New service park for Rally Australia
Rally Australia has confirmed a new location for the service park on this year's penultimate round of the World Rally Championship.
The cars will be tended to between the stages at the Walter Peate Reserve, the home of the Cudgen Rugby League Club, in Kingscliff. This venue had been the event's preferred option but when the organizers outlined a route, the reserve had not been available. Subsequent approval from the clubs using the ground and from a nearby retirement village has been granted to the event.
Rally Australia organizing committee chairman Garry Connelly said: "The service park will be the base for the field of up to 60 cars in the lead-up and during Rally Australia on September 3-6.
"The service park will be a major attraction for rally fans, who will have free entry to walk among the areas occupied by Citroen, Ford and other world-class teams."
Spectators will be able to see the drivers and cars at close quarters when they return to the service park throughout the rally for servicing, repairs or overnight garaging.
"It will be like the pits at a Formula 1 grand prix, but with the exciting difference that entry is free and people will be able to even talk to the drivers if they are available.
"While its re-location will reduce any impact on Kingscliff and its residents, I am confident the benefits will be undiminished. Holiday lettings will still be heavy, restaurants will be busy and other retail outlets serving visitors should do cracking trade in line with the forecasts of our independent economic impact survey."
This October's Rally Australia will be the nation's first WRC round since 2006. It will also be the first time the event has run on the east coast of Australia.