Reigning Rally Australia champion Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville in action at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in 2017.
Reigning Rally Australia champion Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville in action at Kennards Hire Rally Australia in 2017. Trevor Veale

Coffs Coast decides WRC title

THE Coffs Coast's claim to the final event on the World Rally Championships calendar is set to pay massive dividends for the region next week, with a world champion to be crowned next Sunday.

Tomorrow, drivers in the FIA World Rally Championship will hit Sydney ahead of the title-deciding final round at Kennards Hire Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast, starting Thursday.

Citroen's Craig Breen from Ireland, Hyundai's Hayden Paddon from New Zealand and M-Sport Ford's Elfyn Evans from Great Britain will kick off their Rally Australia campaigns at Pier One Bridge on Sunday - after visiting some of Sydney's iconic tourist locations in the morning - before continuing their journey to Coffs Harbour for what will be an incredible showdown for the 2018 crown.

Evans, Breen and Paddon sit eighth, ninth and 10th respectively in the standings heading into the WRC's grand final and will play vital roles in the final outcomes for their teams and teammates.

Meanwhile the rally leaders and title hopefuls - Sebastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak - will be the centre of attention once the teams arrive in Coffs Harbour for Monday morning press events.

Despite Ogier retaining a narrow lead over Neuville at the top of the drivers championships after the rally of Spain, the three-time Rally Australia winner will sweep the dusty gravel roads on the Coffs Coast for the rest of the field.

"The most dramatic and unpredictable competition in world motorsport will host an incredible showdown on the Coffs Coast,” Rally Australia chairman Ben Rainsford said.

For the first year, the Kennards Hire Rally Australia rally show and ceremonial start will be held at the Coffs Harbour Jetty on Thursday from 4pm.



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