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AFI Best Actor award winner, Shane Jacobson, will step into the hot-seat of a Harding Performance 2007 Volkswagen Golf GTi in Round 1 of The Alphera Dutton Rally Series in Queensland from February 23-25.

The star of 'Kenny' will team-up with good mate David Pitman in the Queensland event, and is looking forward to his first competitive drive in a national rally. The Victorian spent part of his youth rallying Ford Escorts in amateur competitions.

Jacobson plans to use the event as a 'trial run' in the lead-up to the Australian Grand Prix celebrity challenge, in which he will line up with 26 other identities, racing BMWs as part of the F1 action in Melbourne in March.

And how does he rate his chances in the Alphera Dutton Rally Series? Jacobson reckons the power-to-weight ratio of the Golf might be improved if the seats are ripped before he lowers his 115kg frame into the cockpit, if he is going to rate a mention on the leader board. But he does plan to be first into the bar at the end of each day though, which should prove him popular with the other competitors.

The event begins in Warwick, west of Ipswich, in the heart of Queensland's Darling Downs, where the tarmac rally action will wind its way east to the Gold Coast.

The three-day event, the first of a four-part series is made up of a variety of different skill sessions. Motorkhanas, individual circuit sprints, hillclimbs and timed quarter-mile sprints are among the range of activities that both drivers and co-drivers undertake.

The emphasis in all Dutton Rallies is as much on skill as it is on time, and scoring towards a win focuses on both. No public roads are used, and the idea is for competitors to enjoy their cars safely and responsibly on suitable closed venues.

"Our events cater to the individual with a performance car, to use it the way it was intended to be used, with skill - and it all takes place on tarmac only - closed racetracks, airports and training facilities, not on public roads," says Anthony Moss, National Series Director.

The Dutton Rally is not expensive to compete in either, with entry fees for each round starting at $2,075 for a driver, and $2,790 for a crew entry. If entering both driver and co-driver, both members will drive each stage, and compete for driver and co-driver honours, as well as the Crew Championship.

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