Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Drivers Call to Boycott Stage; Dust Yet to Settle on Risks Involved in Coffs Night Race

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Drivers Call to Boycott Stage; Dust Yet to Settle on Risks Involved in Coffs Night Race

Article excerpt

Byline: David Barwell

A CONTENTIOUS night section during last month's World Rally Championships on the Coffs Coast has sparked calls for a boycott of next year's event.

The new 7.94km night stage in Valla drew widespread criticism from WRC drivers for what they described as dangerously dark and dusty conditions on narrow gravel roads.

French driver Sebastien Ogier, who clinched victory during the Coffs Harbour event, last week called a meeting of drivers, co-drivers and FIA president Jean Todt to discuss a possible boycott of future night sections.

British driver Kris Meeke backed Ogier's calls, saying the section posed unreasonable risks to drivers.

"If somebody could give me one reason what that stage added to Rally Australia, I'd be very interested to hear it," Meeke told Autosport.

"It's the premeditated nature of the argument in Australia that gets me - they knew there would be dust and they sent us in anyway.

"If they try it in 2016, I think there might be some red faces. …

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