WRC Rally Australia proposes 70% shorter route due to bush fires

Rally Australia organisers have revealed a heavily revised schedule as a proposal to keep this week's World Rally Championship finale running

WRC Rally Australia proposes 70% shorter route due to bush fires

The route for the Coffs Harbour-based event has been hit by bushfires raging up and down the east coast of New South Wales.

A bulletin issued by clerk of the course Wayne Kenny outlines a new itinerary pending approval from the FIA.

The new timetable uses just four stages, two of which are superspecial stages - one in the centre of Coffs Harbour and the other at Raleigh International Raceway south of the city.

The other two are formed from the Argents Hill Reverse test, one of the event's more southerly stages set just east of Bowraville.

That 7.4-mile stage will be shortened to just over five miles and used in both directions - one way called Graces and the other called Allens.

The recce for these stages will take place on Wednesday.

Friday's opening day of the event will potentially include seven stages, using a combination of the two superspecials.

An eight-stage Saturday is a combination of the Graces, Allens and the Raleigh tests, while the final day is four stages - all back on the superspecials.

Such an itinerary would reduce the overall mileage from 201 to 59 competitive miles.

If approved by the FIA, such a route would allow for the allocation of one-third of the total championship points - with a win being worth eight points.

That would mean Hyundai seals the manufacturers' title before the start, as its current 18-point advantage over Toyota could not be overturned with the reduced score available.

The event organisers have committed to amending the roadbook to include this revised itinerary by 1700 local time Tuesday November 12.

Three people have died in more than 120 fires that are burning across almost two and a half million acres of New South Wales and Queensland. Both states have declared a state of emergency.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "Everybody has to be on alert, no matter where you are and everybody has to assume the worst. We cannot allow complacency to creep in."

The worst of the conditions is expected on Tuesday, when temperatures are expected to rise to the mid-30s in the rally area with winds of up to 50mph fanning the flames.

Grace Legge, from Australia's bureau of meteorology, said: "Very dangerous fire conditions are developing on Tuesday from east New South Wales and into south-east Queensland.

"These weather conditions are being driven by a cold front that's moving up the east coast on Tuesday.

"Hot, dry, gusty conditions are expected ahead of the change. While the cool change may ease fire dangers [on Wednesday] a combination of dry and gusty winds and a shift in wind direction means people in the impacted areas will need to remain vigilant."


shares
comments
WRC Rally Australia to be "significantly shortened" amid fires
Previous article

WRC Rally Australia to be "significantly shortened" amid fires

Next article

WRC teams angry Rally Australia still not cancelled amid bush fires

WRC teams angry Rally Australia still not cancelled amid bush fires
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
23 h
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Plus

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Autosport went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022