SWIFT RIDE: A rally car like this will be racing around Hideaway Bay and Bowen streets as the Queensland Rally Championships comes to the Whitsundays this October.
SWIFT RIDE: A rally car like this will be racing around Hideaway Bay and Bowen streets as the Queensland Rally Championships comes to the Whitsundays this October. SEYMOUR ANDREW

Million-dollar motorsport injection for the Whitsundays

START your engines, Whitsunday Regional Council this week approved $25,000 in sponsorship to host a round of the Queensland Rally Championships to jump-start the region's first Whitsunday Motoring Festival in October.

Mayor Andrew Willcox said major events such as the Queensland Rally Championships would have positive flow-on benefits for the whole region, with events planned in Proserpine, Airlie Beach, Bowen and Hydeaway Bay.

"The Whitsunday Motoring Festival will be a three-day event from October 12-14, with a series of motoring events designed to showcase our diverse region,” he said.

"Hosting round five of the Queensland Rally Championships will promote the Whitsundays as an ideal location for future rally events.

"On the back of the successful Round the World Clipper Carnival, which drew over 4000 visitors to the Whitsundays, this is another strategic investment by council to attract major state, national and international events.

"It is our hope that the inaugural Whitsunday Motoring Festival evolves from a round of the Queensland Rally Championships in year one, into an Australian Rally Championship next year and then a round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships in the near future.

"Attracting these championships forms a key part of council's broader strategy to spread events throughout the region, with future activities in Collinsville and surrounding areas being explored.

"The estimated flow-on economic benefits to our region from this inaugural event, with additional visitation from rally competitors, officials and spectators, is close to $1million.”

2018 festival

Regional events proposed as part of the 2018 Whitsunday Motoring Festival include:

DAY ONE

Rally cars and cars from associated motor clubs on display at Abell Point Marina

A parade of rally and motor club cars through the main street of Airlie Beach

A welcome function on the foreshore at Abell Point Marina - including live entertainment, food and beverage stalls and kids' activities

DAY TWO

Fifth and final round of Queensland Rally Championships utilising roads around Hideaway Bay and Bowen

Motoring HQ at Bowen foreshore, including street track and hill climb, with food and beverage stalls and kids' activities for spectators

Presentation evening for rally and motor club participants at Abell Point Marina

DAY THREE

Static display at Proserpine Showgrounds

Motoring activities at Tonker Park

Closing event for rally and motor club participants at Mantra Club Croc

Monster dress sale in Proserpine ahead of the Bowen Cup

Monster dress sale in Proserpine ahead of the Bowen Cup

Monster dress sale in Proserpine ahead of the Bowen Cup

Grass fire closes Bruce Highway

Grass fire closes Bruce Highway

Grass fire closes Bruce Highway

Proserpine families join to highlight good cause

Proserpine families join to highlight good cause

Colour Run for Child Protection Week a big success.

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