E Evans Honda RA launch 16072013 (Jeremy Rogers pic)

Eli Evans puts his Honda’s power down on the ARMOR ALL Super Special Stage today.

(Event release, 16/7/2013)  STUNT pilots, singers and the world’s fastest rally drivers will combine to make Coates Hire Rally Australia a spectacular experience on the New South Wales Coffs Coast on 12-15 September.

The entertainment program was announced at the official launch of the FIA World Rally Championship event today, 58 days from the start of one of the State’s biggest regional sports attractions.

Spectators will be treated to daily and nightly entertainment at the Brelsford Park Rally Hub, close to the centre of Coffs Harbour.

The stars of the WRC will display their dazzling driving skills on the ARMOR ALL Super Special Stage course every night at Brelsford Park and during the day on traditional rally stages on forestry and rural roads.

“It will be a huge party, combining awesome rally action and musical and extreme-sport entertainment to thrill every spectator. The atmosphere in Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas will be fantastic,” Event Manager David Catchpole said.

Entertainment highlights include –

  • The Red Bull Stunt Plane – Friday and Saturday over the Rally Hub and Sunday over the Flooded Gum Rally Village spectator point
  • The RAAF Roulettes stunt team – Friday and Saturday over the Rally Hub and Sunday over the Flooded Gum Rally Village spectator point
  • Freestyle Moto-X, featuring X Games gold medalist and Nitro Circus star Cam Sinclair – Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Rally Hub
  • Samantha Jade – 2012 X Factor, performing at the Rally Hub on Saturday night
  • Thunderstruck – AC/DC tribute band, performing at the Rally Hub on Friday night
  • Skydivers over the Rally Hub
  • Live TV on a giant Screen at the Rally hub
  • The Cloud 9 Ultimate Destination premium viewing facility

“All this is free to Coates Hire Rally Australia ticket holders. There’s a great variety of tickets on sale now at rallyaustralia.com.au.

“Spectators can choose which rally stages and entertainment attractions they want to see or get the lot – including a grandstand seat – with a WRC Event Super Pass pass priced at $215,” Mr Catchpole said.

“Alternatively, a basic one-day Rally Hub pass will cost just $30.”

The Rally Hub also will be home to the teams’ Service Park, where rally cars will be repaired and replenished several times a day when they return from the competition Special Stages.

The Service Park will be open to ticket holders throughout the event, allowing them to see the high-tech rally cars up-close, watch skilled mechanics race against the clock or even catch up with a driver for an autograph or photo.

The ARMOR ALL Super Special Stage will use a former velodrome in Brelsford Park plus a

closed section of Park Avenue for a 1.8 kilometre speed test twice on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Cars will compete two-at-a-time against the clock from starting points on opposite sides of the banked track, with spectators enjoying excellent viewing from elevated positions.

Mr Catchpole said the size of the Rally Hub and extent of activities there meant there would be some disruption to normal traffic.

“This is a truly international event that will showcase to the world the Coffs Coast as one of Australia’s great destinations,” Mr Catchpole said.

“However staging such an event will come with some disruptions that we intend to manage closely.

“Social media, press and radio advertisements, websites and roadside signage will be deployed to advise motorists and residents of changes.”

While the focus today was on the 2013 event, Mr Catchpole said the organisers were awaiting news on a bid to bring back the event in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“We have a submission in for an annual event to the WRC promoters and the Federation de l’Automobile in Paris and may receive some news on that in the next few weeks.

“Rally Australia needs to be an annual event in order to grow and achieve its full potential,” Mr Catchpole said.

“It will allow us to retain momentum from year to year and to retain sponsors, suppliers, officials and – most importantly – the event’s many fans. Instead of re-starting every second year, we’ll be able to put our efforts into growing Rally Australia.”

Rally Australia is an important contributor to the region’s economic fortunes. The previous event in 2011 earned a nett economic benefit of $14.8 million and visitors purchased more than 64,000 bed-nights.

Dedicated international television coverage attracts an estimated 77 million-plus viewers per round, according to 2012 figures.