Asian rally stars in Australian this weekend

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A record entry of 96 cars, including 16 from overseas, is set to make the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast on 13-15 May the biggest championship rally spectacle in Australia for many years.

Cars and drivers representing 10 countries, from Australia to Britain and China, will tackle two days and two nights of special-stage competition between Caloundra, 100 kilometers north of Brisbane, and the Mary Valley forests in the Gympie-Cooloola region.

Karamjit Singh Karamjit Singh

Seeded entry lists published at the weekend include Australia’s most successful international driver Chris Atkinson, two-time FIA Asia Pacific Rally Champion Katsuhiko Taguchi of Japan, British Rally Champions Alister McRae and Mark Higgins, Indian Rally Champion Guarav Gill, Indonesian Champion Rifat Sungkar and the current leader of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship, Sunshine Coast local Ryan Smart.

An undoubted star will be Asia’s most successful rally driver, Karamjit Singh of Malaysia, winner of the Production World Rally Championship, three Asia Pacific titles, his own country’s championship 10 times and the Thai championship, among other titles.

Spectators will see some of the fastest rally drivers from around the world and the best cars, like the works Proton Satria Neo S2000s from Malaysia and Group N Mitsubishi Evolutions run by teams from Japan, Australia, China, India and Indonesia.