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Rally Queensland will once again provide the national launch of the Australian Rally Championship, kick starting the 2008 season when the rally returns to the Imbil State Forest, north of Brisbane, in March.  
 
Moving to an earlier weekend in 2008, coates Rally Queensland will get the bring the action to the forest on March 8 and 9 and is set to start the season in style with a combined ceremonial start and super special stage at the Maroochy Showgrounds in Nambour on Friday night, March 7.
 
The ceremonial start will move from its previous base on the Coolum Esplanade and is combined with the second running of the Pacific Ford Shootout.  The super special stage, which made its debut at the 2007 event, will see two cars complete three flying laps in pursuit style around the showgrounds.
 
“The new start is going to be a huge spectacle showcasing the best in Australian rallying and is a great opportunity for fans to see the cars up close before they head out into the forest,” coates Rally Queensland event organizer, Errol Bailey, said.
 
The rally will then head into the Imbil State Forest with each Heat being fought over approximately 120 competitive kilometres.
 
The 2008 event will see the retainment of many of the old favourite stages, but will also see the introduction of several new roads which are sure to create some exciting challenges for the nation’s best gravel drivers.
 
“We have worked really hard since the last event to find the best roads the Imbil State Forest can offer, and we are excited about what will be on show for competitors and spectators alike,” Bailey added.
 
“We have been able to create a good mix of old and new roads, including one new stage which will see teams compete over approximately 28 kilometres – the longest stage in the Australian Rally Championship.”
 
Spectators will get the chance to see the cars roaring through a forestry stage less than 1km from the town centre in Imbil, with a stage set to run around the forestry offices.
 
2007 Rally Queensland winner, and the Australian Rally Champion, Simon Evans, is looking forward to the new challenges he will face in 2008. 
 
“I love Queensland. It’s one of my favourite events because the roads are so challenging. It is the hardest event on the calendar and gets better every year,” he said.
 
Event headquarters will remain at the SurfAir Resort at Marcoola and the rally service park will once again be held in the Imbil Showgrounds, which will also provide the location of the podium finish on the Sunday afternoon.
 
Spectators will be able to purchase tickets for the Pacific Ford Shoot Out and all forest spectator points from the Brisbane Sporting Car Club, event HQ, the service park in Imbil, or at the gate. 
 
Another new spectator initiative for the 2008 event will be the introduction of rally enthusiast packages tailored for spectators who want to experience the best action over the weekend.
 
coates Rally Queensland will include a round of the City Subaru Queensland Rally Championship, and a sub-event for Classic, Clubman, Pocket Rocket and Excel series vehicles.
 
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