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“State Of Origin” is not just for football – for many years at rallies like Bega there has been an unofficial battle between crews from each state.
 
Some believe that the best drivers come from the ACT - Greg Carr and Neal Bates might agree. What about Western Australia with the Herridges and our own living rally legend, Ross Dunkerton?
 
Then of course the Victorians might contend that Simon Evans and Cody Croker can give the title a shake. And Queensland can claim Chris Atkinson! 
 
State Rally Panels, in conjunction with ARCom, have resolved to introduce an annual “State of Origin” Challenge with the intention being that each year the challenge would be piggy-backed onto an ARC round, the Challenge being a grand final of the top crews who have been contesting State Rally Championships.
 
The 2009 Sprint Auto Parts Rally of South Australia will host the first Challenge this year. Next year it will move to an ARC round held in another State, and move to a different ARC round in following years.
 
Crews would need to support the concept in order for it build as a genuine “Challenge”.
 
In order to entice teams to participate:
 
1. There is prize money
2. Competitors outside the home State can enter in the State field of the event and get a reduced entry, or they can enter in the ARC field if they choose
3. To be eligible nominated team members must have been recent State series entrants, which means that teams will not be able to be stacked with ARC crews, and the Challenge will truly showcase the cream of the State level competitors
4. As an incentive to nominate a team which includes a 2WD vehicle, 2WD vehicles are awarded bonus points if they finish

5. ARCom have waived the usual requirement that a vehicle entered in the State division of the event, which is not the home event for the vehicle's owner, have a plumbed-in fire extinguisher
6. A co-driver need not be resident in the State for which the driver is nominated as representing
7. A team of just three crews is enough for an entry.
 
South Australia have opened the “Challenge” and will field a team. The Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA needs other States to nominate teams and the “Challenge” is up and running.
 
Rules as they are set out in the Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA Supp Regs as follows:


"To be known as the ‘State of Origin Rally Challenge’
ii) Invitations will be issued to each State Rally Panel to nominate one or more teams to represent their State/Territory.
iii) At least 3 States must enter for the State of Origin Rally Challenge to be constituted.
iv) Each team must comprise at least 3 crews, up to a maximum of 5 crews
v) To be eligible, each crew must contain a driver who competed in at least 3 State Rally
Championship (or highest level series) rounds in 2008/9 in the State which they have been nominated to represent.
vi) If a team comprises more than 3 crews, the results of the best 3 points scoring crews in that team will be counted.
vii) The State of Origin crews will be awarded points 40, 34, 30, 26, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 9,8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 for places first to twentieth for their finishing position against other State of Origin crews in each heat. The winning ‘State of Origin’ team will be the team with the highest combined points at the conclusion of the event.
viii) A two wheel drive vehicle shall attract 50% bonus points
ix) Crews may be entered in the ARC field or in any other sections of the event. Cars must comply with one of the rally car groups outlined in “Rally Car Eligibility” for the ARC.
x) The winning State team will be awarded a cash prize of $2,000.00. This will be paid subject to
clause (iii) being satisfied.
xi) Interstate crews who are not entering the ARC section of the event may compete under normal state championship provisions for fire extinguishers."
 
Invitations are now open to each State Rally Panel to nominate a team or teams. We will eventually find out just who is the best “State” in rallying!
 
Entries open on May 27 and close on July 9, and the Sprint Auto Parts Rally SA will be run from July 31 to August 2.
 
Any crews coming from interstate will be welcomed by their friendly rivals in SA, and if there is anything the locals can do to help (eg. service crew) then they should ask for assistance.
 
So here is your chance to represent your State. Who will win and take home the money and the accolades?
 
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