Chris Atkinson and Hayden Paddon at the Sydney launch of the Coates Hire Rally Australia.
Chris Atkinson and Hayden Paddon at the Sydney launch of the Coates Hire Rally Australia.

Rally makes experience simpler for spectators

THE World Rally Championship will be easier than ever to experience in the flesh when it returns to the Coffs Coast in September.

Australian rally ace Chris Atkinson will fly the local flag driving for the Hyundai Shell Motorsport World Rally Team, joining a host of international motorsport superstars blazing a trail around the region's special stages.

Atkinson was joined by Kiwi Hayden Paddon to launch the event in Sydney on Monday.

World champion Sebastien Ogier, Belgian Thierry Neuville, Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala, Norwegian Mads Ostberg, UK driver Kris Meek, Fin Mikko Hirvonen and Polish ex-Formula 1 ace Robert Kubica will draw thousands to the Coffs Coast while competing in WRC round 10 of 13.

With experience from last year, organisers have streamlined how the rally can be experienced on the ground with simplified ticketing plus new attractions centred around the 100-plus cars competing in several championships.

Event Manager David Catchpole said there were more reasons than ever to buy a ticket to Coates Hire Rally Australia this year.

"We'll have the new Hyundai Super Special Stage and ARMOR ALL Shootout over two nights, a more compact choice of daytime spectator points with significantly upgraded facilities for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience and a free-entry Hi-Tec Oils Service Park that will pump with action and entertainment day and night," Mr Catchpole said.

"Add to that the opportunity to experience the World Rally Championship in the beautiful and vibrant holiday setting of the NSW Coffs Coast."

Rally Australia will host rounds of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship and the Australian Classic Rally Challenge, plus the Pedders Suspension Coffs Coast 400 off-road race during the event.

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