2020 Motorsport Australia Queensland Rally Championship – COVID 19 Response

Good Morning Everyone,

Following detailed consideration and advice by a working group comprising the Queensland State Council Executive and all Panel Chairs, it has been decided to postpone State Level Motorsport in Queensland for the next few months with reviews to happen on an ongoing basis to assess the impact of the necessary Government Covid 19 Restrictions.

The Organising Clubs and Teams that have been developing the first two rounds of the 2020 QRC (Roo Systems Manumbar Rally and Rally Whitsundays) have also reviewed their current positions, taking into account travel restrictions, social distancing requirements, public gathering limitations and exposure risks involved in the preparation and operation of a large scale rally. The financial status of Competitors, Officials, Sponsors and Commercial Partners is also a significant factor in all these considerations.

The nett result is that the first 2 rounds of the 2020 QRC have been postponed and the preparations for Round 4 Mundubbera has been suspended.

If the measures the Government has put into place are effective and a satisfactory containment of Covid 19 is achieved, we would look to re-activate at least 2 State Championship rallies in the latter half of the year. Consideration is underway by the Rally Advisory Panel into what structure the Championship will take.

At this point in time it is most likely that Rally Whitsundays and the Three Rivers Rally (Mundubbera) will be postponed to 2021. Roo Systems Manumbar Rally may run in the latter part of the year given that most of the preparatory work and permits are already in place for that event. Inspirations Paint Hinterland Rally Imbil is also likely to proceed if restrictions are relaxed by mid-year. Our respect and appreciation go out to Brisbane Sporting Car Club for their ability to bear the heavy lifting in this situation, and our commiserations to Lauren Penny, Paul Woodward, Clay Weston and the Team at The Whitsunday Festival of Motoring for all their hard work to pull that event together

As disappointing as these postponements are, I think you all agree that it is inevitable and necessary.

The Qld Rally Advisory Panel will be monitoring events closely over the next few months, and will receive further advice from the QSC Executive Working group which will be reconvening in late April to review developments.

Stay Safe everyone. Keep your heads low and look forward to coming out the other side of this so we can get back out there to enjoy the sound of screaming webers and antilag with the smell of dust in our nostrils!

Gerard McConkey
Qld Rally Advisory Panel

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

Next Upcoming Event
01 August 2020
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2019 Champions