The International Rally of Queensland, featuring the fastest rally competitors from Australia and the Asia Pacific, will return to the Sunshine Coast on 13-15 May next year.

The event is part of the provisional FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and Australian Rally Championship calendars announced last week.

It also is expected to include rounds of the Queensland Rally Championship and Australian Classic Rally Competition, plus other supporting categories.

Planning and organisation of the International Rally of Queensland will start immediately, according to Event Director Errol Bailey of the Brisbane Sporting Car Club.

“Due to outside influences on the international and national rally calendars, the International Rally of Queensland will run 11 weeks earlier than in 2010, so we will be starting work straight away on the specific elements of 2011,” Mr Bailey said.

“Fortunately, many key arrangements have remained in place after this year, including the support of the Queensland Events Regional Development Program and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the core of our 800-strong volunteer officials team.

“Also, the great success of the 2010 event, including broadcast, print and on-line media coverage in many countries from India to Ireland, has provided strong momentum.

“It has very clearly demonstrated the potential to help boost the Sunshine Coast economy and therefore we hope to engage the local tourism industry and other business sectors more actively in capitalising on this.

“And as this will be the 43rd year the Brisbane Sporting Car Club has organised an annual rally championship round, we also have considerable experience to draw upon.”

The International Rally of Queensland is the Australian leg of a major regional championship that also will visit Malaysia, China, Japan, New Zealand and New Caledonia next year.

It will again be based on the Sunshine Coast, with most of the competitive stages run on State forestry roads near the hinterland town of Imbil.

The 2010 International Rally of Queensland Asia Pacific round was won by Indian driver Guarav Gill with New Zealand co-driver Glenn Macneall for the Indian-based MRF Tyres team. 
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