Te final showdown – 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (Rd 13)

COFFS COAST (NSW) – Rally Australia will remain the closing round of the FIA World Rally Championship in 2018 after the world motorsport governing body approved the calendar overnight.

The 26th Australian WRC will be staged on the Coffs Coast on 15-18 November at the end of a season that starts in January with the historic Rallye Monte-Carlo, returns to Turkey after a seven-year absence and in total visits 13 countries for the most challenging series in international motorsport.

“It’s great news that fans will be able to watch the fastest and bravest rally drivers in action in a World Championship event here again next year. The WRC offers incomparable excitement and drama,” Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford said after the calendar was ratified by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile in Paris.
“But fans don’t have to wait until November 2018 to have this experience, as today we’re exactly eight weeks away from running the first competition stage of the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia. This event will be unmissable, with a likely showdown for the 2017 World Championship and certainly for the CAMS Australian Rally Championship.”

Mr Rainsford said that as well as the sporting attraction, several other strong factors justified Rally Australia’s retention on the 2018 WRC calendar.

“Our automotive market is important to manufacturers contesting the WRC with production-based cars – this year Australian new vehicle sales are forecast to exceed 1.1 million, hundreds of thousands more than the WRC’s other southern hemisphere destination, Argentina. Ours is one of the world’s most diverse and sophisticated car markets and at Rally Australia fans will see some of their most popular brands put to the test in real-world conditions,” he said.

“Additionally, Rally Australia is a significant direct and indirect contributor to the regional economy through such things such as expenditure on infrastructure, logistics and spectator visits, plus international tourism promotion. It’s the most popular event in the WRC on social media with more than 335,000 Followers around the world and individual posts on our pages peaking at more than two million views.

“And we are a global motorsport leader in environmental protection and sustainability.”

The 2018 WRC will feature a mix of gravel, asphalt, snow and ice action across four continents to find the world’s best all-round driver.

Innovations include:

Turkey returns to the WRC for the first time since 2010. The 10th round will be based in the popular international holiday resort of Marmaris, in the south-west of the country, on 13-16 September. The gravel event will feature fast to medium-speed special stages, including smooth open roads near Marmaris and more-demanding rocky mountain passes in Mugla State.

The season begins later than in 2017 as Monte-Carlo moves back a week to 25-28 January. The second round in Sweden also is seven days later on 15-18 February.

Following the seventh round in Italy on 7-10 June, there will be a six-week break before the second half of the season begins in Finland on 26-29 July. Great Britain will run three weeks earlier on 4-7 October.

Spain swaps with Great Britain to become the final European round and the penultimate event of the season. It reverts to its more traditional slot on 25-28 October.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said the 2018 calendar offered heritage and originality.

“The 2018 season brings an enticing blend of WRC tradition and history, in the form of classic and long-standing rounds such as Sweden, Argentina and Finland, with a welcome return to Turkey,” he said.

“Turkey is a hugely important automotive market, in terms of sales and manufacturing. Record sales of almost a million vehicles were recorded in 2016 and the sporting reasons for its reintroduction are matched by a compelling business rationale.”

Tickets to the 2017 Kennards Hire Rally Australia are on sale now from www.ticketek.com.

2018 FIA World Rally Championship calendar –

Rd 1: 25-28 January, Monte-Carlo
Rd 2: 15-18 February, Sweden
Rd 3: 8-11 March, Mexico
Rd 4: 5-8 April, France
Rd 5: 26-29 April, Argentina
Rd 6: 17-20 May, Portugal
Rd 7: 7-10 June, Italy
Rd 8: 26-29 July, Finland
Rd 9: 16-19 August, Germany
Rd 10: 13-16 September, Turkey
Rd 11: 4-7 October, Great Britain
Rd 12: 25-28 October, Spain
Rd 13: 15-18 November, Rally Australia

Further information & assistance:
Chris Nixon – Media Manager
M. +61 418 759 417
E. media@rallyaustralia.com.au


About Rally Australia

Rally Australia on 16-19 November 2017 will be the 26th Rally Australia and the country’s 25th WRC event (the first event in 1988 was a round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship). With support from the New South Wales Government through its Destination NSW tourism and major events agency, the event moved to the Coffs Coast region in 2011 and immediately earned widespread community support. The rally features a compact format on gravel forestry and shire roads north, south and west of the Coffs Harbour headquarters, plus the spectacular Destination NSW Super Special Stage on the harbour waterfront, ensuring easy access for spectators and competitors. The stages provide a true challenge for the WRC drivers against a magnificent backdrop of subtropical coastal and hinterland scenery

About the FIA World Rally Championship

The FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is widely regarded as the world’s most challenging motorsport championship. It’s also highly consumer-relevant, as rounds based in 13 countries on five continents pit drivers in highly-modified versions of popular showroom models over closed mostly-public roads in real-world conditions varying from gravel and asphalt to snow, ice, heat and high altitude. Started in 1973, the WRC has been a battleground for makes including Toyota, Subaru, Ford, Citroen, Fiat, Audi, Mitsubishi, Mini, Peugeot and others. Teams representing Toyota, Citroen, Ford and Hyundai contest the outright category and Toyota will re-join from in 2017, meaning three of the world’s top-five car makes are committed to the WRC. The series attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators in some countries and a huge global television audience. The WRC is regulated and controlled by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for motorsport worldwide, and organised by WRC Promoter GmbH.

About Kennards Hire

Kennards Hire started back in 1948 when Walter Kennard hired a piece of machinery to someone who asked if they could borrow it from his garage. It has grown to be the largest family-owned hire company in Australia. Kennards has over 150 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand and, in a first for the equipment hire industry in Australia and New Zealand, the ability to hire on-line. Kennards Hire includes a number of specialist divisions including Concrete Care, Lift & Shift, Test & Measure, Pump & Power, Traffic and Rail. Its expert advice and hire equipment services the DIY customer at home and tradesman through to residential and commercial construction sites. Kennards Hire has a reputation for reliability, exceptional customer service and making the customer’s job easy. Kennards Hire’s family culture and continuous drive for improvement has been the driving force behind its success and has led it to be the leaders in the hire industry.

Rally Australia Pty Ltd, PO Box 1234, Coffs Harbour,
New South Wales 2450 Australia
Tel: +612 6648 4972,
Email: services@rallyaustralia.com.au

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