Bega Valley Rally revs up with high profile guests

High profile visitor: Four-time Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates, pictured with the WRC spec Corolla he raced in Canberra in 2017, will visit for the Bega Valley Rally.
High profile visitor: Four-time Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates, pictured with the WRC spec Corolla he raced in Canberra in 2017, will visit for the Bega Valley Rally.

All approvals are in place for the 2019 Bega Valley Rally, organisers say.

About five weeks out from the June long weekend, all the paperwork is finalised and entries are flowing in says committee member Kim Boyd.

About 60 driver-navigator pairs are expected to contest the Valley Rally, which this year will run across 14 stages spanning about 350km of pristine Shire and forest roads.

"We'll have the same stages up on the northern end, but we've been able to add a couple of extra stages down the back of Towamba for the weekend," Mr Boyd said.

"So it will be a bit longer than last years and all the approvals are in place."

Rob and Bec Motbey of Momsen Motors are again backing the event as name sponsors and Mr Boyd said excitement was already palpable for the 2019 edition of the rally.

This year will see some massive names of the motorsport world take to the roads of the Bega Valley including four-time Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates.

Bates is the former boss of local driver Ben Barker when the pair rallied for the Toyota production team in the early 2000s.

It should build something of a great rivalry with Barker heading into the event looking for a third-straight crown after winning the rally in 2017 and 2018.

Another headline visitor will be club guest Colin Bond who was among the first crew in what became the dominant Holden Racing Team (HRT) and is a three-time Australian Rally Champion.

Nathan and Alexander.

Nathan and Alexander.

Bond has also been the Australian Touring Car Champion and a Bathurst 1000 winner.

Meanwhile, budding local navigator Alexander Eadie is expected to be on show again with defending Australian Rally Champion Nathan Quinn eager to bring the Mazda RX-2 for another run.

The event will continue under the AMSAG race rules with Mr Boyd saying it was "a good system and we liked their organisation".

The rally will feature day and night stages across the Bega Valley during the long weekend of June 8-9.

Mr Boyd said there had been no concerns with night stages previously and driver feedback had been enormously positive.

There will be a few spectator points for some of the southern stages as well as access to the crew areas with details to be released closer to the date.