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The final round of the 2006 City Subaru Queensland Rally Championship was held last Saturday in the forests west of Gympie.

The ‘Recovered Resources Australia Rally’ saw an event shortened by torrential rain in the area - much needed by the populace in times of drought, but causing the loss of two stages during the event.

This rally was the championship decider for the QRC, with both Steve Shepheard/Tom Smith and Glenn Brinkman/Steve Richardson able to score enough points here to take the title.

Brinkman had sold both Subaru WRXs since the last round and showed up at the event in an Lancer Evolution 5, previously used by Mark Thompson and Chris Atkinson.

With just 130 competitive kilometres on offer over eight stages, the rally started from the Roadcraft Driver Training Centre in Gympie, the site of many rally starts over the years.
Brinkman’s team had basically re-assembled the ‘new’ Evo 5 in the week before the rally and he drover accordingly – quickly, but conservatively, with a finish in mind.

Paul Andrews had Del Garbett in his Evo 6 for this event, and Bernie Graf/Cameron Thompson rounded out the Lancer field at the top of the entry list.

Shepheard soon took the lead with some controlled, but fast driving over roads which in some cases had become quite treacherous after the rain. As the daytime stages unfolded a lead was established over Andrews, while Brinkman settled into third place.

With one 20 kilometre stage cancelled by the organisers, the cars returned to the rally HQ at Widgee where rain during the day had caused a minor flood for the assembled service crews.

After a lengthy break and regroup, two more stages were scheduled for the night, but the last stage of the event was cancelled due to increasing rain and the associated risks.
It was a decision that was well-received by the competitors.

The crews returned to Widgee for the official finish where Shepheard/Smith were credited with the win, from Andrews/Garnett and Brinkman/Richardson.

The final QRC results see Brinkman/Richardson taking a sufficient lead to provisionally win the Queensland State title for 2006.

Despite winning four rounds outright, the ‘best-five-of-six’ scenario for the season sees Glenn Brinkman and Steve Richardson compile more points that Shepheard/Smith, who suffered two DNFs this year.

These results are provisional at the time of writing.

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