Bannister North: a complex made for rallying

While Rally Australia had its highlights across various parts of Western Australia, the ‘Bunnings’ complex, near North Bannister, was instantaneously a classic.

This area of pristine ball-bearing gravel was used in a variety of different configurations, with a plethora of roads in the immediate area surrounding the famous jumps and water splash known to rally fans the world over.

Most remember the jumps and water splash, but people often forget that the entire complex was full of stages, and from those stages came iconic moments just a stone’s throw away from each other.

The complex featured an area large enough to base the day’s service park, with three stages often starting and finishing all within easy walking distance. By walking less than a kilometre, rally fans could watch high-speed corners, low-speed corners, big jumps and a spectacular water crossing in the surrounds of a natural amphitheatre that was perfect for spectators.

You can’t talk about Bunnings and not think of Carlos Sainz’s early 1990s roll, the groundbreaking live TV stage and the various spectator options that were all within one area.

For the most famous section of them all, the beginning of the stage was often different, but at least one stage finished over the jumps, down the hill and through the water splash.

The iconic piece of road went something like this, according to Scottish superstar, Colin McRae’s pacenotes…

Double caution crest & slow dip & caution 5R+ over big jump into 6L over jump 50 … Crest & 4L tightens & 3R- tightens & care ford & 2L-

If you’re anything like me, you’d read back every single one of those notes in the voice of Nicky Grist, imagining their Subaru Impreza World Rally Car flying over the crests.

Images from those jumps would become famous, and McRae’s efforts there are among the most popular – no wonder he had such a huge following.

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Author

Luke Whitten

Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.
Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.

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