Class field for Rally Australia
NEW world champion Sebastien Ogier tops a star-studded list of international drivers who will contest the closing round of the FIA World Rally Championship at Kennards Hire Rally Australia on the New South Wales Coffs Coast next month.
Ogier, who won his fourth straight title in Spain last weekend, was nominated by his Volkswagen Motorsport team when entries for Australia closed during the week.
The line-up for the November 17-20 event remains provisional but will include 10 crews representing Volkswagen, Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and other top-level teams in the outright category, plus internationals in the WRC2 division and Australian privateers, in makes such as Citroen, Peugeot, Skoda, Subaru and Mitsubishi.
Clerk of Course Wayne Kenny said the final seeded entry list would feature the fastest rally drivers in the world and in Australia and promised there would still be plenty to fight for even though the 2016 drivers' and co-drivers' titles were decided last weekend.
"Sebastien Ogier was a clear winner but the competition for second and third positions in the championship is still wide open, with six drivers still mathematically in contention and two rounds remaining,” Kenny said.
Entries for the final round of the 2016 Kumho Tyres Australian Rally Championship, to be run on the same weekend and course as the world championship, close on Thursday. Hopes are high that local drivers Mark Beard, Mal Keough and Nathan Quinn will all be racing during the event.
While most eyes will be on the WRC drivers, a lot of attention will be on the battle for the Australian championship. The showdown for the 2016 Australian title is one of the closest in the competition's history. Four-time champion Simon Evans leads the standings with 251 points, with Molly Taylor on 246 and Harry Bates on 245.