Doohan picked for role in rally

FIVE-TIME motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan joins Tweed Shire Council general manager Mike Rayner on the board of Repco Rally Australia, which is planning the controversial world championship event on the Tweed in September.

His appointment comes as the board gears up for the rally with a series of meetings around Australia to entice rally drivers to pay thousands of dollars in entry fees.

Even though the board is yet to lodge development applications with Tweed and Kyogle Shire councils, it plans to hold “briefing sessions” in Sydney and Melbourne later this month, and in Brisbane next month.

The meetings will cover the proposed rally route, WRC regulations, vehicle eligibility and other matters.

Mr Connelly said Doohan would make a significant contribution.

“Although Mick retired from grand prix racing in 1999, we hope to benefit from his experience and knowledge gained over 11 years on the motorcycle grand prix trail and from the contribution he has continued to make to motor sport since then,” Mr Connelly said.

Mr Doohan, who lives on the Gold Coast, said he hoped to contribute something from his long experience in international motorsport as a competitor and a consultant.

“I'm motorsport's biggest fan, so although my background is mostly with motorcycles I've also followed rallying, Formula One, and other forms of racing,” Doohan said.

“It's important for Australia to be part of world championship motorsport.”

The entry fee for Australian teams, which will compete in the international Group N or Super 2000 categories for production-based cars, has been set at $3058 including GST.

Organisers said that would include an accommodation voucher valued at $550, “bringing the net cost of a start in Repco Rally Australia to $2508”.

The rally is planned for September 3-6 on gravel roads in the Tweed and Kyogle shires but is to also include a stage run on three nights through the streets of Murwillumbah.

The rally headquarters and main service park are to be located at Kingscliff.

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