Rally Australia changes revealed
New stages, a new service park and a more compact route
The organisers of Coates hire Rally Australia have revealed sweeping changes to this year’s event, which takes place in September.
The rally is round 10 of the 2013 World Rally Championship and was last included in the calendar in 2011 when it moved to a new home in Coffs Harbour, 500km north of Sydney on the New South Wales coast.
This year’s rally will be based in Coffs Harbour once again, but will feature new stages, a new Service Park and a more compact rally route.
The biggest change is all-new ‘Rally Hub’ in Coffs Harbour city centre that will incorporate a new Super Special Stage and the central Service Park.
The Super Special Stage will run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening with two cars tackling the 1.8km circuit at once.
The course starts on a former velodrome oval before breaking out on to surrounding streets and the finish back in the oval. The surface will be a combination of tarmac and gravel.
The other Special Stages are all gravel on a combination of fast flowing public roads and tight and twisty forestry stages. The total number of stages is 22, down from 26 in 2011.
After Thursday’s rally opening Super Special, Friday’s itinerary features a loop of three new stages that are repeated in the afternoon before the second visit to the Super Special.
Saturday’s action kicks off with the new 50km Nambucca test, created by linking two of the fast flowing open shire roads that proved popular with drivers in 2011. Day two also features the 14km Valla stage that returns unchanged from its 2011 format.
Sunday’s route includes shortened versions of the Bucca and Shipmans tests from 2011 and a new 22km stage called Wedding Bells. The event concludes on Sunday afternoon with the repeat of Shipmans, which counts as the bonus point Power Stage.
Shorter road sections link the stages to deliver one the most compact overall events in the WRC. The competitive stages are all within a radius of 55km from the Service Park with two legs within a radius of just 35km from the service park.
The event will commence on Thursday 12th September with the Qualifying stage, followed by a Rally Show, ceremonial start and then the Super Special Stage all in Coffs Harbour.
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