Rally Tours returned with our associate RSM for the Official Rally Tour of the Coates Hire Rally Australia 2015. Until Rally NZ is reinstated we have to make the most of our closest round of the WRC and support Hayden on his climb through the ranks of the WRC pilotes. Our clients congregated at the Opal Cove Resort (Coffs Harbour) which was also Rally HQ – they came by land sea and air – One client particularly recommended the ocean cruise from Auckland as a different way to get to a rally.
Greeting old friends and new guests at the welcome dinner, our guest speaker was Dean Herridge until he was interrupted by the arrival of Malcolm Wilson and his lead driver Elfyn Evans to speak to the enthusiastic crowd. A lively Q&A and signing of autographs followed before Peter and Carolyn outlined the schedule for the next days.
Shakedown was the same venue as last year, but we viewed at the mid point rather than the start.
Citroen had replaced Mads Osberg with Stephane Lefebvre following Mad’s recce accident.
Friday was an early start in order to get to our exclusive viewing position. In glorious weather we had a great view across a valley where the cars appeared around a tight downhill left before racing towards us, across a small bridge then 90 right before a short climb to another left and out of our immediate view, unless you were standing on top of the hill, in which case you could watch the next valley as well. AWESOME SPOT!
Yes, There was a little dust. Well OK, more than a little.
After the whole field, we moved back to earlier in stage 2, at the public viewing spot”
Hayden warming the tyres and brakes going into the last stage.
Saturday the long 50km Nambucca stage win for Hayden. A great spot with a fast approach to a hairpin left.
Again an exclusive viewing spot – although we did have to share with Louis Moya and the VW group – who looked exactly like our Castrol visitors from Friday!
After Nambucca we returned to Service where Hayden was kind enough to autograph items for some of our group.
After service we returned to Valla in preparation for the night stage. As night fell, so did the wind offering another challenge for the already close competition at the top of the field, with dust hanging nearly the whole five minutes between cars.
Sunday and only 68km left to go, with 5 cars inside 50 seconds of first place.
The Wedding Bells village offers some great viewing!
And Sebastien Ogier and VW win another championship each.
Now it just remains to get everyone back to their respective airports for their journeys home. Until next time – thanks to Peter and Caroline for all the extra work which makes the tour so smooth.