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The final round of the 2020 Australian Rally Championship will be held in Coffs Harbour on the last weekend in November, COVID-19 permitting. The rally will also be the final round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), but that status will be determined only by the status of Australia’s international borders. While Motorsport Australia won’t confirm that the event will be based in Coffs Harbour, APRC President, Vicky Chandhok, was more forthcoming.
“Subject to borders opening, the APRC will run at Coffs,” he told RallySport Magazine.
“If the restrictions continue and are eased only between Australia and New Zealand, then it would run as the Pacific Cup final round. “We’ll take a call by the end of the month,” he added.

Possum Bourne slides his Subaru around the Coffs Harbour Showgrounds in an ARC round. Photo: Peter Whitten

While not mentioning a venue, Motorsport Australia’s Michael Smith confirmed that “Government support had been secured to conduct a fourth and final round of the ARC, which will also be the final round of the APRC.' “As you can imagine, the current situation with border closures is creating some complications, but we are hopeful of being able to make an announcement on this event in the near future,” Smith said.
RallySport Magazine understands that it will be a two-day rally based at Coffs Harbour, and will offer a compact event format.
It is unlikely that the rally would travel as far south as Macksville, as Rally Australia has in the past. More traditional ‘Coffs Harbour Rally’ stages are expected in the Newry, Bucca and Sherwood Forest areas.

Brett Middleton slides his Honda Civic through a hairpin in the Sherwood Forest, near Woolgoolga.

The late November date will make conditions challenging for competitors. Average temperatures on the Coffs Coast at that time of year are 25 (maximum) and 17 (minimum). With Rally Australia unlikely to return to Coffs Harbour, the decision by the NSW Government to support the event is a real boost for the Coffs Coast region.

Coffs Harbour has hosted the ARC on many occasions. This is Stewart Reid in 1996. Photo: Peter Whitten

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