To be held at the METEC Driver Education Centre in Victoria's Bayswater North on February 17, the Shannons Rally Retro Festival is specifically for rally cars of note.
At the event's fifth edition, spectators will not only see the cars in static display but also hear and see the cars in action as they are driven over a specially designed rally course adjacent to the display area.
“To have a supporter of historic motorsport of the calibre of Shannons is a wonderful endorsement of what Rally Retro has become. Its popularity has grown so much, along with the standard of the rally cars presented since the first event back in 2019,” said event director Rob Cranston.
The cars that will be on display are handpicked and invited by the organisers. There will be rally cars from the Datsun, Renault and Ford works teams from the 1970s and early 1980s.
Already confirmed are the Australian Championship Toyotas Celicas of Neal Bates Motorsport and a sprinkling of World Rally Championship cars, resident in Australia that are rarely seen in public. There will be at least three World Rally Lancias (037, Stratos, Delta Integrale) and a Renault R5 Turbo.
Many of the original cars are restored to the condition they started their first rally, while others are in an ‘as rallied' condition. There will be replicas, as the original cars no longer exist.
The Shannons Rally Retro Festival opens to the public at 10:00 am and the track runs start from around 11:00 am. Entry is $10 per person (over 16 years). Visitors will be able to mingle with the cars and their owners. Food vendors and toilets will be on site.
The event is also a showpiece for the Historic Rally Association which was formed in 1992 by a group of rally enthusiasts. They were inspired by the emergence of historic rallying in Europe and recognised the growing interest in running typically Australian forest stage rallies in cars which were popular during the 1960s to 1980s.
The HRA has been instrumental in resurrecting several events, like the Alpine Rally now conducted every second year in the forests of East Gippsland. It has grown to be Australia's biggest rally for classic rally cars and boasts over 100 entries.
More information on the Shannons Rally Retro Festival can be found at www.rallyretrofestival.org.au.