Monaro's fond farewell

Wednesday 02 August, 2023
Photos: Epic Sports Photography
The Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Stages have been through some tough challenges since its first running in 2017, but this year’s running will undoubtedly be the hardest, and its last.

Not only will this year be the last running of the popular event, but it will also be the first without legendary co-founder Debbie Quirk, who passed away earlier this year.

Quirk tragically lost her battle with cancer in June, but she did not lose the love of her community, nor her legacy, as her beloved rally event runs one last time in her honour.

In honour of Debbie, the Monaro Stages family, community, competitors and volunteers will raise funds for the Cancer Care Foundation who offered so much to Deb in her last few months.

Get more information on the Cancer Care Foundation.

Event co-organiser, Kim Winks was encouraging rally crews from around the state to get involved with the award-winning event to give it the send off it deserves.

“It’s quite sad that it will be the last ever Monaro Stages, and we have had a ball organising it for the past seven years, but after the year that we have had, we believe it’s the right time to finish it up,” Winks said.

“Debbie’s impact on the region will live on long past her time and the Monaro Stages itself and that’s why we want to do this and give the event a big send off.

“Year after year, the Monaro Stages has been an event that many have marked early on their calendars, with the mix of shire and forestry roads, great structure, and organisation the key elements to its success.

“Perhaps the most overbearing and impressive characteristic of the stages though, was its incredible perseverance of the team and their willingness to push on and go ahead, regardless of what got in its way.

“Whether it be rain, bushfires, threatening storms, or a global pandemic closing its roads, everyone involved in the event soldiered on,

“This shows the true character of the Monaro Stages and all the hours of sacrifice working behind the scenes will never be forgotten.”

Running now in August, the event will welcome two extra components to the outright honours, with the Techworkz ACT Regional Rally series and Northern Hyundai Rally Challenge also taking place.

Entered crews will take on six daylight stages, which will see them complete a total competitive distance of 93.92kms, the shortest event in its history.

Interested participants have until Friday 11 August to get their entry, which can be done by the Light Car Club of Canberra website.

The event’s presentation night at the Cooma Car Club will include a raffle with the main prize being a passenger ride in a rally car, proudly supported by Nathan Quinn and Ray Winwood-Smith, and Luff Motorsport.

Ahead of the final event, Winks and co-founder David Ballard were highly thankful to a large collection of people who helped the event ‘s success in the past seven years.

“There are so many people who have contributed to this incredible event – and without all of them, our event couldn’t be possible,” Winks added.

“Firstly, Andrew and Georgina Penny, the owners of Kosciuszko Automotive, Todd Satchell and Megan Chow, who later owned the event, as well as Skymesh, who made the area in the forest accessible with a satellite dish.

“Jindabyne Brewing and Wildbrumby Schnapps have always provided refreshment and prizes for the competitors.

“The Bombala Lions Club, Cooma Bowling Club, Bombala Waste, Brian from Bondi Forest Lodge, Forestry NSW, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, and the Cooma Police have been instrumental in keeping this event in the public’s eye.

“Motorsport Australia, its Permits team and CEO Eugene Arocca have been a saving grace with expert advice and professionalism when times were tough.

“We couldn’t have run this event without the wonderful guidance of our car club, The Light Car Club of Canberra and their belief that we could bring this event into a new region.  We can’t thank them enough for supporting and believing in us.

“We would like to thank every competitor, every volunteer and especially our families and friends who helped us along the way.”

The Kosciuszko Automotive Monaro Stages takes place in the Coolungubra Forest around Bombala on Saturday, 26 August.
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