AND THEY’RE OFF! The launch of the International Rally of Queensland at Kings Beach, Caloundra.
AND THEY’RE OFF! The launch of the International Rally of Queensland at Kings Beach, Caloundra. Brett Wortman

Stars come out to rally for race cause

RALLY stars from seven countries turned out with their cars for a colourful ceremonial start and free street party to begin the 2014 International Rally of Queensland at Caloundra's Kings Beach Park overnight.

European champion Jan Kopecky, Asia Pacific Champion Gaurav Gill, Jun Xu from China and home-grown Brendan Reeves previewed the line-up of almost 60 cars contesting the event.

The event will run over the weekend, hosting rounds of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship, Australian Classic Rally Challenge, Queensland Rally Championship and support categories, on closed roads in the Mary Valley around Kenilworth and Imbil.

Spectator facilities will be provided at four points on the competitive Super Special Stages.

Director Paul Woodward said the Ceremonial Start's return to Kings Beach after a one-year absence was part of the rally's aim to build its involvement with the Sunshine Coast.

"The rally has been on the Sunshine Coast since 1997 and is one of the region's biggest annual sports events," he said. "It brings direct economic benefit with the estimated 2000-plus team personnel and supporters who visit the Coast, plus massive tourism promotion through dedicated television coverage into almost 120 countries.

"The Kings Beach Ceremonial Start has always been a popular event with Coast locals. It's an easy, family-friendly way to catch the stars and cars before the serious part of the weekend begins.''

See http://www.rallyqueensland.com.au.

RALLY

TODAY: Imbil Forest Stages Kenilworth Showgrounds start 7.30am.

TOMORROW: Imbil Forest Stages

ENTRY: One-day ticket: $20, One-day pass: $25, Gold Pass $60, kids under 14 free.


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