Organisers of next month’s International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast are hoping big crowds turn out to see world-class overseas drivers in action following the announcement of the event program and launch of discounted early-bird spectator tickets today.

Crews representing at least eight countries plus Australia will start the rally on Friday night 30 July with the spectacular Coates Hire Rally Shootout “super special stage” under lights at Caloundra, before tackling two days of forestry special stages in the northern hinterland.

General Admission tickets priced from (adult) $15 with a 20 percent pre-event discount and passes to Corporate Hospitality facilities can be booked now on the official website,

The rally is expected to attract up to 70 entries representing Japan, Malaysia, Britain, New Zealand, India, New Caledonia, Indonesia, Europe and Australia, to contest round four of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, round five of the Australian Rally Championship and supporting categories, including classic rally cars.

Australia’s Chris Atkinson, formerly with the Subaru World Rally Team, British Rally Champion and former Mitsubishi factory driver Alister McRae and Production World Rally Championship contenders Guarav Gill from India and Katsu Taguchi from Japan are among the international stars already entered for Australia’s biggest championship rally of the year.

The program announced by Event Director Errol Bailey includes opportunities for spectators to see the drivers and cars in action at Caloundra and Imbil or up-close during breaks at Imbil, Kenilworth and Cooroy.

The highlight will be the Coates Hire Rally Shootout on a 2.3-kilometre bitumen stage at the Sunshine Coast Industrial Park adjacent to Corbould Park horse racing track.

The Shootout marks the event’s return to Caloundra for a spectator stage for the first time since 2005 and the return as a major rally sponsor of Coates Hire, Australia’s biggest equipment hire company.

“The opening night Coates Hire Rally Shootout, which will include a rally show with driver autograph sessions, product displays, children’s rides and food and drink outlets, will bring the sight, sound and atmosphere of special stage rallying within an easy drive of people within the South-east Queensland region,” Mr Bailey said.

“The cars will race against the clock in the first two competitive stages of the rally, but instead of running one at a time they will be sent off pursuit-style in batches of two or three, which will really add to the excitement.

“General viewing will be excellent from trackside mounds, while corporate guests will enjoy access to the fully-catered Party Deck.”

The weekend focus will switch to the Mary Valley township of Imbil, with General Admission and Corporate Hospitality tickets available on-line for the Spectator Park and free entry allowed for the Novus Autoglass Service Park in the Imbil Showgrounds, where cars will visit five times before the official finish is held there on Sunday afternoon 1 August.

Imbil is making a special effort to welcome visitors this year. A “mayoral welcome” for crews, spectators and locals at the Mary Valley Show Society’s “U ROCK with IROQ” dance party in the service park on Saturday night will feature Sunshine Coast Regional Council Mayor Bob Abbot and his eight-piece Boreen Point Connexion band.

Supporting a policy of introducing the sport of rallying to more people, the International Rally of Queensland will visit two other regional towns on Saturday – Kenilworth for an 8 am service break in a closed section of the main street and Cooroy at 5 pm for a street display in conjunction with local community clubs.

“We have planned this year’s International Rally of Queensland to be the best yet and packed it with attractions for the serious and casual fan,” Mr Bailey said.

“It’s the biggest championship rally in Australia this year and the only chance to see world-renowned drivers like Chris Atkinson and Alister McRae of the Proton R3 Malaysia team in action.

“Not only will it be exciting; we’ve also made every effort to make it easy and inexpensive to see for people throughout the Sunshine Coast region.”

Sixteen gravel Special Stages will be run over Saturday and Sunday in the Imbil State Forest, near Gympie. The total competitive distance of 276 kilometres includes two stages of around 35 kms, among the longest in international rallying.

Event Highlights

Friday 30 July
(from 7.30pm Super Special Stages 1, 2)
6 pm Caloundra, Coates Hire Rally Shootout super special stage and rally show (tickets required)

Saturday 31 July
(from 8.25am Special Stages 2-10)
8am Kenilworth, competitor service break
5 pm Cooroy, rally crews meet-and-greet and car display
5.30pm Imbil, U ROCK with IROQ dance party
All day Imbil, Spectator Park (tickets required)
All day Imbil, Novus Autoglass Service Park

Sunday 1 August
(from 8.22am, Special Stages 11-18)
All day Imbil, Spectator Park (tickets required)
All day Imbil, Novus Autoglass Service Park
3.30pm Imbil, Novus Autoglass Service Park, official finish and podium presentation

Ticket Prices
(General Admission tickets discounted 20 percent until 26 July)

Friday 30 July
Coates Hire Rally Shootout, Caloundra
General Admission, adult $20, child (under 14) $5
Corporate Hospitality Party Deck, adult $149 (10 people, pay for nine $1035), includes two-course meal, bar, parking

Saturday 31 July, Sunday 1 August
Imbil Spectator Park
General Admission, per day adult $15, child (under 14) $5
Corporate Hospitality, per day $99 (10 people, pay for nine $891), includes two-course meal, bar, parking

Event Super Pass (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
General Admission adult $35, child (under 14) $10

On-line tickets and spectator information are available at
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