In a major coup for Ballarat’s tourism sector, a Victorian event has been included as the opening round of this year’s CAMS Australian Rally Championship® following a two-year hiatus.
The Eureka rally will be hosted by Ballarat with competition taking place in the pine plantations to the northeast of Ballarat on the weekend of 17-19 March after a ceremonial start on the Friday afternoon.
“The Australian Rally Championship has a Victorian round this year with the addition of the Eureka Rally. The regional city of Ballarat will host the event and reap a major boost for the tourism sector with an influx of competitors, support crews and spectator after vital support from the State government’s Visit Victoria and Ballarat City Councils Visit Ballarat tourism programs secured the viability of the event. ” Event Manager Katie Philps said.
The Subaru do Motorsport entry of defending Australian champion Molly Taylor will headline the field in her Subaru WRX. The competition is expected to include triple Australian Rally Champion, Eli Evans who will be returning to the fray this season in a brand new Mini Cooper AP4 and rising star, Harry Bates, who will return in his Toyota Corolla S2000. Bates was the surprise package in last year’s championship and will be out to win his first Australian title this year.
Apart from the Australian Championship contenders, the event will see a full field of Victorian crews, with their eye on this year’s Focus on Furniture & Bedding Victorian Rally Championship. And the very popular national historic championship field will return in a selection of mouth-watering rally cars from the past including Ford Escort BDA’s, an Audi Quattro and a replica factory Toyota Celica.
With rallying being such a spectator friendly sport, the public will be able to get up close and personal with the crews at the rally hub in Victoria Park from Friday afternoon and the organisers will provide detailed instructions to enable the public to get to the spectator points in the forest to catch all the on-stage action.
The event will get underway on Friday March 17 from 4.00pm in the Bridge Street Mall, with competition starting early on Saturday morning in the Wombat Forest and in the Creswick Forest on Sunday.