COFFS COAST (NSW) – A new high-flying jump, water splash and a chance to see the winners crowned all at a single location promise a thrilling climax to the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in November.
PHOTO: The cars will fly higher in front of spectators on the Wedding Bells Power Stage in 2018 (Bruce Thomas pic)
A 7.16 kilometre blast through Wedding Bells Power Stage on Sunday 18 November will be the last competitive speed test of the event and the season. Organisers going all-out to make it an unforgettable spectator experience are hoping the current tussle for the drivers’ championship goes down to literally the final minutes.
Today launches the 100-day countdown to Kennards Hire Rally Australia, which starts on Thursday 15 November. WRC rounds in Germany, Turkey, Britain and Spain will be staged before the Coffs Coast finale, but Australian fans already are snapping up their tickets.
PHOTO: A water splash will fuel the excitement on the Wedding Bells Power Stage in 2018 (Neil Blackbourn pic)
Interest in the 2018 world title is building as fans watch the battle between defending champion Sebastien Ogier and challenger Thierry Neuville, says Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford.
“Seb for M-Sport Ford and Thierry for Hyundai have each won three rallies this year; Thierry is ahead on points, but Ogier is a five-time champion and a renowned fighter in tough situations. And we could see a late charge by Ott Tanak after his amazing win for Toyota in Finland.
“Whatever happens, these final 100 days will build into a fantastic climax for Rally Australia and not surprisingly ticket sales have picked up strongly. It’s fantastic that we’ll have one of the world’s greatest motorsport championships right here in New South Wales.”
A major route update this year has focused on making the Wedding Bells Power Stage a fitting celebration of the season.
For the first time, the podium ceremony has been moved from the centre of host city Coffs Harbour to the NSW Forest Rally Village in Wedding Bells State Forest. From around 2.20pm the winners will receive their trophies in front of thousands of spectators at the Village – and a live global television audience – just minutes after the last WRC car completes the stage.
The stage direction has been reversed to refresh the driving challenge and spectators will see the world’s fastest rally cars fly over a jump, before a water splash and the flying finish.
Throughout the day spectators will be able to follow the action not only passing in front of them at Wedding Bells but also from the preceding stages via a video super-screen showing WRC TV’s All Live stream.
Food, drink and souvenir stands, on-site expert commentary and other attractions will complete an entertainment-packed day for all the family.
Tickets to Kennards Hire Rally Australia are available through www.rallyaustralia.com.au. The popular, all-event ‘Ultimate Get Me Everywhere’ pass costs $99 for adults and allows entry to all daytime spectator areas and the Destination NSW Super Special Stage on Friday and Saturday evenings.
A weekend at Kennards Hire Rally Australia also provides an opportunity to enjoy one of Australia’s premier coastal holiday regions. With pristine ocean beaches, lush sub-tropical hinterland, national parks, adventure parks and fine foods and wines, the Coffs Coast offers endless attractions for rally visitors and their travel partners.
And it’s never been easier to reach, following recent completion of the last section of highway upgrades between Sydney and Coffs Harbour that make the drive faster, safer and more enjoyable.
Rally Australia is supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.