True challenge set for drivers

RALLY HUB: Rally’s Cameron Dugald and David Catchpole.
RALLY HUB: Rally’s Cameron Dugald and David Catchpole. TREVOR VEALE

THE third Rally Australia staged on the Coffs Coast isn't the only gravel round of the FIA World Rally championship, but its notoriously slippery road surface and mix of forest and open sections make it a unique test for drivers.

The wide-ranging conditions start with Friday's technical, narrow, winding stages - on forest roads and under tree cover.

Day two's stages pass through more open countryside and feature big corners, big crests and jumps, while day three is all about extremely fast sections through the rainforest.

"The WRC is the world's most challenging international championship and here on the forestry and hinterland roads of our region we have set a driving challenge truly worthy of that standard and look forward to the spectacle," Rally Australia chairman Ben Rainsford said.

"This year's stages including Saturday's 60km Nambucca Special Stage, one of the longest tests in the 13-country WRC calendar, will be a thriller for crews and spectators.

"Enhancements such as the Rally Villages and free Michelin Shuttle add value to the rally ticket."

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