The opening stages on Friday return to the Orara Valley.
The opening stages on Friday return to the Orara Valley. Trevor Veale

Rally Australia day 1 opening stages preview

COFFS Harbour's pristine Jetty and Gallows Beaches will once again provide a spectacular backdrop for the Destination NSW Super Special Stages at Kennard's Hire Rally Australia.

The Super Special Stage brings the rally to town, with an intense 1.27 kilometre course designed to display the drivers' skills at close quarters.

READY TO RUMBLE: Feel the thrill of the World Rally Championship at Kennards Hire Rallyfrom November 15 - 18 on the Coffs Coast.
READY TO RUMBLE: Feel the thrill of the World Rally Championship at Kennards Hire Rallyfrom November 15 - 18 on the Coffs Coast. Jeremy Rogers

While the drivers will be facing the same distance as last year on both Friday and Saturday evening's stages at the Jetty, there have been some upgrades made to last year's course to make the action in 2018 even better for spectators.

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Instead of the berm and Coppintop obstacles used in 2017, Rally Australia organisers have added a new jump in front of the main spectating area and a water splash.

The ocean-side jump at Gallows Beach is back, but run in the opposite direction, and spectators get to see more of the cars.

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Each car will do two runs and, for this stage only, the top WRC runners will be held back for a late start as the highlight of the night.

While the first WRC cars are expected to roar onto Jordan Esplanade at 4.37pm on both Friday and Saturday, gates to the picturesque stage open at 2pm allowing spectators the chance to get there early, find the best vantage point and enjoy the action being televised on the big screen as Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville and Ott Tänak battle it out for the WRC drivers' championship.

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There's plenty of food, drink and souvenirs for sale too.

Adult entry is included with the three-day rally Get Me Everywhere pass, or separate Super Special Stage tickets are available from rallyaustralia.com.au or the Rally Australia shop at Coffs Central in Harbour Drive.

Rally Australia is supported by the NSW Government through Destination NSW, its tourism and major events agency.



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