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Australian motor racing icon, Kevin Bartlett, has signed on as a key member of the safety team for the inaugural SunCoast Classic Rally, and will drive the event’s course safety car throughout the five-day rally.

His local road knowledge and experience will be a huge asset to the safety and organisation of the event.

Being a resident of the hill top town of Maleny means that the SunCoast Classic will be run in Bartlett’s own backyard, around the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast region on some of Queensland’s best and most challenging tarmac roads.

Bartlett, the 1974 Bathurst 1000 winner, made the move to Maleny just over eight years ago and believes that an event like the SunCoast Classic will benefit every community that it visits during its five-day tour of the Sunshine Coast region.

“It will be a terrific event that will benefit every community within the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“I couldn’t say no when I was asked to be involved in the event, and driving one of the safety cars requires a huge amount of concentration, so it will be no easy Sunday drive.”

The inclusion of Bartlett as a safety car driver in the 2007 SunCoast event has been a huge boost for organisers and Silverstone Events general manager, Bob Carpenter, was overwhelmed when Bartlett accepted his invitation to participate in the rally.

“It’s a huge honour to have a motor racing icon like Kevin involved with the event, and being a local resident he will bring a tremendous amount of local road and area knowledge,” Carpenter said.

“Kevin even helped us choose some of the roads that are being used in the event, so he will certainly know the course well when he drives the safety car.“

The recent addition of Bartlett as a safety driver could not be more timely with local residents around the Sunshine Coast region expressing their concerns about the safety conditions for all competitors, spectators and officials.

However Bartlett has been quick to dispel any concerns of unsafe conditions for the rally and has urged all residents to give the SunCoast event a chance to prove itself as a safe and professionally run event.

“This event will be run to world-class standards and I believe that it will only bring positives to the Sunshine Coast region,” he said.

“As a local resident I understand the concerns of the region, but I truly believe that these types of events provide so many benefits to the local economy, as well as offering a safe and enjoyable form of motor sport.”

The SunCoast Classic is an exciting all-new tarmac rally which is set to inject more than $3 million a year into the Queensland economy with a field of up to 250 exotic and classic cars expected to line up for the five-day event, starting on July 4.

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