Coffs Harbour to host penulimate ARC round
- 14th September 2012, 9:05am
The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will be run on 12-14th October on the challenging and highly regarded forestry roads around the coastal city and organisers are expecting more than 80 cars to face the starter.
The rally will use many of the roads used in the World Championship Rally Australia which was run in the region last year and which will return in 2013.
According to the CEO of the Bosch Australian Rally Championship, Scott Pedder the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will be one of the highlights of the 2012 Championship with fantastic roads, a magnificent backdrop and competitive battles across several categories.
"Being the home of Rally Australia means this Coffs event is really like a mini round of the WRC, using many of the same roads and giving local organisers and volunteers the chance for a full dress rehearsal prior to the World Championship's return in 2013," said Scott Pedder.
"The level of local involvement in this rally is unprecedented and we are extremely pleased at how much interest and involvement there is from local business, media and service organisations," he said.
"As well as support from local business, Snake Racing Coffs Coast is also receiving tremendous support from the Coffs Harbour Regional Council, Coffs Harbour Airport, the local Coffs Harbour District Car Club and a host of local businesses as well as our naming rights sponsor Snake Racing."
"On conservative estimates with 80 cars expected to line up at the start, the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will inject close to $1 million into the local economy over the three days of the event which is a great boost," he added.
Local member for Coffs Harbour in the NSW Parliament, Mr Andrew Fraser MP said he is very pleased that the Coffs Coast has been chosen to host Round 5 of the 2012 Bosch Australian Rally Championship.
"This is evidence of the great success of the previous Rally and I am hopeful that these events will become a regular event in area," said Mr Fraser.
"I would like to pass on my thanks and appreciation to the organisations and volunteers who do a marvellous job in organising and running rallies," he said.
"I am extremely pleased that the businesses of the Coffs Coast will be able to benefit from the huge crowds who follow this family friendly activity.
Those attending spend money on accommodation and meals and make a huge contribution to the Coffs Coast economy," Mr Fraser added.
Along with the Bosch Australian Rally Championship competitor, the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will also play host to the final of the Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge, the Australian Side by Side Rally Challenge, the East Coast Classic Rally Challenge as well as being round three and four of the 2012 NSW State Rally Championship, with the two day rally being split into two rounds for State competitors.
In a first for the Championship and in recognition of the excitement they have generated in season 2012, the Side by Sides will head the field and will be the first vehicles through the stages at Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally.
This also recognises the great input from the event naming rights sponsor, Snake Racing, which has played a key role in promoting and growing the Side by Side category in Australian rallying.
"We are truly thankful for the backing and support Ryan Flanagan and his team at Snake Racing has given to not only the Coffs Coast Rally but also the entire Bosch ARC this year," said Scott Pedder
In addition the rally will host an Allcomers event on the first day of the event on Saturday 13th October, allowing non-homologated cars to enjoy the challenging and exciting Coffs forestry roads.
Scott Pedder added that the Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally has benefitted from the infrastructure established for Rally Australia with locally based operations manager Scott Bedford and rally administrator Joanne Wake working on both events from the Rally Australia office in Coffs.
"The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally is an important event in its own right but it is also a vital shakedown for Rally Australia next year and will allow us to try out systems and iron out any problems ahead of the WRC event in 2013," said Scott.
The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will be based at Coffs Harbour Airport using the same central service Park as Rally Australia and the field will be flagged away on Friday evening in a ceremonial start in the Coffs Harbour Mall.
Competitors will face two runs over four separate stages for a total of eight special stages totalling 126 km of competitive running on Saturday 13 October with a remote service point in Woolgoolga.
On day two of the rally on Sunday 14 October there will be a remote service at Ulong with crews tackling two runs each over three separate stages for a total of six special stages with108 km of competitive running before a ceremonial finish near the Coffs Harbour Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon.
Rally clerk of course Adrian Dudok says the rally will provide some challenging roads and some great spectator viewing across both days of the event.
'We have tried to use as many WRC roads as we can in a compressed two day format and I am sure both drivers and spectators will have a fantastic time on this rally," said Adrian.
"All three stages run on Sunday are on roads used in Rally Australia, providing some of the best rally roads in the country and a great test for competitors," he said.
"We are very fortunate in Coffs to have such fabulous stages so close to town which will also allow spectators to catch action at a number of points at no cost," he added.
With separate champions to be crowned in both two wheel drive and four wheel drive in the 2012 Bosch ARC Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will see two fights raging over the weekend as leading drivers battle to win an Australian title.
Local NSW North Coast Mitsubishi Evo 9 driver Michael Boaden from Wauchope comes to what is his home event with a major advantage in the Bosch Four Wheel Drive Australian Rally Championship.
Boaden and his sister, co-driver Helen Cheers hold a 62 point lead over young WA tearaway Tom Wilde and hope to cement a strong advantage at Coffs ahead of the final round in Victoria in November.
"We have had a very good year so far and we come to Coffs with a very strong points advantage in the championship so we are looking forward to the fantastic North Coast roads although I don't believe we will have a home town advantage," said Michael Boaden.
In the Bosch two wheel drive Australian Rally Championship, Honda works driver Eli Evans has a strong lead in the championship with a 169 point advantage over his Honda team mate Mark Pedder, however the arrival of Eli's famed four times Australian Champion brother Simon Evans in his new Mazda 2 G2 rally car has added some spice to the competition in two wheel drive.
With the Australian Rally Championship moving to a two wheel drive formula in 2013 the Coffs Coast Rally is chance for the older Evans brother and his new Rallyschool entered Mazda to tune up for a full competitive tilt at a fifth title next year, while also fuelling the intense sibling rivalry with his younger brother in the Honda.
"We had a great battle with Simon at the previous round in South Australia and we were able to beat him there which was a tremendous result for the team, particularly given we were up against some fairly strong opposition and I was sweet beating Simon," said Eli Evans.
"We are looking forward to Coffs because the roads are just fantastic and will be very exciting in the two wheel drive Honda Jazz G2," he said.
"We are under no illusions, Simon and the Mazda will be very quick when they sort that car and I know they have been doing a lot of work ahead of Coffs so the battle will be on, even if their focus is now on the 2013 title," he added
The Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will also be the battleground for the Rallyschool Australian Junior Challenge with ten of the fastest young guns in the sport battling it out in two and four wheel drive classes for a prize drive at the final round of the Bosch ARC in Victoria in November.
"Snake Racing Coffs Coast Rally will have a total of eight hours of national TV coverage on the Ten Network providing a great platform to not only showcase Australian rallying but also the fabulous Coffs Coast region which is a strong boost for local tourism and promotion," said Scott Pedder.
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