Saturday’s action at WRC Rally Australia provides the longest competitive day of driving and sees crews racing through one of the longest stages on the World Rally Championship calendar.
The 50.80km Nambucca stage is regarded as the signature stage of Rally Australia. It represents about 28 minutes of flat-out driving through rural countryside for the top crews and is expected to test crews with high tyre wear rates.
Nambucca is used twice today and provides just over 100km of the 135.19km on the leg two programme.
The rally makes a 7.00am (9.00am NZ time) departure from the Coffs Harbour Service Park and the route takes the crews south of the coastal city to the start of the Nambucca stage.
Following the long stage there is a new variation of the Valla stage. This was the stage that created controversy in 2015 when rally organisers ran the stage after dark in very dusty conditions. This year the Valla stage is extended using a new layout that measures 14.84km.
There’s a second sprint around the 1.37km Raceway super special stage on Saturday morning (it was run once yesterday) before crews arrive at the Coffs Harbour service park at 11.33am (1.33pm NZ time).
The afternoon loop repeats the Nambucca and Valla stages before a regroup at the service park that will reverse the starting order and send crews through the third and fourth runs of the waterfront Destination NSW Super Special Stage from 4.48pm (6.48pm NZ time).
Once Saturday’s competitive driving is completed there is just 57km of action remaining to decide the rally on Sunday.