Frackrell Woolley takes a corner during his run of the stage out at Kyogle, Hillyards Road.
Frackrell Woolley takes a corner during his run of the stage out at Kyogle, Hillyards Road. Marc Stapelberg

Border Ranges Rally to hit the adrenalin button this weekend

THE spectacular sights and sounds of rally cars singing at full throttle and sliding sideways on gravel roads around Kyogle and Woodenbong are set to thrill spectators at the 2014 Brakes Direct Border Ranges Rally.

This weekend, more than 50 rally cars will push their limits over three days of adrenaline charged action, Clerk of the Course Stephen Davies said.

Kyogle's Hillyards Rd stage, which played host to Thursday's Media Day, will provide the perfect vantage point for spectators.

"Spectators at the Hillyards can expect a good view of the cars from a great distance plus all the sights and sounds that make rally so exciting," Mr Davies said.

Held on roads in the Urbenville area since 2006, Mr Davies said this will be the second year running that roads in the Kyogle shire, used in the 2009 World Rally Championship, will feature.

"That's a fairly large attraction for drivers to be able to drive on those same roads," he said.

"The roads are quite exceptional compared to some of the other roads in the country."

"And the people who live on the stages openly welcome us."

For the first time, Mr Davies said competitors from NSW and Queensland will battle it out for the Border Shield, donated by the Kyogle Motor Traders.

The 16 stages of the rally will see cars in various classes tackle eight stages on roads around the Woodenbong and Urbenville areas and eight in the Kyogle area.

Kyogle Showground will be the place to be on Friday night, with two cars at a time will face off in head-to-head racing, providing spectacular action for spectators.

Organised by the Gold Coast Tweed Motorsporting Club, the rally features everything from classics like Ford Escorts, to turbocharged all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Lancers and Subaru WRX's.

Motorsports sceptic finally gets it

I'VE never been a car enthusiast, and so it was with great scepticism that I bundled into the car with our reporter and headed out to Kyogle.

Dust, sunshine, bush fire smoke and engines greeted us as we arrived at the Hillyards road site.

I was impressed by the cars roaring up and down the track, but not convinced.

Then it was my turn.

I put the cameras down and strapped into the Mitsubishi with its roll cage, speedometer and foot pedals which allow the navigator to operate the windscreen wipers and other functions.

You truly feel like you are part of the car, the bucket seats enveloping you, and the helmet keeping your head locked into position.

The only thought left in my brain as the car took off from starting position was of the opening scene from Top Gun.

The speed was incredible.

The cars hugged the ground.

Your peripheral vision blurs and all you see is the next corner.

But the fear kicks in when you think the driver should have hit brakes.

One second, two seconds, three seconds pass and still the driver has not hit the brakes.

In fact, he is still speeding up.

And it is at this point you realise that these guys are professionals.

Everything is based on sheer concentration, quick thinking, predictive thinking and precision.

They turn driving into an art.

And it clicks.

This is why this sport has so many fans.

And if corners give you the creeps, then the heavy set trees sitting right on the side of the road are downright terrifying.

One wrong move and you are in serious trouble.

- Marc Stapelberg



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