The sharp bends on the Mt Morgan Range are ideal conditions for the Gold Rush hill Sprint on this weekend.
The sharp bends on the Mt Morgan Range are ideal conditions for the Gold Rush hill Sprint on this weekend. Contributed

Range to race track: CQ centre stage for national race event

MOTOR SPORTS: Seventy-six cars, 2000m of 12m wide hotmix, 24 corners rising 160m in elevation.

It all adds up to the longest hill sprint in Australia and will be run on the Mount Morgan Range this Saturday.

The inaugural CQ Crane Hire Gold Rush Hill Sprint is is being staged by the Central Queensland Motor Sporting Club and has been more than two years in the making.

Club president Craig Jervis said it had been a monumental task finding the right venue, co-ordinating governing bodies including the Transport and Main Roads, having the range classified as a race track and then gaining the permit.

Gold Rush Hill Sprint Promo Video: More than 70 drivers will brave the notorious Mt Morgan Range this weekend in the first hill sprint race in the region. Video shot ad edited by ARP33.

"Once that was all done, we had to bring it all together,” he said.

"We had to create a name and because it is the Mount Morgan Range, we came up with the 'Gold Rush' idea.

"Because of the amount of money involved in staging the event, CQ Crane Hire has come on board to donate time and equipment and is the naming rights sponsor.”

Jervis said competitors and spectators alike would be treated to something special on Saturday.

It is a timed event and drivers will compete in 10 different classes including engine, road registered and race classes

The start line is about 700m up the range from Poison Creek Bridge and finishes about 500m from the summit.

Jervis said the rebuild of the range, which came after the devastation of Cyclone Marcia in 2015, had "turned it into a perfect race track for a club like ours”.

Drivers will race up the 2km stretch of windy road on the Mt Morgan Range on Saturday.
Drivers will race up the 2km stretch of windy road on the Mt Morgan Range on Saturday. Contributed

IF YOU GO

  • WHAT: CQ Crane Hire Gold Rush Hill Sprint
  • WHEN: 7.30am to 5pm Saturday
  • WHERE: Mount Morgan Range
  • WHO: 76 drivers competing in 10 different classes
  • ROAD CLOSURE: The Burnett Highway between Poison Creek Road and Struck Oil Road will be closed Friday and Saturday
  • GETTING THERE: Buses for spectators will run every 20 to 30 minutes from the Royal Hotel at Bouldercombe; tickets are $10, children under-12 free

"We still needed some safety upgrades to be done to ensure the safety of the competitors.

"We will be shipping in 30 12m long linear barriers which will be dropped into place in designated areas.

"On Friday the range will be closed for a set-up day. We also have other safety items such as hay bales and water-filled barriers that will bring it up to the standard required by the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport permit.”

Jervis said the club had received 140 expressions of interest which were whittled down to 76.

Craig Jervis would like to see people race on tracks rather than on the street.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Craig Jervis is excited for the action on this weekend. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK230915aroadsaf

There were, however, plans to expand the event in distance and competitor numbers down the track.

"We want this to become a long-term event, a great event on the motoring calendar in Australia,” Jervis said.

"We limited it to 76 for the first one but we know it will grow.

"These 76 competitors are going to go away with a big smile on their face and tell another 76, or more, and next year we will be inundated with entries.”

Jervis said the hill sprint would offer "great racing for the competitors and great viewing for spectators”.

Racing starts at 7.30am and will finish at 5pm, with presentations at the Royal Hotel at Bouldercombe from 6pm.

Spectators can assemble at hotel to be bussed to the three best vantage points. Buses will start at 7am and run every 20 to 30 minutes. Tickets are $10, children under-12 are free.