WRC the hottest ticket in town

RALLY Australia organisers are promising to build three grandstands in Murwillumbah for spectators or special street stages following what they say is a continued run on ticket sales for the Repco Rally Australia.

The rally organisers yesterday announced they would increase spectator capacity for a second time as ticket sales continued to “run ahead of estimates” for the World Rally Championship round, due to be held near Murwillumbah and Kyogle from September 3 to September 6.

Despite continuing controversy over the event and the NSW Government overriding Tweed and Kyogle Shire Council with special legislation to make sure it goes ahead, organisers said the sales showed “thousands of fans are keen to see the World Rally stars and cars in action for the first time in eastern Australia”

They said the sales confirmed their forecast the rally would bring valuable economic benefits to the Northern Rivers, with 94 percent of ticket buyers coming from outside the region.

A spokesperson said a recently added spectator point on one of the gravel roads would be enlarged to take 25 percent more people and an extra grandstand would be erected at Taylor's Corner in Murwillumbah for special night-time events.

“There will now be three grandstands in Murwillumbah, all named after World Rally Champions - Juha Kankkunen (1989, 90, 91 and 93), Colin McRae (1994, 97) and Marcus Gronholm (2000, 02),” a spokesperson said.

He said highlights of the most recent sales reports show 46 percent of buyers came from Queensland, 26 percent came from New South Wales regions outside the Northern Rivers and nine percent from Victoria. Postcode analysis reveals many spectators will come from outside the 'day-drive' market, suggesting they are candidates to purchase accommodation as well as tickets.

The spokesperson said big crowds were expected in the heart of Murwillumbah on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights when cars would race three at a time, “pursuit style”, around two laps of a 1.2km street circuit near the centre of Murwillumbah.

Adult tickets to that event cost from $25 per night or $75 for three nights.

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