Rally slides

THE recent floods that hit the Coffs Coast have claimed another victim.

The Coffs Harbour round of the Australian Rally Championship, which was to be held on the weekend of June 27 and 28, has been postponed.

The reason for the postponement is the state of the race circuit.

The sodden forestry roads used in the event were extensively damaged by water and landslip.

“Key stages like Sherwood are impassable with landslip and in some parts the roads have been washed down the mountain,” Coffs Coast Rally manager Martin Quinn said.

“You can't even get through with a 4WD.”

While the rebuilding of the roads is frustrating for Quinn and the hard-working crew at the Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Club, there is a strong possibility that there will be a silver lining to this setback.

“NSW Forestry has committed to rebuilding the roads and maintains that they may end up being better than they were before the rain damage,” Quinn said.

At this stage new dates for the popular Daikin Coffs Coast Rally haven't been set but the Australian Rally Commission and the Australian Rally Championship is working with the Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Club to come up with a suitable replacement date.

While NSW Forestry is working to repair roads to an acceptable condition, the decision to postpone was considered wise due to the short amount of time between now and the proposed race start at the end of June.

Quinn added that the original dates set down for the rally are now too close for the repairs that will be made in that time to be effective enough to ensure the safety of all competitors as well as the comfort of the many spectators.

“Our sponsors understand our position and we are sure rally competitors and spectators will understand we have not taken this decision lightly,” he said.

“Whilst the forestry could have the roads ready, they would have little time to consolidate and the chance of damage on new sections of roads is too big.”

The revised date of the Daikin Coffs Coast Rally will be announced at the earliest opportunity.

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