08 - 11 Sep 11
Most Recent Winner:Mikko Hirvonen (2011)
The second edition of Rally Australia to take place away from the event’s spiritual home in Perth in the west will also mark the country’s return to the global series after it missed out on a slot in 2010.
Organisers have moved the event from the Northern Rivers area used in 2009 to the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales 300 kilometres away down the east coast and 535 kilometres north of Sydney, the state capital.
The route, which will feature 26 special stages over a competitive distance of 369 kilometres, will visit the shires of Nambucca, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley. A superspecial stage will take place in The Jetty precinct of the Coffs Harbour waterfront on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Day one’s stages take in the hinterland area around Coffs Harbour. Saturday’s route heads south before crews tackle stages north of the town on Sunday. The permanent service park will be housed at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, 10 kilometres away from the event’s headquarters in the Opal Cove Resort.
While the old Rally Australia was famed for its ball-bearing-style surfaces, the new incarnation of the event runs over a mixture of all-gravel shire and forestry roads, while the superspecial will use an all-asphalt course.
The roads of the Coffs Coast region have been used for rallies since the 1960s and have hosted a round of Australia’s national rally championship for a number of years. However, some stages have been untried for more than two decades.
Although it will be winter when the World Rally Championship reaches Australia in early September, warm and dry weather is expected for the duration of the event.