Rally Australia's Paul Woodward and Ben Raggatt inspect the first rally cars to hit town.
Rally Australia's Paul Woodward and Ben Raggatt inspect the first rally cars to hit town.

First rally cars hit the tarmac

THE entourage has started to roll into town.

The first of 100 vehicles - Fords, Citroens, Mitsubishis, Subarus and rally classics - have begun to transform the Coffs Harbour airfield into Rally Australia's service park.

As the first cars formed a parking lot at the airport, beside the "Parc Ferme";, work continued to build the super special stage circuit on the Jetty Foreshores.

Well before the harbour hosts the World Rally Championship showpiece next Thursday, the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport will have become a functioning rally city.

"For now it may just look like rows of shipping containers around the tarmac, but inside those containers are the mobile workshops the pit crews will use to fine tune their rally cars,"; Rally Australia's service park manager Paul Woodward said.

The WRC cars, which last raced in Argentina, will roll off trucks tomorrow and Monday joining ARC and classic rally vehicles from across the country.

As well-drilled as the rally set-up has been, placing the service park on an airfield has brought with it some challenges.

"When we construct the lighting towers above the service park we must be careful not to assemble them in straight rows, but instead to stagger them so to an approaching aircraft it doesn't look like a runway,"; Mr Woodward said.

"Just as quickly as the service park has been constructed, it will be dismantled after the rally is over a week's time.

"As the Rally Australia champions are popping the champagne on the podium at the harbour next Sunday, we expect the B-doubles will start to queue here at the airport to truck the cars and shipping containers to Brisbane.

"As quickly as the rally has come to town it will go,"; he said.

Rally Australia's service park opens to the public on Thursday, the rally show in the city centre will follow at 4.30pm prior to the start of the super special stage at the Jetty Foreshores.



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