Organisers of Kennards Hire Rally Australia are working toward a revised schedule for this week’s FIA World Rally Championship final round, after serious bushfires have impacted much of northern NSW.
Rally Australia hopes to stage the event from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon over a reduced route of around 90 kilometres comprising multiple runs over four different stages.
The proposed route remains subject to approval by the international motorsports governing body FIA and the New South Wales Government. Rally Australia and WRC teams are preparing for the revised format.
If conditions allow, the revised event would start with a lengthened version of the existing Destination NSW Super Special Stage on Thursday evening on the Coffs Harbour Jetty foreshore, and end there on Sunday afternoon with the globally-televised Wolf Power Stage and podium presentation.
Other stages being assessed for inclusion are Raleigh, a spectator-friendly tarmac circuit, and a gravel section of Graces Road in the Nambucca Shire. If the event proceeds, spectator facilities will be provided at the Super Special Stage and Raleigh only.
Further details of the event itinerary will be confirmed in due course, and in consultation with NSW emergency services, authorities and the local community.
Event Chief Executive Officer Darryl Ferris said the proposed revisions would preserve key attractions of the original program for fans, such asthe free Rally Show and Ceremonial Start on Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday’s Super Special Stages, Saturday night’s Dragon concert, and the free Pedders Rally Central competitors’ service park.Organisers are also working to deliver 3.5 hours of live television coverage across Saturday and Sunday.
“With the support of the emergency services and other authorities, our sporting officials have done a remarkable job to quickly put together a plan that we hope will still deliver a valuable international sports event to the Coffs Coast region if conditions allow,” Ferris said.
“We continue to stay in close and constant contact with the Rural Fire Service and authorities about the changing nature of the NSW bushfire emergency and we are ready to react if necessary.”
- Report by Chris Nixon – Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia