The Rally Australia Rally Show on Thursday afternoon marks the start of the WRC action.
The Rally Australia Rally Show on Thursday afternoon marks the start of the WRC action. Trevor Veale

Meet world rally drivers in city centre

FROM the glamour of Monte Carlo and the snow of Sweden, to the mountains of Mexico and the vineyard tracks of the German Rhineland, the FIA World Rally Championship has arrived at the next destination on its 13-country world tour - Coffs Coast.

The region's spectacular scenery will be in the spotlight as the world's fastest rally drivers take on a mix of high-speed open rural roads and forestry tracks.

Thursday afternoon is your chance to welcome the drivers, teams, officials, sponsors and spectators back to the coast at the Coates Hire Rally Show.

WRC.COM Rally Australia preview : WRC.COM previews the Coates Hire Rally Australia stages on the Coffs Coast.

Head into Coffs Harbour Mall, Harbour Dr, from 4.15pm to celebrate the official start of the rally at this free event.

This is your chance to grab a selfie with your favourite driver, collect autographs, buy rally souvenirs and take a close-up look at the cars before the real action begins on Friday.

Embrace the rally atmosphere as thousands of fans come together to cheer on the drivers and see them interviewed on stage in the CBD.

The event follows the recce where drivers and co-drivers run the routes at normal speed and make pacenotes ahead of the real deal.

The rally show isn't your only chance for an up-close encounter - there will be Meet the Crew sessions at the Service Park at C.ex International Stadium on Thursday at noon, as well as Friday and Saturday evening, where drivers and team managers will debrief on each day's events.