Rally Australia is back for another year, with the picturesque Coffs Coast in Northern New South Wales again set to welcome the world's best rally drivers for the final round of the 2017 World Rally Championship (WRC).
Comprising a total of 318 competitive kilometres spread across 21 stages, Rally Australia kicks off in November, transforming Coffs Harbour from resort town to rally-fan central.
Officially launched at an event in Coffs this week, organisers announced that not only does Rally Australia have the potential to decide this year’s WRC champion, but that action will also be covered on FoxSports, as well as free-to-air on Channel Nine.
Invited along to get an eye-opening first-hand experience of what some of Australia’s, and the world’s, best rally drivers get to do for a living, CarAdvice got the opportunity to ride shotgun with Australian Rally Championship (ARC) young-gun Harry Bates, in his high-revving front-wheel-drive Toyota Corolla S2000.
The son of four-time ARC champion Neal Bates, Harry is currently leading this year’s championship by a mere three points, ahead of Subaru’s Molly Taylor, and Coffs local, Nathan Quinn.
Marking 25 years of WRC in Australia, this year’s 2017 Rally Australia runs from November 16 to 19, with the event culminating in a likely title win for either of the championship’s current front-runners, M-Sport World Rally Team’s Sebastien Ogier and Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville.