The Politics of Rally Racing

25 May 1999

Media Release - Motorsport - Rallying
BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia May 26th

The Member for Blair Rallies for a New 'Seat'!

When Cameron Thompson does a bit of 'mud slinging' over the weekend of June
4th - 6th, his political rivals need not worry as the Federal Member for
Blair will not be gunning for the opposition, unless they too enter the
Falken Tyres Rally Queensland!

As a Liberal politician, Cameron is a seasoned campaigner, having defeated
Pauline Hanson for the seat of Blair after having been first pre-selected
over the legendary Jim Killen. However, he is also a seasoned campaigner in
the world of motorsport and will co-drive the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO III of
Nambour's rally ace, Bruce Dummett. Their 4WD turbocharged 'pocket rocket'
rally car is arguably the fastest in Queensland and the pair are indeed the
second highest seeded Queensland duo in this the second round of the
Australian Rally Championship Super Series.

Thompson has rallied to a new challenge in the big event. He's already
captured a new 'seat', sitting in for an injured Tom Smith as co-driver (the
co-driver reads the pace notes and is absolutely vital in a good rally
team), in the Nambour Radiator Works Mitsubishi. The team is also racing the
clock on another issue, the specialised rally car is under going an
intensive repair and refurbishment program following the crash that injured
Smith - he cracked his sternum in the rallying accident - just four weeks
ago.

Falken Tyres and Grace Mitsubishi have already come to the 'party' in
helping the team prepare and repair for the biggest rally in Queensland this
year. Dummett and Thompson will be targeting the country's best drivers and
crew in the gruelling 730km event, held entirely on Queensland's Sunshine
Coast and based from Caloundra. Tom Smith will also be on hand to help the
team and is looking forward to watching his replacement at work!

"Cameron has extensive motor sport experience," says Smith, "He did a lot of
rallying in the Northern Territory prior to shifting to Brisbane and he's a
rallying 'nut'. He has now competed in south-east Queensland for some years
and when his parliamentary time permits, he'll usually be found sitting
beside someone in a local rally event."

Thompson comes from the Northern Territory, where he worked for senior
Ministers and came to Brisbane where he worked as a speech writer/adviser
for then Deputy State Leader Joan Sheldon. He eventually decided to run for
politics himself.  He is married with three boys and his middle son is named
Ari - after the legendary rally driver, Ari Vatanen!

While the Dummett / Thompson team race the clock in preparation for the big
event, the Sunshine Coast prepares for an invasion of rally competitors from
all around Australia as 77 crews head for Caloundra, base of the three day,
730km event.

The factory Subaru team of Possum Bourne and Craig Vincent, the defending
Australian Champions and winners here last year, faces a strong challenge
from Canberra's Neal Bates and former Sunshine Coaster, Coral Taylor in
their WRC Toyota Corolla. The two top seeds have a myriad challengers
including father and son combination, NSW's John and Damien Long in their
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO V and Queensland's top seeded pairing, Stewart Reid
and Anthony McLoughlin in their debut event with a brand new Mitsubishi
Lancer EVO VI.

The rally is also a contributing round of the Queensland Rally Championship,
with local competitors boosting entry numbers substantially. Many leading
Queensland crews will push the speed of the regular ARC teams, as they enjoy
the opportunity of competing against the National regulars.

Event organisers have also generously offered the event for inclusion in the
Queensland segment of the 'Australian Rallysport News Junior Rally Challenge
' for drivers under 25 years of age. Those drivers will only need to
complete the first heat of the rally, but the experience gained from the
pace-noted event will be immeasurable.

However, there'll be no 'dirty politics' in car 47. Bruce Dummett and
Cameron Thompson will be out to capture a few 'votes' of their own come June
4th and the start of the big rally from Caloundra.

Organised by the Brisbane Sporting Car Club, the second round of the
Australian Rally Championship will feature Australia's top rally crews and
machinery, fighting out both outright and two-litre honours between June
4-6th.




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