Kennards Hire Rally Australia
|Kennards Hire Rally Australia|
- Rugged and dusty forest tracks in the bush near Coffs Harbour, in New South Wales, combine with shire roads, in public use throughout the year, to provide a tough and tricky gravel blast.
- A new-look Friday north of Coffs Harbour features new stages Orara East and Coldwater, along with the familiar roads of Sherwood. All three are driven twice.
- All Saturday’s three bush road tests are new but many of the roads are borrowed from 2017’s monster 49km Nambucca stage. The fan-favourite Raleigh raceway stage is retained and all four tests are used twice.
- Friday and Saturday close with two runs through the asphalt Destination New South Wales test on the Coffs jetty, with dramatic sea views offering a picture postcard backdrop.
- It’s back north again for Sunday’s finale, including the fan favourite Wedding Bells Power Stage with a longer, higher jump at the popular Forests NSW Rally Village.
- Saturday’s Argents Hill Reverse is driven i the morning and afternoon and on both occasions it features on live TV. It includes the best of the renowned Nambucca stage from previous years, but in the opposite direction. There are plenty of wide open shire roads with challenging jumps and technical corners on a mixture of patched asphalt and gravel. Narrow bridges, technical corners and big drop-offs promise a mighty challenge.
- A mix of hard base roads, some tight and twisty and others fast and flowing.
- Shire roads are lined by trees close to the edge in many places.
- Many stages travel through dense rainforest and the low angle of the sun in mornings and evenings can create a ‘strobe’ effect as it flashes through the branches.
- Gravel suspension.
- Hard and medium compound tyres.
- Australia hosted WRC from 1989 to 2006 in the west coast city of Perth.
- Langley Park super special stage next to Swan River provided the template for such tests.
- Won the accolade for the best rally three times in the late 1990s.
- The rally moved to the east coast in New South Wales in 2009 and was relocated to Coffs Harbour two years later.
What’s new for 2018
- It’s the most heavily revised Rally Australia in years. Sixteen daytime stages are new, using different roads or sections of former roads in the reverse direction.
- Thursday afternoon’s start and rally show takes place in a new waterside location near the iconic Coffs Harbour jetty.
- Drivers face new obstacles in the form of two jumps and a water splash at the harbourside Destination New South Wales super special stage on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- The marathon 49km Nambucca stage has been dropped, but most of the roads feature in Saturday’s Argents Hill Reverse and Welshs Creek Reverse test.
- Sunday’s podium ceremony has been switched from Coffs Harbour to the Forests NSW Rally Village, a popular viewing point in the final Wedding Bells18 speed test.
- Coffs Harbour’s Destination New South Wales super special stage. Located next to the jetty, it brings amazing views of the latest-generation WRC cars against stunning water backdrops. Don’t forget your camera or phone for photos!
- Saturday’s short Raleigh stage will be driven twice for the first time. Easy access and close-up elevated views of the action mean it is perfect for taking the kids and spending the day there
- Watch out for Oscar winning actor Russell Crowe. He owns a cattle farm just outside Coffs Harbour which contains a chapel where he was married in 2011. He is a rally fan!
- Following the finish, the championship jets to Sydney for Monday evening’s WRC Gala Night in the shadow of the city’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Expect lots of awards and drivers, co-drivers and team personnel letting their hair down!
- Coffs Harbour is the centre of Australia’s banana industry and the Big Banana is its biggest tourist attraction. It hosts a three-storey high inflatable waterslide, which is the biggest in the world, and a walk though banana. Honestly….