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With a sense of fondness for the event that was, a group of rally enthusiasts descended upon the town of Imbil on the weekend of May 28 and 29.

Errol Bailey (left) speaks, as the assembled attendees remember past events and contributors.That date was to have been the weekend of the APRC/ARC – International Rally of Queensland – until the event’s late cancellation and relocation to the ACT.

A core group of organisers, helpers and supporters of IROQ wanted to take the time to share stories and remember the good times of the event’s many years of history.

About 50 people took the opportunity to accept the hospitality of the Imbil Hall Society, who would normally have seen an influx of hundreds of rally crews and visitors over the weekend of the event.

As a typical small country town, events like IROQ bring a lot of business and spending to Imbil’s small community, and this was sorely missed in 2017.

Nevertheless, the rally campers did their best to support the town’s numerous small businesses, with the Rattler Café delivering their a-la-carte menu on Saturday night to a hungry crowd in record time.

Retreating back to the Imbil Hall where numerous attendees had displayed some truly wonderful mementoes of past years, there were words from past Directors and Clerks-of-Course about the teams and dedication that has made such an event successful.

This was not a night of tears, but rather a night of celebration of the commitment of individuals, clubs and the many sponsors who have supported the rally over decades.

Clearly the enthusiasm was evident, and key officials will be running a round of the QRC in Imbil on August 12/13 as a substitute for the Border Ranges Rally which, sadly, will not run in 2017.

Before the night was over, however, talk turned to the possibility of Queensland returning to the national series with an ARC round in 2018.

Ironically, while the 2016 event was cut short due to extreme weather, the camping weekend was cool and sunny with a crisp fog on Sunday morning – ideal rally weather!

- Tom Smith

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