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The international Rally Queensland will be joined by a new naming rights sponsor, Red Devil Energy Drink, when more than 70 cars and crews race into action on the Sunshine Coast next weekend.

The rally on 8-10 May will be called Red Devil Rally Queensland and will be the springboard for the product’s Australian launch, Event Director Errol Bailey announced today.

Red Devil Rally Queensland will host round two of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, round four of the Australian Rally Championship and rounds two and three of the Queensland Rally Championship, plus a qualifying round for the Pirelli Star Driver program and an all-comers section for non-championship competitors.

Final preparations for the rally are well underway, with competitors’ cars from China, New Zealand, India, Singapore and New Caledonia arriving this weekend and officials setting up operational headquarters at Surfair resort at Marcoola Beach and the service park at Imbil Showgrounds in the Mary Valley.

In addition, staff are busy adding the new Red Devil event logo to every available item.

Produced in the Netherlands in 250 ml slim cans, Red Devil is sold in 60 countries. It is the number two energy drink in Europe and the United Kingdom and is popular also in the United States and China.

In addition to a great taste, it offers the benefits of caffeine, taurine and vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and B12.

Caffeine helps endurance, performance, concentration and energy. Taurine aids in fat digestion, absorbs fat-soluble vitamins and is an active anti-oxidant.

B-vitamins bolster metabolism, maintain healthy skin and muscle tone, enhance immune and nervous systems, promote cell growth and combat symptoms of depression, stress and cardiovascular disease.

Red Devil Energy Drink Australia Directors Rod Shanley and Shane Stoner said Rally Queensland was the ideal showcase for the product’s national launch.

“The benefits of Red Devil Energy Drink are synonymous with the high-performance environment of international motorsport such as Rally Queensland,” Mr Shanley and Mr Stoner said.

“Over the three days of Red Devil Rally Queensland we will be introducing the product to as many competitors and members of the public as possible through free tastings and other activities and then over the following weeks and months it will be available to buy in shops, restaurants, bars and other retail outlets across Australia.”

Although Rally Queensland is Red Devil Energy Drink’s first involvement with motorsport in Australia, it has supported several overseas teams in rallying, Formula 1 powerboats, touring cars, motorcycles and open-wheel racing during the company’s 14-year history. Finnish driver Kristian Sohlberg competed with Red Devil sponsorship in the 2007 World Rally Championship.

Event director Errol Bailey said the signing of Red Devil Energy Drink sponsorship was the final, important step in preparations to stage the first international-level Rally Queensland.

“We are delighted to be associated with an internationally-recognised product like Red Devil Energy Drink,” Mr Bailey said.

“It brings extra prestige and attention to what is already a highly-regarded event and demonstrates that even in these difficult times the sport of rallying remains a very viable sponsorship vehicle.”

Red Devil Rally Queensland officially begins with a free public Ceremonial Start and drivers’ welcome from 5.30 pm next Friday at Nambour Showgrounds.

Competition will be over 14 special stages and almost 230 kms of gravel roads in the Imbil State Forest on Saturday and Sunday. Spectators will be able to view the action from the Tyres & More Spectator Park and visit the Imbil showgrounds service park.

A highlight of all activities will be the appearance of Australia’s most successful World Rally Championship driver Chris Atkinson as Event Ambassador and driver of the “0” safety car.

Crews will conduct private testing on Tuesday and Wednesday and route reconnaissance on Thursday and Friday.

Leading teams will participate in an unofficial Top 10 shakedown session, also open free to the public, at Nambour Showgrounds from 9 am on Friday.

Spectator information, including directions to Imbil and the spectator park, is available at www.sidewaysinthesun.com
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