Brisbane Sporting Car Club hosted Round 1 of the Queensland Rally Championships last weekend in the picturesque town of Manumbar at Mount Stanley. Teams woke to a fantastic sunrise on Saturday morning, that unfortunately didn’t carry on through the day, with the first rains starting as drivers got set to begin Special Stage One and sticking around throughout the day.
The five-stage course proved to be a tough one, with many drivers coming off and suffering damage towards the end of stage one. Hugh Scott and co-driver Neill Woolley suffered a rough slide, ending their hopes of finishing the course as their newly-rebuilt Datto collected a tree, and proving a challenge for recovery teams to remove. Both driver and co-driver walked away from the accident unharmed, though the same could not be said of the Datto.
Ian Menzies and co-driver Robert McGowan took out the win in their ’98 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, with a total time of 1:18:55, almost four minutes faster than second placed Kent Lawrence and co-driver James Wilson. The first round of the QRC saw a large field of entrants, with four allcomers taking their place, and the Queensland Junior Rally Champion Wayne Morton joining the challenge in an attempt to claim his third title before moving up to join the next class. He and co-driver Megan Benson posted a final time of 1:42:57 in their Diahatsu Charade.
Manumbar proved to be a challenging start to the year of rally for Queensland, testing the mettle and spirit of drivers and cars alike in harsh conditions. The stage has been set for an amazing year of rallying, with a good show of spectators despite the distance from towns. Australian Motorsport Photography had five photographers in attendance, capturing photo and video footage of all the action, thrills, and the spills throughout the morning. You can check out the action at ausmotophoto.com.au or find us on facebook.