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. The sun usually shines on the WRC’s final round too!
- The action starts a day earlier with two quickfire blasts around Coffs Harbour’s revamped and extended harbourside super special on Thursday afternoon.
- Friday journeys north for morning and afternoon loops of the familiar Coldwater and Sherwood tests and the new Kookaburra Road, which mixes tracks from several stages.
- More fun and games at Coffs Harbour’s super special as two late afternoon stages close the longest leg after 123.22km of competition.
- All roads head south on Saturday to the flowing farmland tests of Northbank and Utungun. They are joined by the classic shire roads of Argents Hill and Welshs Creek.
- Morning and afternoon loops are tackled in a different order and separated by the fan-favourite Raleigh test, on a primarily asphalt track used for karting and drifting.
- It’s back north again for Sunday’s finale. New stages in Mount Coramba and Lower Bucca precede a longer version of the popular Wedding Bells. All three are repeated.
- Saturday’s Argents Hill Reverse is driven morning and afternoon and includes the best of the renowned Nambucca stage from previous years. There are plenty of wide shire roads with challenging jumps and technical corners on a mixture of patched asphalt and gravel. Narrow bridges and big drop-offs bring 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 2019
- An extra day’s action. The rally kicks off with a revised super special near Coffs Harbour’s jetty on Thursday afternoon. It includes a new hillside loop above the harbour, but retains stunning picture postcard views over Boambee Beach.
- Friday’s Kookaburra Road test blends roads from a host of stages used previously, including Bucca, Eastbank and Coramba.
- The farmland roads of Northbank and Utungun, driven twice on Saturday, were last used in the opposite direction in 2016.
- Sunday’s Wedding Bells19, a popular spectator point for fans, has been lengthened by 3.10km at the start.
- 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. 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. 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….