Rally is coming to the Sunshine Coast. One of the most high octane, adrenaline pumping super sports the world has to offer is set to streak through our quiet corner of paradise this June at one heck of a pace. The International Rally of Queensland June 17-19 is only a few weeks away. If you’re looking for something to get your pulse racing, and aren’t adverse to a little mud and dirt, then this is the event for you.
Run originally out of Brisbane, the rally, since 1997, has showcased the beautiful Sunshine Coast. It added the prestigious FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship to its portfolio in 2009. The warm winter climate, superb beach and hinterland settings and resort facilities make IROQ a most popular destination on the FIA APRC and ARC calendars. It’s the longest-running round of the national championship and was professionally organised by the Brisbane Sporting Car Club Ltd (BSCC) from 1968 until 2015. From 2016, Rallycorp Pty Ltd, a division of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport, has undertaken the organising responsibility, although still with many of the long-term IROQ officials on board, alongside those with experience in other events including the WRC Rally Australia.
In more than 40 years, the rally has seen some extraordinary “Down Under” talents in action, including Possum Bourne, Ross Dunkerton, Ed Ordynski, Neal Bates, Murray Coote, Greg Carr, Cody Crocker, Simon Evans, Colin Bond, Harry Firth and George Fury. Queenslander Chris Atkinson used his experience and success in the 2004 Rally Queensland to secure a prized place in the Subaru World Rally Team from 2005. Chris won IROQ in 2012 driving an MRF Skoda and went on to secure that year’s APRC driver’s championship.
The FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) has been recognised since 1988 as one of the premier regional championships in world rallying. Six regions comprise the FIA regional rally championship series, with events spread across the globe. Geographically APRC covers the largest area and represents almost 40 percent of the world’s population.
The S2000 cars of recent times have created a new level of competition, alongside some of the best Group N drivers in the region. Adding to this is the increasing number of competitors competing in the 2WD categories, which are seen as a popular and less expensive way to enjoy all APRC has to offer – not to mention, the wheel spinning, power sliding joy that is such a spectacle! For more information on the championship, the Rally itself, the cars and the drivers, head on over to the International Rally of Queensland Official site and don’t forget to reserve your ticket.