Rally to enjoy perfect backdrop
THE Coffs Coast has a longstanding rally history, written in the dust of many of the rural and forestry roads, which will feature during Rally Australia – Coffs Coast, September 8-11.
Selling the hopes of the region to host a round of the world rally championships on a long-term basis, Rally Australia this week put a special focus on the stunning backdrop its competition routes will enjoy.
“These routes will be challenging for the drivers and will perfectly showcase the natural beauty of the region to the world,” said Rally Australia general manager Michael Masi.
“It’s a pleasure to be working in a pro-rally community; the support amongst the community is absolutely fantastic.”
Clerk of course Dr Michelle Gatton said the stages at the Coffs Harbour Jetty, in the Orara and Nambucca valleys and around Upper Corindi had been finalised after an extensive nine-month community consultation process.
“The rally’s competition stages will be spread across 370km, all within a 75km radius of Coffs Harbour,” Dr Gatton said.
This will potentially make Rally Australia – Coffs Coast the most compact round of the WRC Rally Championships.
Coffs Harbour Mayor Keith Rhoades and Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson applauded the prolific consultation Rally Australia had engaged in with key stakeholders and residents living along the routes.
In welcoming this week’s announcement on behalf of the State Government, Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser spoke of the Coffs Coast’s fame in rally circles.
“Rally roads on the Coffs Coast are the best in the world,” Mr Fraser said.
“We need to make sure the world knows this, we need the rally to return from New Zealand in 2013.”
An independent assessment of the 2009 Rally Australia on the Northern Rivers found the event attracted a crowd of 85,000, generated 20,000 unique visitors to the region and injected $16.9 million into the local economy.
Beamed globally via the international media, scenes from the Australian round of the world championship reached an estimated television audience of 53 million viewers.