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GP Week : 01-Sep-2009
THIS weekend's Repco Rally Australia will go ahead, despite a last-grasp attempt from protesters to have the event stopped. Katie Milne -- a councillor in the Tweed Shire, which will host the new-look Rally Oz -- filed an injunction last week to stop the event on grounds of avoiding environmental damage. Rally organisers immediately moved to defend its position, with Rally Australia board chairman Alan Evans saying the court proceedings were based on misinformation: "This misconceived application will, of course, be vigorously defended," Mr Evans said at the time. "We are fully committed to running an environmentally responsible rally for the benefit of the people of the region and the sport." Just two days later, it was announced that the case had been dismissed by Sydney's Federal Court on the basis that the case was without merit. Garry Connelly, the Chairman of Rally Australia's organising committee, said he was not surprised by the result: "We have always complied with all laws and have spent a lot of time and effort to achieve the highest environmental standards," Connelly said. This weekend's Rally Australia will be the WRC's first visit down under since 2006, and will take place some 3,600km from the event's previous home in Perth, Western Australia. n Argentine driver Juan Marchetto, 24, has been selected to be the Codasur zone representative at the European Pirelli Star Driver Shoot Out in Austria in September. n Dirt bike stunt man Travis Pastrana has won the Ojibwe Rally in Minnesota, his fifth series event win this year, and clinched the Rally America title for the fourth successive time. His Subaru team-mate Ken Block retired after a crash. n Renault has announced that it is developing a competition version of the Twingo for future homologation into Group R2, as a competitor to the Citroen C2 and Fiesta R2 cars. This will be for use by private drivers. Renault is also planning an entry-level R1 version as well. n The local campaigners against the Repco Rally Australia may have been over-ruled by the courts, see separate story, but now the Police are involved. The local branch of the Police Association plan to make a demonstration against insufficient staffing levels and wage complaints at the event instead. n Juha Salo scored the first win for a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X in Finland, at the Kereva Rally. Second was Jari Ketomaa in a Subaru ahead of Jukka Ketomaki in another Evo X. Second place was enough for Ketomaa to secure the Finnish Rally Championship, which he has lead since the second round. SPECIAL StAGES PEC StAG S EC AG E A tA A PE t P S S St SP SP S S S Rally Oz to go ahead despite injunction WRC news >> Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 16