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A quality field of 35 of Queensland’s best rally crews including former APRC and ARC winners will face the starter this coming Saturday, September 29 in the 2012 Jimna Springtime Stages Rally, the final round in the 2012 MEX Maintenance Software Queensland Rally Championship.

For the perhaps the first time, half the field will be competing in All Wheel Drive turbo vehicles in what is being touted as the most competitive line-up in many years for the outright championship and Sportsman A & B categories.

Based in the surrounding Jimna forest, crews will depart the Jimna Sports Club grounds at 12:30pm to be tested over nine stages by a combination of familiar roads mixed with parts not seen by competitors in almost a generation. Last car is expected to finish at approximately 8:30pm.

Leading the field away will be Rob Bishop in his potent Mitsubishi Evo 6 who, apart from being seeded at Car 1, is the current outright leader of the 2012 Queensland Rally Championship. Hot on his heels will be Ian Menzies, also in an Evo 6 while Mark Neary in his grunty Subaru WRX will be pushing hard from third position on the road. Co-incidently, this is the order of the championship standings leading into this event with all three a chance of taking the title. The battle for co-driver’s is also tight with only a single point separating Bob McGowan (Ian Menzies) and Stephanie Booth (Mark Neary).

The event also marks the penultimate round of the 2012 Queensland Sportsman Championship. In Sportsman A, Glen Mitchell has the opportunity to close the gap to the series leader while in Sportsman B, Cameron Taylor in his speedy Mazda RX-7 will be focussed on a strong performance to seal the series at this round or risk set up a gripping finale against Alan Clunes in his reliable Mazda GT-R at the final in November.

One of the event’s main drawcards will be the appearance of two-time Asia Pacific Rally Champion and five-time Australian Rally Champion Ross Dunkerton in his beautifully prepared Group 4 Ford Escort RS1800 powered by the exciting BDG Cosworth engine. Taking the Classic challenge up to Dunkerton will be Australian Rally Championship round winner, Australian Classic Challenge winner and past Queensland Rally Champion Stewart Reid in his Historic Motorsport Group 4 Ford Escort RS1800, also BDG Cosworth powered.

These two cars and drivers are worth the drive to Jimna on their own and will excite spectators with the sights and sounds of highly tuned forest racers while keeping the more modern turbo powered cars on their toes the same time.  

Spectators can look forward to two great vantage points both very close to HQ with one providing views of the field for almost a kilometre. There will be catering for crews and spectators at the Jimna Sports Club from lunchtime Saturday and breakfast will be available on Sunday morning.

For more information on the event, please contact the Clerk of Course, Paul Woodward on 0438 014 918.

(Photo courtesy of Dallas Dogger)

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