After what has been a turbulent year in Queensland, the Acworth Recruitment Motorsport Australia Queensland Rally Championship (QRC) finally gets underway with the Globe Roamer III Rally – Imbil.
In what will be the first rally in the state for 2022, a bumper field of 51 crews have entered the event where they will tackle almost 100 competitive kilometres over two passes of four stages.
There is plenty of star power taking part in the one-day event on Saturday, with a handful of RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) drivers and co-drivers to lead the line.
One of those co-drivers is Brad Jones and he will be sitting in the number one car alongside 2019 Imbil winner Ryan Smart – the 1979 Datsun Stanza driver also leading the charge for the grand return of the East Coast Rally Series.
Smart and Jones will have their hands full throughout the event though with the likes of Tristan Carrigan and Jennifer Prince, Marius Swart and Ryan Preston, Andrew Carrigan and Liam Hinschen in the 1999 Mitsubishi Magna TH and Clay Badenoch and James Wilson all to offer a serious challenge.
In addition to the top five crews are a number of ARC crews, led by Irishman Ronnie Bustard and Larisa Biggar who are fresh from a career-high ARC top five at last month’s The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally.
Cameron Henry is another ARC driver to compete, while young gun Josh Wiedman will be back in a rally car after competing in last weekend’s Hindmarsh Shire Rainbow Desert Enduro.
Another noteworthy aspect about the event’s entry list is the surge of women involved, with three drivers and 16 co-drivers competing in the event.
Two of the drivers in Kim Acworth and Michelle van der Wilk will team up with female co-drivers, Amy Davidson and Kass Brumley, giving them an all-women crew, while the experienced Melinda Bergmann, Claire Buccini and Larissa Biggar will all be in the co-driver seats – the latter of which was thrilled with the amount of female representation.
“There has always been a lot of female participation in Queensland, but this is the best I've seen in a long time,” Biggar said.
“To have three female drivers, two of which will be in all-woman crews, and 20 women sitting in a rally car is amazing. Obviously, there are the other women behind the scenes, with some holding key official roles.
“I'm just so pleased that Queensland rallying has always been a supportive and diverse community, and I feel like it's slowly reaping the rewards.”
Click here to view the entry list.
As for the event organisers themselves, the rally has been a long time in the making for the Brisbane Sporting Car Club.
Although there was rain predicted for Friday, club President Dom Corkeron was looking forward to finally running an event.
“The club is really looking forward to finally getting a rally under our belt,” Corkeron said.
“It’s been a start-stop year and there is no surprise that there is a huge field of 51 crews entered as Imbil is a traditional favourite and a rally that everyone in Queensland looks forward to.
“There is a little bit of rain before the event, but it’s nothing serious and it should settle the dust off and I think it’s going to be a fantastic day.”
Click here for more information on the event.
The Globe Roamer III Rally – Imbil takes place in Imbil on Saturday 10 September.