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NEW STAGES FOR RALLY AUSTRALIA IN 2017

Sebastien Ogier competing in Rally Australia last year - Photo: LAT

Sebastien Ogier competing in Rally Australia last year – Photo: LAT

Rally Australia, the final round of the World Rally Championship, will feature a selection of new and revised stages in 2017.

This year will mark the 25th visit to Australia for the WRC, with Toyota, Hyundai, Ford (M-Sport) and Citroën set to contest 21 special stages across 318.16 competitive kilometres on along Coffs Harbour’s gravel and forest roads.

Friday’s stages will move from south of the Coffs Harbour rally base to the north. The furtherest being Sherwood, near Glenreagh, around 40 kms north of the the regional New South Wales city.

Pilbara (9.7 km), Eastbank (18.9 km) and Sherwood (26.6 km) will be run in the morning and repeated in the afternoon.

The new stages were reviewed by Australian former Hyundai and Subaru WRC driver Chris Atkinson and have been described as a great mixture of fast and open roads with some technical sections.

Saturday returns to the south. The popular Nambucca stage has been shortened slightly to just under 49 kms for the morning pass, while in the afternoon it becomes two new stages run consecutively, Welshs Creek (33.5 km) and Argents Hill (12.3 km).

The rally then heads north of Coffs Harbour again on Sunday, with the new Pilbara stage run in reverse (Pilbara Reverse (10 km)), while Bucca and the event-closing Wedding Bells remain unchanged.

Kiwi Hayden Paddon will again take to the Coffs Harbour's roads for Hyundai in Rally Australia - Photo: LAT

Kiwi Hayden Paddon will again take to the Coffs Harbour’s roads for Hyundai in Rally Australia – Photo: LAT

The evening Destination New South Wales Super Special Stage returns as well, utilizing the same Coffs Harbour waterfront location from 2016 on Friday and Saturday evenings and the stadium-style Raceway SSS on Saturday morning.

“We have seen how wild and fierce the new 2017 World Rally Cars are in the other rounds and we can’t wait to see how they perform on our Australian roads,” event Chairman Ben Rainsford said.

“It’s been the most competitive WRC season in decades and we look forward to the fight between Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville, Jari-Matti Latvala and others continuing all the way to Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

“The changes we have made for the 2017 route promise exciting new challenges for the drivers and a fantastic climax to the season.”

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