WRC stars boost Rally Queensland’s attraction
- 3rd May 2010, 11:15am
Boosted by the entry of World Rally stars including Chris Atkinson and Alister McRae, the International Rally of Queensland is seeking a naming sponsor for what promises to be its most spectacular event yet.
As round four of the 2010 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, the International Rally of Queensland on 30 July – 1 August will be Australia’s biggest championship rally of the year and, after the Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix, the only other Australian round of an FIA championship.
Organisers have launched a search for a naming rights sponsor, plus sponsors and partners at other levels. It also is offering corporate entertainment packages at two venues.
The rally already has signed substantial three-year agreements with the Queensland Events Regional Development Program and the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
It will be based on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane and, in addition to thousands of spectators, is expected to draw more than 1000 team members, media, officials and supporters from overseas and throughout Australia for up to a week.
Dedicated television coverage will be broadcast in Australia on Network Ten and ONE HD and internationally to more than 55 countries, including China, Malaysia, Singapore Hong Kong, Indonesia and across Europe.
Rallying is the second most popular international motor sport after Formula 1. Its following here has surged since the World Rally Championship Repco Rally Australia round in northern New South Wales last September.
Last month the International Rally of Queensland received a further boost when car maker Proton signed Atkinson and McRae to drive for its crack new “works” team in the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, in which the International Rally of Queensland features alongside events in Japan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Caledonia and New Zealand.
With more than 140 World Rally Championship starts between them Gold Coast-based Atkinson, formerly with the Subaru World Rally Team, and Perth-based Scot McRae, formerly with Mitsubishi Ralliart, are the highest-profile squad to tackle the regional championship in several years.
“Having Chris Atkinson and Alister McRae in the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship has already created tremendous extra media interest in the International Rally of Queensland,” Event Director Errol Bailey said.
“These two drivers plus other current APRC competitors like Guarav Gill from India and former champion Katsu Taguchi from Japan are bona fide world-level rally stars and in the absence of an Australian WRC round this year, Queensland will be the only place fans will be able to see them in action.
“Many of those fans, media, supporters, sponsors and suppliers who can’t attend will be following the drivers’ progress via our live results service from around the world.
“The high profile of this year’s International Rally of Queensland, the security of government backing and the fact the event has guaranteed, dedicated national and international TV coverage make our sponsorship, partnership and corporate hospitality packages extremely attractive.
“There’s a worthwhile opportunity for every business, from local to global.”
International Rally of Queensland is expected to attract around 70 cars and crews contesting the FIA APRC round, plus rounds of the Australian Rally Championship and Queensland Rally Championship and a special section for the crowd-pleasing classic rally cars such as the Ford Escort BDA.
Event headquarters will be at the SurfAir at Marcoola Beach resort.
The rally will start on Friday night with a spectator-friendly Super Special Stage under lights at Caloundra, followed on Saturday by a breakfast-time “pit stop” in the hinterland town of Kenilworth before cars tackle the serious gravel Special Stages from the main Service Park in Imbil, in the Mary Valley.
A further stop and a chance for the public to see the cars and drivers is being planned for the return leg from Imbil to SurfAir resort on Saturday. The rally finishes on Sunday.
Corporate hospitality facilities will be available at the Caloundra Super Special Stage on Friday night and the Imbil Spectator Park and Service Park on Saturday and Sunday.
Sponsorship and hospitality information, including contacts, is available on the event website, www.rallyqueensland.com.au.
The International Rally of Queensland is benefiting from Significant Regional Event Scheme (SRES) funding under the Queensland Events Regional Development Program (QERDP).
The QERDP is an investment program designed to extend the flow of economic and social benefits of events to regional Queensland. The SRES celebrates and supports those events that have a particularly strong track record of growth and economic success for their region.
A state-wide initiative, the program is committed to enhancing existing events in regional Queensland, as well as assisting in the establishment of new events.
Since the QERDP began in 2001, more than $13.6 million has been invested in 645 regional events, an indicator of the important role these events play in their communities and wider Queensland.
IROQ also is supported by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.
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