As predicted by RallySport Magazine a few weeks ago, Coffs Harbour will again host a round of the Australian Rally Championship after the withdrawal of the Great Lakes Rally.

ARCom chairman, Colin Trinder, today announced the event as the sixth and final round of the 2008 series, to be held on November 15 and 16.

“ARCom has been working for some weeks with members of the NSW rally community to identify a time and location for the NSW round of the ARC following advice that the ARC event would not proceed at its original Forster location. The Coffs Harbour and District Car Club (CHDCC) has stepped up to the plate and agreed to tackle a round of the Australian Rally Championship in the forests around the north coast town,” Trinder said.  “Mike Bell has agreed to work with the CHDCC to promote the event and will be the nominated Clerk of Course.”

Coffs Harbour has a long history with the ARC with a number of current competitors still boasting of their experiences around the famous signature stages such as Sherwood, the banana plantation and Store Road, however it is eight years since a Coffs event was included in the ARC.

Current leader in the Australian Rally Championship,  Neal Bates, is extremely excited to be heading back to Coffs Harbour, saying it has been a long time coming.

“When the ARC was in Coffs it was not only an incredibly good rally but one the whole Championship looked forward to.  The whole town got behind it, the stages were unbelievably good and it is a lovely part of NSW.  I have no hesitation in saying it was the favourite rally on the calendar and I can’t wait to go back there.”

According to CHDCC spokesman Martin Quinn, “The rally community of the North Coast is really excited about the prospect of running the event and feel the ARC is returning to its traditional roots in NSW.  The Club will still be promoting the NSW State Championship event as a key part of the ARC.”

The changes to the ARC calendar have only been possible due to the substantial co-operation and goodwill displayed by both the NSW and Queensland rally communities.  With the revised Coffs Harbour date now falling in November, the Brisbane Sporting Car Club took the initiative to change the date of their State Championship event to avoid a clash with the ARC after being approached by the Commission.

“On behalf of everyone in the wider rally family I would like to thank our members in NSW and Queensland, and the ARC competitors themselves, for their understanding and cooperation.  Making changes to our premier competition at short notice is never simple and needs to be managed sensitively. I am encouraged by the positive, can-do attitude that everyone displayed in working together to find a solution” said Trinder.

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