RALLY SHOW: Get down to the Coffs Harbour city centre on Thursday afternoon for your chance to meet the drivers in the World Rally Championship.
RALLY SHOW: Get down to the Coffs Harbour city centre on Thursday afternoon for your chance to meet the drivers in the World Rally Championship. Trevor Veale

Tracking all the action on the rally routes

A NIGHT stage in the bush and three new opening-day speed tests that organisers rate the best yet form part of a new-look Coates Hire Rally Australia route.

The new stages of Utungun, Bakers Creek and Northbank, south of the event's Coffs Harbour base, open the action in the 10th round of the FIA World Rally Championship on Friday morning and will be repeated in the afternoon.

"They are fast, technical, set in magnificent countryside and truly some of the best roads in the rally world," clerk of course Adrian Stafford said.

The rally stages are split between the Coffs Coast State forests and open farmland, with many of the country roads lined by trees that leave no margin for error.

After tomorrow's Coffs Harbour ceremonial start, two passes through the mostly familiar Newry Long test add to the new roads to complete Friday's 125.12km of competition.

Saturday features two passes through the marathon 50.80km Nambucca stage - the longest and most difficult of the season.

The 7.94km Valla stage is also driven twice, the second occasion in darkness, to complete the longest day of the event.

The first pass will be screened live on global television.

Five more tests north of Coffs Harbour on Sunday complete the itinerary, including two more live TV stages in Wedding Bells. The second pass forms the Power Stage with bonus points for the fastest three drivers.

The 17 stages cover 311.36km.

Scott Pedder will fly the Aussie flag in the WRC2 driving a Ford Fiesta R5 run by M-Sport.

"Even if it's just for this one round, is definitely a highlight of my career," Pedder said.