World Rally champion could be crowned on Coffs Coast

Dani Sordo is in flying form ahead of Rally Australia - Coffs Coast claiming honours in the German round at the weekend.
Dani Sordo is in flying form ahead of Rally Australia - Coffs Coast claiming honours in the German round at the weekend. WRC

FRENCHMAN Sebastien Ogier could clinch the FIA World Rally Championship for drivers at next month's Coates Hire Rally Australia, following an epic ADAC Rallye Deutschland at the weekend.

The rally was won by Citroen driver Dani Sordo, but Ogier retains a huge lead in the drivers standings despite finishing only 17th on the home event for his Volkswagen Motorsport team.

Volkswagen says if Ogier can manage to extend his lead to 84 points or more after the next round on the Coffs Coast, he can no longer be caught in the chase for the title.

Coates Hire Rally Australia, Round 10 if the WRC, will be staged over September 12-15.

Thirty cars have been entered to contest the WRC section of the event.

Sordo's victory was his first in the WRC after 34 podiums from 106 starts and almost 10 years of trying.

The 30-year-old came good to beat Thierry Neuville by 53sec in a last-stage showdown that was settled only when the Belgian went off the road 3km from the finish.

Sordo, the 2005 junior world champion, started the final Dhrontal test in the narrow Mosel vineyards with a 3.0sec advantage in his Citroen DS3, but it had been just 0.8sec at the start of the day.

He stretched his advantage in the early part of the 24.58km stage, before Neuville fought back. The duo was tied at the final split point with just over 4km remaining, but Neuville's hopes of his own maiden victory were dashed when his Ford Fiesta RS went off the road.

"It's a great moment for me," an emotional Sordo said as he embraced his parents at the stop line.

"Thierry was pushing so hard. He was a little slower than me at first but then he was faster so I needed to push harder. I was so nervous at the start but this win is something I've dreamed of for many years."

After the demise of early leader Ogier, who broke his Volkswagen Polo R's suspension in a crash early in the second Neuville had the better of Friday's second leg to build a 19.0sec advantage, but the roles were reversed on Saturday and when Latvala crashed, Sordo ended the penultimate day with a lead of just 0.8sec to set up a thrilling finale.

Sordo's victory, after four-days and 371.86km of asphalt action in the vineyards and military roads of south-west Germany, means Citroen maintained its unblemished record there, having won every year since the rally entered the championship in 2002.


Coates Hire Rally Australia will start in 17 days with the Coates Hire Rally Show and ceremonial start in the Coffs Harbour mall from 4pm on Thursday, September 12.

Tickets to see the WRC action at 30 points around the Coffs Coast course are on now sale at and rally shops in the city's Coffs Central and Park Beach Plaza shopping centres.

The event also promises a packed entertainment program, based around the Brelsford Park Rally Hub in Coffs Harbour and at the Flooded Gum Rally Village.

In addition to the nightly Armor All Super Special Stage, entertainment highlights will

include -

• Samantha Jade - 2012 X Factor winner, performing at the Rally Hub on Saturday night

• Thunderstruck - AC/DC tribute band, performing at the Rally Hub on Friday night

• The Red Bull Stunt Plane - Friday and Saturday over the Rally Hub and Sunday over the

Flooded Gum Rally Village spectator point

• The RAAF Roulettes stunt team - Friday and Saturday over the Rally Hub and Sunday

over the Flooded Gum Rally Village spectator point

• Freestyle motocross, featuring X Games gold medalist and Nitro Circus star Cam

Sinclair - Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Rally Hub

• A demonstration by 10 top Off Road racers on Thursday at the Rally Hub

• Skydivers over the Rally Hub

• Live TV on a Super-Screen at the Rally hub

• The Cloud 9 Ultimate Destination premium viewing facility

• Audi quattro S1 and MG Metro 6R4 Group B Rally car demonstration, Rally Hub

Backing up cars contesting the WRC will be the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally

Championship, Classic Rally Challenge and Side-by-Side Challenge.

Rally Australia also will host a round of the Australian Off Road Championship over a

separate course on 14-15 September.

Positions for volunteer officials are still available by registering at


Results, ADAC Rallye Deutschland (WRC Rd 9)

1 D Sordo/C Del Barrio (Citroen) 3h 15m 19.4s

2 T. Neuville/N Gilsoul (Ford) Gap to first +53.0s.

3 M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen (Citroen) +2:36.1

4 M Prokop/MErnst (Ford) +8:00.8

5 R Kubica/M Baran (Citroen) +9:01.3

6 E Evans/D Barritt (Ford) +9:14.2

7 J-M Latvala/M Anttila (Volkswagen) +9:55.0

8 H Paddon/J Kennard (Skoda) +13:01.2s

9 M Ostberg/J Andersson (Ford) +13:28.1

10 E Novikov/I Minor (Ford) +15:17.9

Driver standings (after Rd 9)

1 S Ogier 184

2 T Neuville 109

3 J-M Latvala 98

4 Dani Sordo 96

5 M Hirvonen 88


Manufacturers standings (after Rd 9)

1 Volkswagen Motorsport 262

2 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT 236

3 Qatar WRT 127

4 Qatar M-Sport 126

5 Jipocar Czech 51

Topics:  coffs coast rally australia world rally championship

Brave boy uncovers man's cow sex, child sexual abuse

A beast in the main arena at the 2012 Ekka.

Police praise boy for testimony of man's abuse and sex with a cow

DPI puts Dolphin Marine Magic 'all but out of business'

A battle over seal enclosures at Dolphin Marine Magic threatens the facility's ability to stay open, Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser warns.

DPI crackdown a threat to Dolphin Marine Magic, warns MP

Medics fight for rights

SPREADING THE WORD: Bellingen paramedic Justin Williams writes "Mike Baird has promised to protect us by January 31”.

Paramedics face more risks yet are least protected

Local Partners

Family's new arrival in face of tragedy

MEL Small had already gone into labour when she learned of the tragic fate of her sister Jodie Spears.

Blooming Woolgoolga

Handmade flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

HANDMADE flowers have brought colour to mental health in Woolgoolga.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Pictures of Taylor Swift allegedly being groped are sealed

They could "complicate jury selection".

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge