Mayor floats car rally plan

Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala competing in the Repco Australia World Championship Rally held in the Kyogle and Tweed shires in September.
Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala competing in the Repco Australia World Championship Rally held in the Kyogle and Tweed shires in September. Cathy Adams

A MOTOR SPORT event could be held in Kyogle every year, with mayor Ross Brown supporting an idea to hold an ‘off season’ race in alternate years to the Repco Rally Australia.

Kyogle and Tweed Shires hosted the Australian leg of the World Rally Championships in September and the race will not return until 2011 as Australia shares hosting rights with New Zealand.

However, it seems that Kyogle is set to become a rally haven.

“I would be interested in having that,” Councillor Brown told The Northern Star about supporting an alternative race each year.

“It would keep the momentum of the Repco Rally going and would keep interest in the area.

“It would also give us a chance to have a bit of a practice run before the next World Rally.”

The race would be organised by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports, which organises 1800 events every year.

The Mayor said the council’s discussions with CAMS were ‘not advanced’.

“The off season race is not something that has been formally discussed by the council,” Cr Brown said.

“I don’t think the internal discussions in CAMS are very far along yet, either.”

It is understood the idea was first mooted at a meeting between Rally Australia officials and the Kyogle Chamber of Commerce in the lead up to September’s rally.

“They did indicate if things went well (at the Rally) they would look at doing something in the off-years,” Kyogle councillor and former president of the chamber Lynette Zito said.

It was proposed that a hard surface motor sport event could be held in Kyogle, she said.

However, Cr Zito also said the confederation would be pressed to find enough sealed road in Kyogle to hold such an event.

The chamber told the rally it wanted the economic benefits Murwillumbah would get from the rally’s support of the motor sport event, Speed on Tweed.

The event had been set to fold but won a last minute reprieve on the back of Rally Australia and is now set to continue each September.

It’s believed a decision about whether an off-season car race will be held in Kyogle next year will be made in December or March, when CAMS has its next meetings.

Cr Brown said the decision would rest on whether the Repco Rally Australia was approved for 2011.

“They will obviously need to know as soon as possible,” he said.

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