Drivers rev up for rally

FIVE-TIME Australian rally champion Ross Dunkerton will compete in this year's Border Ranges Rally.

During his professional career Dunkerton drove for Nissan and Ford and spent seven years with Mitsubishi, where he won 33 international events.

All stages of the Border Ranges Rally will run on gravel in daylight on August 25 and will include roads around Kyogle.

Saturday-morning gravel stages will start at Kyogle, followed by Woodenbong and Urbenville, before two night tarmac stages around Woodenbong.

The event has run in parts of the Woodenbong and Urbenville areas since its inception in 2005.

"The roads down here are legendary and the support from the locals is fantastic," rally organiser Stephen Davies said.

"Kyogle and Woodenbong showgrounds have been booked for the weekend of the rally."

The rally will start at the Kyogle Showground on Friday, August 24, with a special super stage promotional night.

Vehicles used will range from classics to the most modern all-wheel-drive specialist machinery.

Lismore driver Ed Mulligan and Brisbane's Stewart Reid are expected to perform well.

"Grunter Datsuns, a Leyland TR8 V8 and rotary Mazdas are just a few of the other classic cars being entered," Davies said.

Kyogle had previously hosted the Australian leg of the World Rally Championship, before organised anti-rally groups forced the event to Coffs Harbour last year.

"The event is spectator friendly, with some of the best viewing points from the 2009 World Rally Championship," Davies said.

"It won't be anywhere near as big as the World Rally Championship but we expect to bring 500 people into the region.

"We also look to use community organisations like the Rural Fire Brigade and SES, so that they can raise funds for new equipment and training."

Event media liaison officer Colin O'Brien said they were still seeking a naming rights sponsor from the local community.