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Off Road Championship to Boost Rally Australia Excitement
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Friday, 09 November 2012
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Spectacular off road racing cars in a round of the Australian Off Road Championship will boost the excitement for spectators at Rally Australia on the New South Wales Coffs Coast next September.

The Australian Off Road Championship will be a new feature of the support program for Rally Australia, which will host round 10 of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) as its headline event on 12-15 September.

Its addition is part of a plan by organisers to increase the range of attractions and facilities at the Rally Australia festival, adding to the excitement and value for ticket holders.

While cars in the WRC and Australian Rally Championship - which also will run at Rally Australia – contest relatively short stages on closed shire and forestry roads, the offroaders will tackle longer stages over rougher bush terrain.

Off road racing machines among the most impressively-engineered machines in motorsport, boasting big horsepower to drive them across rugged tracks at up to 200 km/h, and long suspension travel to handle jumps and other obstacles.

The course is anticipated to be 300 kms to be completed over two or three days at Rally Australia.

While the main action is expected to be to the south of Coffs Harbour, near one of the sport’s traditional bases around Kempsey, off road competitors also will tackle the nightly Super Special Stage alongside the WRC and ARC rally cars and share their Service Park facilities.

Chairman of the Australian Off Road Championship’s commercial entity ORRInc., Edwin Vandenberg, said the event would showcase the extreme nature of the vehicles and their capabilities to an audience across Australia and internationally.

Marilyn Emmins, Chair of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport’s Australian Off Road Commission, welcomed the innovative link-up of rallying and offroading.

“This will be a great experience for off road teams and we’re delighted to be joining with Rally Australia,” she said.

Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford said the off road event would add an exciting new attraction to the September weekend.

“Spectators will certainly get their thrills with the Australian Off Road Championship. These cars are true crowd-pleasers, they run fast, fly high and sound loud,” he said.

“It will showcase the sport to a new audience of spectators and television viewers and will be a terrific opportunity for crews who want to compete in the company of the world’s best.

“As well, the crews, families and supporters who follow the Off Road Championship will add significantly to the local economic benefit generated by more than a week of activity around Rally Australia.”

Mr Rainsford said the off road round was the first of many additions and refinements organisers expected to announce over the coming months aimed at making Rally Australia one of the country’s greatest annual motorsport events.