The formation of a new rally team, O'Brien RallySport,  for the 2008 Queensland rally season, is under way.

After a break from rallying of nearly eight years, Queenslanld rally driver Colin O'Brien is making a return to the sport in 2008, after some success driving a Datsun 240Z and Toyota Celica to second in class in the Queensland rounds of the ARC in years gone by.

However, as this will be his first time behind the wheel of a 4WD-turbo vehicle, the team are expecting the change to be very interesting.  According to O’Brien,  competing in last year’s rallying of the classics in a Mazda RX7 got them thinking about gravel rallying again.

“After building a Mazda RX7 for tarmac events, it would be a tragedy to convert it to gravel spec., so therefore the decision was made to put it on the market. Initially we will be feeling our way back and learning the art of driving a 4WD rally car by competing in the Queensland Clubman and State rounds.”

A recent trip to Melbourne has resulted in the purchase of Steve Kenway’s VRC class-winning Mitsubishi VR4 by the team. The first outing for the car and team appears to be Round 2 of the KCF Rally Series in May. This will provide a shakedown before tackling the state round of the ARC in June.

With the recent postponement of the Border Ranges Rally it will make for a busy second half of the year in local rallying.

At this stage it looks likely that experienced co-driver Mick Bruce will call the notes for some of the events this year. His experience will be invaluable as O’Brien come to grips with a new style of driving. Mick has competed in many Australian Safari rallies with Holden factory driver Peter Lockhart as well as Targa Tasmania and many rounds of the ARC.

The pair teamed up in the 240Z to win the Richmond River Rally in northern NSW a few years ago.

Based in Warwick, the car will be prepared and maintained by Matt Clift at Morgan Park Performance.

O’Brien continued “
Sponsors are always welcome, but until we get some results on the board we may have to be yet another self-funded rally team. We will approach local businesses in an effort to gain support for our return to the rally scene. Warwick is a great town and local support of motorsport in the region is strong.”

In the meantime go to the classifieds of Rallysport Magazine at if you are interested in looking at the RX7.

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