Coffs Coast is ready to roll
THE world's fastest rally drivers and cars are heading to the Coffs Coast to wrap up the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship on November 16-19.
The event will be one of Australia's largest motorsport events of the year, attracting thousands of spectators and a global television audience to follow the action on the forest, rural and city special stages.
A function in the heart of WRC country at Nana Glen, attended by event officials, supporters and five top young drivers from Australia and New Zealand, yesterday officially launched Rally Australia 2017 - 78 days out from the starting ceremony in Coffs Harbour.
On the 25th anniversary of WRC in Australia, Rally Australia will be more challenging for drivers and more exciting than ever for spectators, event chairman Ben Rainsford said.
"The World Rally Championship unfailingly delivers incomparable action and drama at every round and that will certainly be what spectators can expect at Kennards Hire Rally Australia," Mr Rainsford said.
"At the end of an incredibly competitive season, we're facing the possibility of a showdown for the drivers' championship, while any number of drivers in evenly-matched cars can win the rally itself.
"This year's new cars from Toyota, Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and Citroën are faster, louder and more spectacular-looking. They're so fast even the drivers say they're awesome and I promise the action spectators see on the stages will be breathtaking.
"A ticket to Rally Australia is a ticket to see the world's best drivers in action and up close. It just doesn't get better than that."
After a colourful free rally show and ceremonial start in the centre of Coffs Harbour on November 16, the 13th and final round of the WRC will cover a total of 318 kilometres across 21 competitive stages until the Sunday afternoon finish.
Friday will test drivers with all-new stages, re-located to the north of the coastal city service park.
The Destination New South Wales Super Special Stage on the Coffs Harbour waterfront on Friday and Saturday nights - featuring actor and rally fan Shane Jacobson as guest commentator - will incorporate a new round- about obstacle and an extra jump, giving spectators longer views of the cars.
A new Saturday afternoon stage, Argents Hill, will be the first of two televised live around the world. On Sunday, a 90-minute live broadcast from the Wedding Bells Power Stage will close the event and the 2017 season.
Dedicated spectator zones will be provided at several locations each day, offering excellent, safe vantage points and full facilities. Shuttle buses will be available from Coffs Harbour, or fans will be able to follow directions on Rally Australia's free new mobile app.
A wide choice of daily and all-event tickets is available now from ticketek.com, priced from $39 for adults. Fans aged under 18 will be admitted free to the daytime forest and rural special stages.
Fans not able to attend Rally Australia will be able to follow the action with daily television highlights on Fox Sports Australia and Channel Nine.