NOVEMBER’S SEASON-CLOSING WRC FIXTURE IN AUSTRALIA HAS ADDED AN EXTRA DAY’S COMPETITION IN A ROUTE SHAKE-UP FOR THE COFFS HARBOUR-BASED ENCOUNTER.
Two blasts around the town’s revamped harbourside super special stage will kick-off Kennards Hire Rally Australia (14 – 17 November) on the Thursday afternoon, with another double dose 24 hours later to close Friday’s action.
The extended 1.33km stage, which was driven on Friday and Saturday last year, has been revised to include a hillside loop above the harbour, while still retaining its banked corners, jumps and stunning picture postcard views over Boambee Beach.
Friday’s opening leg journeys north of Coffs Harbour for morning and afternoon loops of the familiar Coldwater and Sherwood tests and the new Kookaburra Road, which blends roads from previous years’ stages. With 123.22km of competition, it is the longest leg of the event.
Saturday heads south and returns to the flowing farmland roads of Northbank and Utungun, last used in the opposite direction in 2016. Argents Hill and Welshs Creek are driven in the same format as last year, crossing pastures on classic shire roads from the Nambucca stage of previous years.
The morning and afternoon loops are tackled in a different order and separated by the short fan-favourite Raleigh test, on a purpose-built primarily asphalt track used for karting, drifting and rallycross.
Both days feature mid-leg service at the Pedders Rally Central service park at Coffs Harbour’s rugby, soccer and cricket stadium.
Sunday’s finale returns north for new stages in Mount Coramba and Lower Bucca, ahead of the popular Wedding Bells, which has been lengthened by 3.10km at the start. After service in Coffs Harbour, the three tests are repeated.
The 25 stages cover 324.65km.