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PHOTO: Kennards Hire Coffs Harbour branch manager James Green (left) and Rally Australia Senior Executive Officer Wayne Kenny flag off the new Kennards Hire Rally Australia partnership at Coffs Harbour today (Bruce Thomas pic)

AUSTRALIA’S annual round of the FIA World Rally Championship will be named Kennards Hire Rally Australia after one of the country’s biggest equipment hire companies signed as primary sponsor of the event on the New South Wales Coffs Coast next November.

Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford and Kennards Hire NSW General Manager Darren Simmons announced the sponsorship, which will see Kennards Hire become not only the title sponsor but also the major infrastructure supplier to the 17-20 November rally.

Kennards Hire Rally Australia 2016 will be the 14th and final round of motorsport’s most challenging global series, which showcases the fastest drivers on gravel, tarmac, ice and snow in cars representing the world’s biggest manufacturers.

Using more than 300 kilometres of shire and forestry roads, Kennards Hire Rally Australia will require substantial amounts of infrastructure to build and equip its competitive stages, spectator areas, competitor service park, international media and television centres, operations centre and other facilities across a wide region around its Coffs Harbour headquarters.

“Kennards Hire Rally Australia is one of only two FIA World Championship events staged in Australia. Unlike our circuit-based equivalent, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, the WRC Rally Australia is staged over an area that covers around 80 kms from north to south and therefore demands an infrastructure partner such as Kennards Hire with exceptional resources and expertise,” Mr Rainsford said.

“But in addition to their technical partnership, Rally Australia and Kennards Hire are together planning initiatives that will boost public awareness of the event, the WRC and, ultimately, increase spectator attendance next November.

“Rally Australia is delighted to be partnering with Kennards Hire, a family company since 1948 with a network of over 150 branches and on-line hire in Australia and New Zealand, who have many customers who are active motorsport enthusiasts.”

Mr Simmons said: “Kennards Hire are very excited to be sponsoring the WRC Rally Australia for the next two years. Our brand promise is to make our customer’s job easy, so we will be working together with Rally Australia to provide all the equipment necessary to make the event a spectacular success.”

This year’s Kennards Hire Rally Australia will be the 25th Rally Australia and the country’s 24th WRC event (the first event in 1988 was a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship).

It is supported by the New South Wales Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and by Coffs Harbour and other regional councils.

In 2015, almost 61 million television viewers around the world saw Frenchman Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen Motorsport clinch their respective third-consecutive world championships at Rally Australia, against the scenic backdrop of one of Australia’s most popular coastal holiday regions.

About Rally Australia
Rally Australia on 17-20 November 2016 will be the 25th Rally Australia and the country’s 24th WRC event (the first event in 1988 was a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship). With support from the New South Wales Government through its Destination NSW tourism and major events organisation, the event moved to the Coffs Coast region in 2011 and immediately earned widespread community support. The rally features a compact format on gravel forestry and shire roads north, south and west of the Coffs Harbour headquarters, making it easy for spectators and competitors to reach the competitive stages. The stages provide a true challenge for the WRC drivers against a magnificent backdrop of subtropical coastal and hinterland scenery.

About the FIA World Rally Championship
The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is widely regarded as the world’s most challenging motorsport championship. It’s also highly consumer-relevant, as rounds based in 14 countries on five continents pit drivers in highly-modified versions of popular showroom models over closed, mostly-public roads in real-world conditions varying from gravel and asphalt to snow, ice, heat and high altitude. Started in 1973, the WRC has been a battleground for makes including Toyota, Subaru, Ford, Citroen, Fiat, Audi, Mitsubishi, Mini, Peugeot and others. Teams representing Volkswagen, Citroen, Ford and Hyundai currently contest the outright category and Toyota will re-join from 2017, meaning four of the world’s top-five car makes are committed to the WRC. The series attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators in some countries and a huge global television audience. The WRC is regulated and controlled by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for motorsport worldwide and organised by WRC Promoter GmbH.

About Kennards Hire
Kennards Hire started in 1948 when Walter Kennard hired a piece of machinery to someone who asked if they could borrow it from his garage. It has grown to be the largest family-owned hire company in Australia. Kennards has over 150 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand and, in a first for the equipment hire industry in Australia and New Zealand, the ability to hire on-line. Kennards Hire includes a number of specialist divisions including Concrete Care, Lift & Shift, Test & Measure, Pump & Power, Traffic and Rail. Its expert advice and hire equipment services the DIY customer at home and tradesman through to residential and commercial construction sites. Kennards Hire has a reputation for reliability, exceptional customer service and making the customer’s job easy. Kennards Hire’s family culture and continuous drive for improvement has been the driving force behind its success and has led it to be the leader in the hire industry.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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