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When WA hosted Rally Australia, some of the most spectacular competition was run over the world-famous jumps of the Bunnings (later Sotico) stages in Boddington.

Former champions Colin McRae, Petter Solberg and Marcus Gronholm were among competitors who flew over the jumps and manoeuvred their way through the watersplash, much to the delight of fans who flocked to spectator points.

Now, in one of the most exciting announcements of WA rallying history, those stages are set to be revived for a brand new WA Rally Championship (WARC) event.

The Newmont Boddington Rally will be held over the May-June long weekend and will take the WARC Outright championship out to a best-of-five out of six events. The 2WD and Clubman championships will become a best-of-six out of seven.

Event organiser Wendy Walker said securing the new event had been a two-year campaign with the support of Boddington service station owner and rally enthusiast Kingsley Foster, who had put her in touch with the plantation’s new owners, the Newmont Mining Corporation.

Walker said both the mining company and the Boddington community had been very supportive of the event, as had the WA rallying community.

“The reaction from competitors has been really exciting,” she said.

“We think there will be a lot of people coming out of the woodwork for this event.”

The Newmont Boddington Rally is expected to have four stages that will be run twice by Outright and 2WD competitors and once by Clubman cars. They will follow a similar course to the old Bunnings stages.

“The roads are still fantastic.” Walker said. “There are some parts that will need a bit of clearing, but the jumps are still there.”

2013 WARC Outright Champion Driver Leigh Hynes (Subaru WRX) said he was looking forward to competing in the plantation again.

“The biggest buzz is when you’re coming up to a jump and you can’t really see the road ahead of you. You can see the tree line and the blue sky but you can’t really tell where you’re going,” he said.

Reconnaissance for the Newmont Boddington Rally will happen on Saturday May 31 with the actual event to be run the following day.

Spectators are welcome and spectator information will be available at www.rallywa.com.

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