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Saturday, July 23, 2011


8-11 September 2011


LEAVING Sweden's snow and Jordan's desert dust behind, the world's fastest rally drivers hit the New South Wales Coffs Coast on 8-11 September for Rally Australia, round 10 of the epic FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Piloting million-dollar machines, drivers from around the world will clash over three days and nights on the Coffs Coast's most testing terrain.

After surviving snow, desert, high altitude and rock-strewn tracks on three continents, who will come unstuck on the Australian gravel and tarmac? Who will get the better of the gruelling stages through forests and farmland and alongside city beaches?  Will Australian stars like Chris Atkinson and Coffs Harbour's Nathan Quinn show the international visitors the way on home turf?

Among those battling for one of motorsport's most prestigious prizes will be seven-time World Champion Sebastien Loeb and Citroen teammate Sebastien Ogier from France, Ford aces Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala from Finland, Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen, Norway's Petter Solberg and American Ken Block.

Tickets for the 'Ultimate Dust Up' are on-sale via Ticketek (, phone132849 and retail outlets) nationally to see the best of the best fighting for the most prestigious international championship next to Formula 1.  Tickets are priced from as little as $15 for an adult.

"The WRC is a dazzling spectacle played out in 13 locations around the globe. This will be the 21st Rally Australia but the first time people will be able to see it in this beautiful part of New South Wales," said Michael Masi, General Manager of Rally Australia.

"It will be an opportunity for spectators of all kinds to witness the skills of these spectacular drivers and experience all the exciting atmosphere of a world championship contest – without having to travel far from their accommodation base and with access to all the attractions and facilities of a major holiday region."

The WRC's swing Down Under also will showcase top Aussie driving talents, keen to test themselves against the world's best. In a field of up to 100 cars, Australians will compete in WRC classes or in two companion events, the Coffs Coast Forest Rally, a round of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship, and the Coffs Coast Classic Rally, a nostalgia feast for lovers of Seventies-era models such as the Ford Escort, Datsun 1600 and Mazda RX-7.

Michael Masi adds, rally driving at the elite WRC level is "adrenalin-charged to the max" and thrilling for spectators to see.

"They're the gravel masters, riding their turbocharged machines from rest to 100 kmh in three seconds, racing through the forests at more than 160 kmh, jumping and sliding at impossible speeds. Spectators won't have seen anything like it – it's a stunning, unforgettable experience."

The nightly Superspecial Stage on closed bitumen streets in Coffs Harbour's Jetty precinct will be a spectator highlight. Drivers will compete under lights over a 3.77 km course that runs right beside the harbour, with thousands of spectators on boats and in every available on-land vantage point creating an electric atmosphere.

In total, the Rally Australia WRC course covers 369 kms on 26 timed competitive stages through the Nambucca, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley regions, all within a convenient 75 km drive from Coffs Harbour.

Rally Australia General Admission tickets can be purchased on-line at, which also provides full information about ticket choices, including maps and Spectator and Enthusiast Point descriptions..

Access to trackside Spectator Points will cost as little as $25 with family discounts available, free entry for children under six and pre-event discounts for online ticket purchases.

"An Adult ticket to visit one Special Stage Spectator or Enthusiast Point every day and the Superspecial Stage every night is just $99, with an option to buy a Superspecial grandstand seat for a further $76," he said.

"An Event Super Pass means spectators will see the field race past their viewing location twice every day and twice every night – that's fantastic value!

"We expect this will be a very popular choice, as past research shows many fans like to follow the rally from start to finish.

"Alternatively, there are three-day passes for just the Spectator Points, Enthusiast Points or Superspecial, plus individual-day stage passes.

"All in all, there's a ticket for every viewing preference or budget, but I urge intending spectators to book early as capacity at all points is finite due to various conditions and some may sell out before the event."

Tickets at slightly higher prices also will be for sale to walk-up spectators at stage entry points during the event, when there is unsold capacity.  Entry will be free to the official start in the centre of Coffs Harbour and finish at The Jetty and throughout the weekend at the Service Park at Coffs Harbour Regional Airport.

All event spectator points have catering, toilets and parking or free shuttle-bus transport.  Corporate hospitality is also offered on several stages, including the Superspecial Stage.


·         Ticketing details at or
·         Travel and accommodation information at
·         The 2011 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) pits cars and drivers on events in 13 countries, including Australia, though some of the toughest, and most varied, conditions on the planet.  Crews and manufacturers, including Citroen, Ford and Mini, will battle it out for the annual drivers' and makes' championship trophies.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
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