Construction work has begun on the centerpiece of next month’s Kennards Hire Rally Australia, the harbourside Destination NSW Super Special Stage that will host spectacular action during the FIA World Rally Championship finale.
Set between the Coffs Harbour Jetty foreshore and the Pacific Ocean on its southern side, the DNSW Super Special Stage is expected to attract thousands of spectators on the Friday and Saturday evenings of the 16-19 November event.
The 1.27 kilometre course will transform scenic Jordan Esplanade into an exacting challenge for the world’s fastest rally drivers.
It will feature the motocross-style Optus Berm corner, two runs at an oceanside jump plus a new feature, the VisitNSW Coppintop. Cars are expected to get airborne in front of the main spectating area as they race over the Coppintop, a low roundabout-style obstacle.
Adding to the entertainment, the action will be called by one of Australia’s favourite screen personalities, Shane Jacobson, who will be part of the course commentary team. The “Kenny” actor is a motorsport fan and has competed in the Australian Rally Championship.
Work will start next on the competitors’ Service Park at C.ex International Stadium, on the southern edge of Coffs Harbour.
The Service Park is expected to accommodate approximately 60 cars and will be open free to the public from Thursday to Sunday, alongside a wide range of entertainment and attractions that will make the area a lively all-hours hub for rally fans.
Rally Australia’s Clerk of Course Wayne Kenny inspected the Super Special Stage work today and said the venue would showcase some of the Coffs Coast’s most beautiful natural attractions.
“There isn’t another location like this in the entire WRC season, where the cars jump at speed against the backdrop of Pacific Ocean breakers rolling into Gallows Beach. In all likelihood there will be surfers watching from their boards at the cars race by,” he said.
“The course including the jump, Optus Berm and VisitNSW Coppintop will allow excellent spectator viewing while challenging the drivers. It’s tight and lined in places with concrete walls and the drivers will know a simple mistake here could end their rally.
“Last year’s rally winner Andreas Mikkelsen also holds the fastest time for the Super Special Stage at 1 minute 1.3 seconds, but I predict that record will be blown away this year with the new World Rally Cars – they’re so much faster and will put on a fantastic show.”
Competition on the Destination NSW Super Special Stage will start at 4.54 pm each day and finish by 7.30pm, with the fastest World Rally Cars representing the Toyota, M-Sport (Ford), Hyundai and Citroën teams to make the final runs.
Tickets are on sale now at www.ticketek.com, with a 2-for-1 offer on a $99 three-day pass – including the DNSW Super Special Stage – available until 31 October.