Round 1 of the EXEDY Victorian Rally Championship, the East Gippsland Stages is set for the 2011 season opener on Saturday, May 14.  

The popular event will be based around the rural city of Bairnsdale, the gateway to the spectacular East Gippsland Lakes and Wilderness area.

The Melbourne University Car Club is again hosting the event which incorporates Round 1 of the BATRONIC Hyundai Excel Rally Series as well as the first round of the Victorian Club Rally Series.  
The state’s best drivers and co-drivers will be battling it out over 130 km`s of the area`s smooth sandy tracks and fast forest roads, which always prove a favourite with crews.  Everything from the latest spec 4WD turbo cars, to the crowd pleasing classic Escorts and Datsun`s will be fighting for Outright and 2WD honours and vying for the EXEDY prizes.

It’s anyone’s guess who will fill the podium with several new faces joining the Championship in 2011, and last year’s winners Nathan Reeves and Scott Spedding not planning to contest the 2011 Series.  
2010 runners up, Warren Lee and David Lethlean in their JDL EVO IX Lancer are likely favourites as is the pairing of David Nutter and Jenna Kelly, while Brian Semmens and Dan Parry will continue to push their 2WD Nissan Silvia hard for a spot on the podium.  

The father and daughter pairing of Craig and Carrie Morris are returning to the Championship this year and are aiming for outright honours in their RDA/EBC Brakes EVO 6.  Morris having won the championship in 1998 knows what it takes to win and will keep the pressure on the other contenders.

New to the championship this year is the 2010 Vic Autocross Series Champ Tristan Penhall and co-driver Jolie Middleton, and ex State HQ Series Champ Alan Roe with Australian Safari Moto rider Ray Farrell calling the notes.

In the BATRONIC Hyundai Excel Series, the youthful MacKenzie brothers will be expected to continue with their quick pace in 2011.

Continuing with the day/night format from past years, crews will complete the majority of the event during daylight with the last few stages taking place after dark to really test their skills.  The first car will leave the Bairnsdale CBD at 12:30pm and finish at the Lindenow Sports Oval at approx. 9pm.

Three spectator locations will be available during the event, the last of which will be in darkness.
Spectator guides will be available from the Event Start and Headquarters or by downloading from www.vicrally.com.au/vrc.


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