Rally Australia will host a flying visit by rising British talent Elfyn Evans as it seeks to finalise the course for September's WRC round on the New South Wales coast.
Evans, winner of the 2012 WRC Academy series for up-and-coming drivers, will visit the Coffs Coast for three days from 4 March and, accompanied by clerk of the course Adrian Stafford, will drive proposed special stages north, south and east of Coffs Harbour to advise if they are suitable and safe for the high-speed world rally cars.
Evans' visit is to comply with a request from the FIA for an internationally-experienced driver to conduct a safety inspection of new or changed stages, both of which are planned for the 12-14 September event.
“The purpose is to identify pieces of road that the driver considers tricky or which have potentially serious hazards, such as steep drops or trees,” Stafford explained, “These can then be discussed on the spot, so the clerk of the course can propose solutions or at least get a clear understanding of the potential problem so changes can be made before the competition course is finalised.”
Evans will travel to the Coffs Coast after competing in the opening round of the East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship in Canberra the previous weekend. There, he will drive a Ford Fiesta R2 for Innate Motorsport via a deal organised by RSPORT Motorsport, the Australian importing agent for British WRC team M-Sport, which employs Evans. The Welshman's main programme this year will again focus on WRC events, his prize for winning the WRC Academy, and working at M-Sport, helping to develop Ford Fiesta rally cars for the WRC and other championships.
Although the programme will not
include Rally Australia this year, Stafford hopes the young star will take good impressions of his visit home to the WRC community.
“Elfyn is a highly-respected driver and his impressions of the rally roads, the beautiful scenery, our plans and preparations, the enthusiasm of the community and some of the local attractions, we plan to show him will be of great interest to potential international entrants,” he said.