TOP GEAR: Former Queensland rally champion Clay Weston will be in the race for victory at this weekend's Byfield Fire Tower Rally Sprint.
TOP GEAR: Former Queensland rally champion Clay Weston will be in the race for victory at this weekend's Byfield Fire Tower Rally Sprint. Contributed ROK170516rally11

Cars race back to Byfield for weekend rally sprint

MOTOR SPORTS: Rally cars will return to the Byfield State Forest for the first time in nearly a decade this weekend.

Thirteen teams have nominated for the Central Queensland Motor Sporting Club's Byfield Fire Tower Rally Sprint on Saturday.

CQMSC publicity officer Craig Jervis said it was great to see racing return to the forest which had been a regular venue for club events and rounds of the Queensland rally championship.

"This is the first time we've been able to get back to Byfield after natural disasters caused a lot of damage there in recent times,” he said.

"This weekend's event will be a good chance to score some points with all parties involved.

"Hopefully it will be the first of many more rally sprints we have up there.”

Jervis said there were two courses of about 8km. Teams would run both of them three times one way and three times in the opposite direction.

Racing will rev into action at 10am, with a car leaving the start line every two minutes.

Megan Benson will be a navigator in the upcoming World Rally Championships at Coffs Harbour.
Megan Benson will get behind the wheel on Saturday. Chris Ison ROK051117crally2

Jervis said the field included former Queensland rally champions Clay Weston and Megan Benson.

"They're all quality teams and there should be some close, exciting racing,” he said.

"We haven't raced there for a long time so I dare say everyone will be a little wary of each other.

"They will be cautious as they try out the courses in the first few runs but I'd expect them to start hooking in after lunch.”

Spectators are welcome; visit the CQMSC website or Facebook page for directions to the spectator points.

Brisbane's Ray Vandersee was crowned the Mountain Legend at the inaugural CQ Crane Hire Gold Rush Hill Sprint.
Brisbane's Ray Vandersee was crowned the Mountain Legend at the inaugural CQ Crane Hire Gold Rush Hill Sprint. arp33.com

Meanwhile, Jervis said planning was going well for the second CQ Crane Hire Gold Rush Hill Sprint on July 13 and 14.

The success of the inaugural event last year prompted organisers to expand it to two days this year.

"Everything's moving forward and we've been overwhelmed with entries,” he said.

"We have 238 entries vying for a start in this year's hill sprint, and we're currently in the process of bringing that down to about 125 to 150.

"We are working through some conditions with the Department of Transport and once we have our permit, it will be full steam ahead.”