An action-packed rally village and stadium special stage open to fans and generous incentives to attract more competitors top a host of changes for a new-look International Rally of Queensland (IROQ) on 26-28 May.
In its ninth year as a round of the prestigious FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and Queensland’s only international motorsport event, the rally will consolidate all its key facilities and new spectator attractions on the Sunshine Coast, 100 kms north of Brisbane.
While the bulk of competition Special Stages will remain on forest roads just north of the Coast, a new stage run twice on Saturday on shire roads will bring the action much closer to spectators and to the new IROQ Rally Village at Nambour Showgrounds.
The IROQ Rally Village will host attractions for spectators throughout the rally week, but the highlight will be a Super Special Stage run within the Nambour Showgrounds on Saturday night.
“The Super Special Stage is being run for the first time since 2013 and will be a big drawcard for spectators and competitors,” the rally’s sporting chief, Clerk of Course Brian Everitt, said.
“We’ve created an exciting little stage of 1.3 kms that runs inside the showgrounds precinct and includes a high-speed lap of the main ring. With excellent grandstand seating and rally car headlights piercing the darkness, the action will be easy to follow and highly spectacular.”
Supporting the on-track action, the IROQ Rally Village will provide constant entertainment and interest for visitors.
Cars from overseas and around Australia will be based there from the previous weekend while their driver and co-driver crews conduct testing and reconnaissance on the special stages in preparation for the rally.
Public will be invited to a free welcome barbecue with competitors on Friday night.
Throughout the weekend they will be able to see cars coming and going from the stages, meet top drivers from several countries, enjoy trade, market and food stalls, car displays, children’s attractions and join the champagne celebrations at podium ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday.
Competitors in the Asia-Pacific, Australian and Queensland Rally Championships will be offered substantially reduced entry fees to encourage them to run at IROQ.
“The International Rally of Queensland is one event on the calendar international and national competitors can’t afford to miss,” Everitt said.
“Above all else we offer a rally in one of Australia’s most beautiful coastal tourism regions and at a time of year when the weather is perfect. Beaches, sub-tropical hinterland, resorts, theme parks and many other attractions make IROQ an ideal combination of sport and leisure for competitors and their supporters.
“Traditionally IROQ’s challenging gravel roads provide a true test of skill for drivers and an unforgettable experience for spectators.
“Over the years they have tested international stars such as Hayden Paddon, Chris Atkinson, Alister McRae, Esapekka Lappi, Gaurav Gill. This year we expect to see a new generation of rising talent including Harry Bates and new national champion Molly Taylor, plus some new cars.
“Combined with the new stages and attractions at the Rally Village, IROQ 2017 promises to be the best yet.”
Source: Event Release
The International Rally of Queensland is supported through Tourism and Events Queensland’s Regional Development Program as part of a growing calendar of events across the State. The International Rally of Queensland also is supported by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.