COFFS COAST (NSW) – Preparations for the FIA World Rally Championship finale at Kennards Hire Rally Australia hit full speed today, just two days before action begins on the New South Wales Coffs Coast.
PHOTO: Mechanics on the Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team work on their trio of million-dollar Toyota Yaris cars before their first run on Thursday morning.
Construction workers put finishing touches to the Destination NSW Super Special Stage, which will run on Friday and Saturday evenings in its unique setting between the harbor and Gallows ocean beach in the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores precinct.
Event Clerk of the Course Wayne Kenny said the 1.27km section of Jordan Esplanade had been transformed from a quiet beach access road into a high-speed challenge for the fastest rally drivers and cars in the world and an exciting vantage point for spectators.
At the Pedders Rally Central Service Park in C.ex Coffs International Stadium, mechanics for top WRC teams Toyota, M-Sport Ford, Hyundai and Citroën, plus Australian Championship front-runner Neal Bates Motorsport prepared their cars, which will hit the gravel for the first time on Thursday morning in a shakedown-test session. Entry to Rally Central is free.
Today and tomorrow, crews undertake reconnaissance of the entire 318km rally route, compiling “pace” notes that will guide the speed at which drivers tackle the many corners, crests and obstacles.
Kennards Hire Rally Australia kicks off with a free Rally Show and Ceremonial Start on the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores from 4pm on Thursday.
Drivers will sign autographs and meet fans before being flagged across a start ramp. Competition will begin on the first of 24 special stages, Orara East, at 8.03am on Friday.
Spectator tickets are available at www.rallyaustralia.com.au.
Rally Australia is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.