Rally wraps up in style
AS fast as it roared in to town it was over.
Repco Rally Australia wrapped up in spectacular fashion at the Cudgen Leagues Club in Kingscliff yesterday afternoon.
Following months of planning, controversies and even a federal court appearance, the Tweed's first World Rally Championship event was declared a success.
Thousands of local, national and international motor sport enthusiasts turned out for the closing celebrations and to see five-times world champion Sebastien Loeb claim his trophy for the competition.
Champagne flew as the top three racers and their co-drivers celebrated the completion of the 35 new stages, spread out over 344km through the Tweed and Kyogle shires.
Mr Loeb said he approved of the new rally.
“I am really happy. It is really interesting this year to see what we can do; it was incredible in the final. I know some people think I'm not good at new rallies, but I don't know why. It was important for me to get this victory.”
Tweed Tourism general manager Phil Villiers said he is looking forward to seeing exactly how well the region faired.
“It has been a wonderful event. I think people will understand what the rally is all about now,” Mr Villiers said.
Rally Australia chairman Alan Evans declared the rally a success during a short speech at the closing.
“We will be back bigger and better than ever in two years' time,” Mr Evans said.
Rally Australia leaves two more rounds in the 2009 competition, Spain and Great Britain.Rally Results
1. Sebastien Loeb, Citroen 2h:52m:54.0s
2. Mikko Hirvonen, Ford +12.5s3
3. Dani Sordo, Citroen +17.1s
4. Sebastien Ogier, Citroen +1:35.8s
5. Jari-Matti Latvala, Ford +2:04.5s
6. Matthew Wilson, Ford +5:38.8s
7. Henning Solberg, Ford +7:30.3s
8. Federico Villagra, Ford +7:51.9s
9. Hayden Paddon, Mitsubishi +15:48.6s
10. Martin Prokop, Mitsubishi +15:57.2s