as his navigator.
“Tom and I will spend a few days up at Hotham before the event driving the roads, to make sure we learn the course ready for day one of competition – which, as well as building our confidence as a team, is great father/son time!”
Phil’s wife Lyndy and daughter, Penelope, will make up the pair’s support crew for the weekend.