City start for Rally of Melbourne
The NGK Rally of Melbourne will bring motor sport to the heart of Melbourne on 9-11 November, when Australia’s rally stars do battle in the NEC Australian Rally Championship season finale. Continuing the long line of events in Australia’s sporting capital, the rally will kick off just a stones throw from Melbourne’s CBD.
From 6:30pm on Friday 9 November, New Quay in the vibrant Docklands precinct will host the ceremonial start, where Melbourne residents can get up close and personal with Australian rallying’s stars and cars.
"The ceremonial start at Docklands was a real highlight of last year’s event," NGK Rally of Melbourne promoter Neil Cuthbert said.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to get close to the cars and meet the drivers on a late-Spring evening.
"Docklands is just a short walk from the CBD, there’s plenty of tram services and parking, and there’s some great restaurants and bars in the area to make a full night of it."
After Friday night’s festivities, teams will make the short trip north to the Yarra Valley, for 18 stages of exciting action across Saturday and Sunday.
Incorporating the penultimate round of the Victorian Rally Championship, nearly 50 competitors will tackle new stages, new roads and new super special stages in the popular Melbourne event.
For just $35, spectators can catch all of the weekend’s action.
Vantage points on Saturday include two passes of the Blowhard and Klondyke stages, single passes for the Siberia and Marysville stages, and the new Yarra Glen Showgrounds Super Special Stages.
On Sunday, Siberia and Marysville will again host spectators, along with the Don Road Sporting Complex in Healesville, now the scene of two Super Special Stages and the podium presentation.
Throughout the event, enthusiasts will also be able to view the behind-the-scenes action at the service park, located at Armstrong Grove – just opposite the Yarra Glen Showgrounds.
"All of the Saturday and Sunday action will be in the Yarra Valley area, and there are plenty of great opportunities for Melbourne residents to check it out," Cuthbert said.
"The forest stages will show rally cars at their best – charging through a challenging stage as they navigate their way between trees.
"At the Super Special Stages, spectators will be able to see everything and watch the final results of each day unfold."
Melbourne husband-and-wife pairing Simon and Sue Evans lead the NEC Australian Rally Championship as they head to their home event, needing only an 18th-place finish on Saturday or Sunday in their Toyota to secure back-to-back titles.
Of the drivers competing in the Victorian Rally Championship component of the NGK Rally of Melbourne, Mark Fawcett and Simon Ellis hold a slender two-point lead over Justin Dowel and Matt Lee entering the penultimate round