Repco Rally at Kingscliff.
Repco Rally at Kingscliff. Craig Sadler

Kyogle chasing speed

KYOGLE is hoping to follow the lead of Murwillumbah’s Speed on Tweed by establishing an “off-season” race in alternate years to the Repco Rally Australia.

The idea of an annual event has the support of Mayor Ross Brown.

“I would be interested in having that,” he said.

“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 (CAMS), which organises 1800 events every year.

It could make a decision about the proposed off-season race as early as next month.

But Cr Brown 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,” he 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 Repco Rally officials and the Kyogle Chamber of Commerce in the lead-up to September’s rally.

“They did indicate if things went well (at the Repco 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 roads in Kyogle to hold such an event.

The chamber told the rally it wanted to enjoy the same economic benefits Murwillumbah received from the rally’s support of Speed on Tweed.

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

It is understood the new event would be held to maintain the presence of motor sport in the region and to develop the sport’s environmental credentials.

A decision on whether Kyogle will host an off-season race next year could be made either next month or in March, when CAMS has its next meetings.

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

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

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