G’Day Rally Fans, with the 2019 Season pretty much all over bar the shouting, we have been working hard on getting the 2020 season into shape – and it’s looking to be a ripper.

First of all things will kick off with Keeny’s Test n Tune at Jimna in February. Then we will fire off with 4 rounds of the QRC and 5 Short Course Rally’s. Check out the Calendar below for all the dates and locations, but it’s gonna be a mix of old favourites and a few new surprises. Rd 1 is Manumbar. Simon and Margot are having a rest this year, but BSCC have got a cracking event in planning bringing us the best of what that area offers. Round 2 we zip up to Airlie for the second running of the Whitsundays Rally. Work is underway on new roads and locations, but it’s looking like a festival start in Airlie on Friday Night then a mix of some of the roads from 2019 plus several new roads in the Bowen area. Being run a bit later in 2020 hopefully we won’t strike the weather dramas we encountered this year. Round 3 will be Imbil. If this years event is anything to go by, it will be a rip snorta on all the traditional Rally Q roads.. The Final Round will bring something new to the Championship. A brand new Rally on mainly shire roads in Mundubbera, we are doing this one Pace Noted with free recce available several months before the event. Our plan is to have road books and videos of stages available online so that you can prepare early much like Targa style events.

The Novice Series in 2020 will have a whole new structure. To keep things cheaper and easier, we will align the series with short course rallies (KCF’s etc) rather than losing the novices down the back of a QRC field. The Novice Competitors choose 3 out of 4 Qualifying rounds and then a Grand Final at the last KCF Round in November. We are hoping this may entice more new competitors to give rally a go, without having to blow their budgets in the process.

Something new for the QRC in 2020 will be the opportunity for R5 / AP4 / G4 Rally Cars to score points in the Qld Championship. Having some of these sexy machines doing battle against the likes of Glen Brinkmann and Ian Menzies in their Evo’s will be exciting, and a challenge for all. It is the way of the future, and all States other than NSW have embraced these machines into their State Championships. Bragging rights for beating an AP4 on a stage are pretty cool – (sorry Adrian 😁)

The Point Scoring threshold will be reduced from 60% to 50% as a minor tweak to the system. All details for the 2020 QRC will be published soon on the www.qldrallychampionship.com website and the Motorsports Australia website. (Get used to that name, folks). Look for the 2020 Qld Rally Handbook. That will have all the details for the 2020 Championship and we’ll issue another post once it has gone live.

We will also be welcoming 3 new names to the Qld Rally Advisory Panel. More details will be announced soon, once State Council has ratified the nominations. We are pleased to say that we had more nominations than seats available, so it is very rewarding to know that you are keen to make a difference!

Lot’s of Cool stuff in store, not to mention the Championship Awards Night on February 8th. (You won’t believe who our Guest of Honour is!!!!) We are excited! Bring on the 2020 Qld Rally Championship

QRAP Chairman

Classics Domiante QRC at Imbil

How many years is it since the first 3 positions in a State round were taken out by rear wheel drive cars, and 40 year old classics at that?

Well, that is what happened at last weekend’s Inspirations Paint Capalaba Hinterland Rally, the final round of the Queensland Rally Championship at Imbil, which doubled as round 6 of the East Coast Classic Rally Series.

Some observers were surprised to find 4 rear wheel drive cars seeded in the top 10 of the 42 car field. Heading the list were Glenn Brinkman/Harvey Smith in their Evo 9 ahead of Ian Menzies/Bob McGowan (Evo 9) making a return to competition, with the Team Datsun Australia entries of Ryan Smart/Hugh Reardon-Smith (Stanza) and Jack Monkhouse/Dale Moscatt (180B SSS) next up. Current QRC championship leaders Brayden and Blake Wilson (Evo 9) were seeded at 5 ahead of Nathan Quinn/Ray Winwood-Smith in David Ovenden’s loaned Mazda RX2.

The rally had been under threat from bushfire risk, but the organising club BSCC’s relationship with HQ Plantations Pty Ltd, and clerk of course Paul Woodward’s fire management plans allowed the rally to run.

Section 1 saw crews tackle 4 stages over 45kms with some known roads through Woodlands, Kandanga, Caseys and Borumba proving to be very challenging for the whole field with fast shire roads, tricky tracks and some rough sections.

There were no accidents but by the break mechanical issues had reduced the field by 12 cars. This included the Evo 9’s of Menzies/McGovern and Wilson/Wilson as well as car 8 Melinda Bergmann/Larissa Biggar.

The first 3 stages were won by Brinkman/Smith but electrical issues in SS4 dropped them to sixth, 67 seconds behind leaders Smart/Reardon-Smith. In second place 18 seconds behind were Monkhouse/Moscat being chased by Quinn/Winwood-Smith another 14 seconds in arrears as they came to terms with their loaned car. And in 4th was Clay Badenoch/Catriona Kelly in their Toyota Celica RA 40.

Section 2 was scheduled to repeat all 4 stages, but SS7 had to be dropped due to a bushfire near the start control, not connected to the rally, and the subsequent need for rural fire brigade cover ruled out the 2 evening stages. This left everything to be fought out over the remaining 3 stages.

Smart/Reardon-Smith continued where they left off in the morning, and after 81 kms of stages and a fully committed drive they won by 46 seconds, including a fastest time on SS4. Ryan Smart drove superbly all day and was a well-deserved winner.

Second place was a thriller that came down to the final stage with Quinn/Winwood-Smith edging Monkhouse/Moscatt by just one second, which was hard to take for the Team Datsun Australia crew. These 3 crews were also the place getters in the ECCRS.

Brinkman/Smith recovered to finish 4th ahead of Badenoch/Kelly, making it 4 rear wheel drive cars in the top 5, a fantastic achievement.

The rest of the top 10 were McConkey/Hewett WRX. Aggio/Benson KE30 Corolla, Carey/Bustard Evo 9, Reddiex/Mitchell Datsun SSS and Lawson/O’Brien Commodore ute.

It was a mightily impressive performance from the top 3 classic cars and their star drivers, with Queensland honors upheld by Smart/Reardon-Smith. Spectators and officials alike had some spectacular viewing of these fabulous sounding cars driven on the limit by 3 very talented drivers.

The QRC round was won by Smart/Reardon-Smith ahead of Brinkman/Smith and Badenoch/Kelly, whilst in the QRC 2WD Aggio/Benson finished 3rd.

The Clubman section went to Lawson/O’Brien ahead of Crisp/Jones WRX and Corkeron/Neagle BMW. The Novice section was won by Connelly/Preist in their Datsun 1600 ahead of Van Der Wilk/O’Connor WRX and Desbrow/Grant Ford Fairlaine.  In all 30 cars finished this challenging event which was a feat in itself.

The organisers and officials need to be congratulated for putting on a challenging event in difficult circumstances, and the spectacular classic drivers who finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th made it an event to remember.

Article Provided by: Hugh Reardon-Smith
All images by: CH Images


Rally, Off-Road Racing, Touring Road Events and many more!

Rallies are conducted over public and forest roads that are closed to the public. Off-Road events are conducted on private land with the owner’s permission. And Touring Road Events are non-speed based events conducted on public roads.

There are many activities required to ensure the activity is safe and controlled and public access restricted. Each event has a different requirement for officials however some of the jobs we need include:

  • Road Closure Officials – you get to be right next to the course in a safe location, sometimes in radio contact to ensure no one enters without authorisation, but with your own private viewing spot
  • Control Officials – events are timed so we need officials to record time, start cars and communicate results and control the flow of cars
  • Course Car Officials – we have vehicles, usually 4WD’s go ahead and behind the field to ensure the roads are clear and course is correct and all competitors are safe
  • HQ officials – we use a radio network to control events and this is operated by experienced officials who control the rally and ensure everyone’s safety.

Email us today: qldrally@qldrallychampionship.com

2019 Champions