East Gippsland will be alive with excitement and the sound of engines when the Alpine Rally of East Gippsland returns later this year.
The Alpine Rally, which was first run in 1921 is Australia’s oldest motorsport event and the fourth oldest motorsport event in the world. With a history like that, it is easy to see why such an iconic event attracts cars and crews from every mainland state and territory in Australia as well as Tasmania, New Zealand and the UK.
This year has seen nearly 300 expressions of interest to run the event for a possible spot in the field of 105 cars that will take to the forests of East Gippsland from Friday the 29th November.
Such is the attraction of the Alpine that it will field 6 ex Australian Rally Champions, numerous state champions as well as the newly crowned Australian Rally Champion Nathan Quinn who won his first title last week at Rally Australia, Australia’s round of the World Rally Championship.
Add to that 4 times Australian Champion Simon Evans, 2017 winner Ben Barker and a who’s who of Australia’s best rallying and you have probably the best field ever in the event.
This year has also attracted 4 of New Zealand’s best rally drivers including Dean Buist and Derek Ayson as well as Irish National rally competitor Greg McCormack who will all be in Ford Escort BDA’s.
The Alpine Rally will attract the largest field ever of historic rally cars seen in this country.
Event Director Owen Polanski said “Historic Rallying is the most popular form of the sport in the world at the moment, and Australia is no different. All cars must be over 30 years old, non turbo charged and non four wheel drive in keeping with the Alpines of old – which were tests of men and machines rather than technology. As well as that, the cars are incredibly exciting to watch” he said.
The Alpine Rally is organised and promoted by the Historic Rally Association. An event of this size needs the whole of the HRA to be involved – if you’re not competing, please volunteer to be an official.
Look for more information about the Alpine Rally of East Gippsland on alpinerally.org.au
Ben Barker & Damien Long, winners of the 2017 Alpine. Pic by Paul Mollison