Rally Australia organizers will install extra viewing areas into the New South Wales stages to cope with higher-than-expected spectator demand for tickets for the September event.
The World Rally Championship has not visited Australia since 2006, when the event last ran in Perth. The rally's absence was due to the loss of its backing from the Western Australian government. It has now re-emerged as a new event on the other side of the country, running out of the town of Kingscliff in New South Wales.
Demand from local rally fans has caught the organizers off guard, with event chairman Alan Evans admitting: "Ticket sales are ahead of our early expectations and continuing strongly every day. As soon as it became clear that our [spectating] spots on Friday would fill quickly, we created an additional area on the Castrol Edge East [stage] and will provide shuttle buses to take spectators in and out."
In addition to seeing the regular WRC competitors on the event, which starts on September 3, spectators will also be able to watch the fastest local drivers tackling the roads following the inclusion of an invitation-only national division of the rally.
This is an initiative which will feature increasingly in the WRC from the start of next season, with up to 15 drivers competing from national championships using Group N cars. These drivers will have a separate classification from the WRC, but it will offer them experience of competing at the highest level.