A “Super Special Stage” has been locked in for Ballarat’s leg of the Australian Rally Championship later this year.
While the majority of the race will take place on Sunday, August 24, the exciting new stage will be held on the Saturday night prior.
Organisers are planning for the event to be conducted at Victoria Park in Ballarat.
This new stage is designed to allow spectators an up-close experience of racing and has become a highlight of many of the events in the ARC series.
Sunday’s racing will feature about 120 competitive kilometres, with new stages in the Pyrenees region organised by the new event managers.
Clerk of the course Andrew Roseman said the new Eureka Rush – titled the Eureka Rally in 2018 – was an exciting prospect.
“This condensed format promises to make things easier for competitors and their teams, as well as provide spectators with an opportunity to witness the cars up close on our Super Special Stage right in Ballarat on Saturday night,” Roseman said.
Held as the first rally of the national championship season last year, the Ballarat leg will be the fourth race in 2019.
The Australian Rally Championship calendar will start in Perth with the Forest Rally between April 5-7.
Following the season opener, crews will head to Canberra for the Capital Rally on May 11 before travelling to the Apple Isle for the second Rally Tasmania from June 21-23.
After the Eureka Rush, the penultimate round will be held in South Australia with the Adelaide Hills Rally to again be based out of Mount Barker. It is scheduled between September 20-22.
Finally, crews will head to Rally Australia, alongside the FIA World Rally Championship.
Harry Bates and co-driver John McCarthy produced a brilliant display to go back-to-back in the Eureka Rally last year.
The Toyota Genuine Parts combination set the track alight around Ballarat over two days, winning both heats with success across 11 of the 15 stages.
They finished clear of Steve Glenney and Michael Potter in second position and third-placed Eli Evans and Ben Searcy.
Last year’s rally was held in early March.