COFFS COAST (NSW) – A near-record 86 cars from overseas and Australia are set to thrill spectators at Kennards Hire Rally Australia on the New South Wales Coffs Coast next month.
PHOTO: New World Rally Champion Ott Tänak tops a huge 86-car entry list for Kennards Hire Rally Australia (Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool)
Organisers announced the final entry lists today for the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship and CAMS Australian Rally Championship final rounds, the Rally Australia Cup and the Rally Australia Two-Day Event that will comprise Rally Australia on 14-17 November.
Crews representing 16 countries will include new World Rally Champion Ott Tänak and a 16-year-old Taylor Gill contesting his first rally on L-plates. Rally Australia winners Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen and CAMS Australian Rally Champions Harry Bates and Molly Taylor also are among competitors.
More than 20 women are in driver or co-driver seats.
The biggest field since Rally Australia moved to New South Wales in 2009 promises three full days and two nights of world-class rally action for spectators.
Tickets for Kennards Hire Rally Australia, priced from $29 to $119, are available now from TICKETEK.COM. Highlights of the Coffs Coast event will include two nights of the harbourside Destination New South Wales Super Special Stage and a free concert by legendary rock band Dragon exclusively for 4-day ticket-holders.
“This is a fantastic entry – the best we can remember since at least the time the rally moved to New South Wales from Western Australia after 2006,” Clerk of the Course Wayne Kenny said.
“We have 12 World Rally Cars – the fastest cars in the history of the sport – and a cracking line-up of Australian competitors to keep the fans on the special stages entertained all day.
“We’re especially pleased to have so many Australian competitors, from championship contenders to those in the Subaru RS Challenge and Northern Hyundai Rally Challenge budget classes – a sign the sport in this country is in terrific health. The Two-Day event has drawn 31 entries, the most of all.
“Rallying is a sport that almost anyone can enter as long as they have an eligible car and it seems many competitors have taken this opportunity to complete a bucket-list item in their careers, to compete in a world championship event on the same roads as the greatest drivers in the sport today.”
The big entry has caused organisers to boost competitor facilities – the teams’ car service area at the Pedders Rally Central competitors’ park will be extended and other small adjustments to logistics and infrastructure are being planned.
“A big entry list is the kind of challenge we love, but with a corps of almost 900 wonderful volunteer officials Rally Australia will run as smoothly as ever,” Kenny said.
“It’s a win all-round. Spectators will truly get their money’s worth of entertainment, competitors will be part of Australia’s biggest rally of the year and the local economy will benefit from the presence of not only the extra competitors, but also from all the crew and supporters who’ll travel with them from outside the region.”
Spectators will be able to see the cars at a variety of venues during the rally –
· At the free Rally Show and Ceremonial Start from 3.30pm Thursday at the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores Precinct
· At the Destination NSW Super Special Stage from 4.30pm Thursday and 5pm Saturday at the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores Precinct. Gates open 2.30pm each day. Tickets from ticketek.com
· At the Pedders Rally Central competitors’ service park (free entry) from Thursday to Sunday, C.ex Coffs International Stadium. Rock legends DRAGON play a free concert for 4-day ticket-holders on Saturday night
· At 10 daytime spectator points on rural and NSW Forestry special stages from Friday to Sunday. Tickets from ticketek.com