Young automotive trades students will get to live their dreams with an up-close experience of million-dollar competition cars when the World Rally Championship comes to the Coffs Coast of New South Wales for Rally Australia next September.

The students of the Automotive Centre at the North Coast TAFE at Coffs Harbour will be recruited to assist technical experts, known as scrutineers, who check every car before the rally for safety and compliance with technical regulations.

The work experience opportunity of a lifetime is part of an arrangement for Rally Australia to use the Automotive Centre’s workshops for vehicle scrutiny before and after the event.

The field of up to 80 cars, including the hand-built Fords, Citroens and Mini contesting the WRC outright category, will be subject to intense inspection and measurement by the scrutineers – and the students at their elbows will get to see the secrets under the skin of some of the world’s most exotic competition cars.

“The North Coast TAFE automotive students will be getting an opportunity few of their contemporaries anywhere in the world would have,” Rally Australian General Manager Michael Masi said.

“It will be an unforgettable experience that we hope motivates them in their careers and in particular gives an insight into the opportunities available to work in motor sport.

“Rally Australia is delighted North Coast TAFE will allow us to use the Auto Centre workshops. It’s a superb facility and will be put to good use in creating another worthwhile opportunity for the Coffs Coast community.”

Automotive Centre Head Teacher Garrie Crossingham said students would be invited to lodge Expressions of Interest to join the scrutineering team, which would work over several days during the rally.

Rally Australia, round 10 of 13 in the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, will be staged on 8-11 September in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Clarence Valley and Nambucca local government areas.

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