This stage joins two tests from 2011, one used in the opposite direction, which are linked by a new section. It is mainly fast and flowing with big corners, big crests and jumps and there are small sections of asphalt dotted throughout the route. It’s a real driver’s stage, but there is plenty of loose gravel so staying on the line is vital.
How the action unfolded:
Kris Meeke’s impressive run on Rally Australia came to a premature end when the Brit rolled his Citroen DS3 20 kilometres into the repeated Nambucca stage.
Meeke and his co-driver Chris Patterson were fourth, and under pressure to deliver solid points for the French manufacturer, before they went off.
Citroen have confirmed that neither driver was injured, but this was Meeke’s second retirement from two guest appearances in a DS3 this season.
Elsewhere it was business as usual for Volkswagen ace Sebastien Ogier who took another stage win to extend his rally lead over Mikko Hirvonen to 34.7sec.
Hirvonen was second quickest, 7.1sec slower than Ogier, with Thierry Neuville third.
Jari-Matti Latvala was fourth fastest, and now up to fourth overall following Meeke’s exit.
Evgeny Novikov was another driver to hit trouble. The Russian dropped more than two minutes when his Ford Fiesta RS picked up a left-hand rear puncture.