2009 WRCRepco Rally Australia  organisers have increased spectator capacity for a second time as ticket sales continue to run ahead of estimates for the 3-6 September round of the FIA World Rally Championship in the New South Wales Northern Rivers.

Rally Australia says the sales show that thousands of fans are keen to see the World Rally stars and cars in action for the first time in eastern Australia.

“Confirming a forecast that Rally Australia will bring valuable economic benefits to the Northern Rivers, 94 per cent of ticket buyers so far have come from outside the region,” organisers said.

“Tickets priced from $22 for a one-day special stage pass and $99 for a whole-event Super Pass are on sale through Ticketek (ph. 132 849, ticketek.com.au).

“With the good-value Super Pass already selling four times its bugeted total, a recently-added spectator point on Friday’s Castrol Edge East gravel special stage will now be enlarged to take a 25 per cent increase in numbers and an extra grandstand will be erected at Taylor’s Corner, on the nightly Tweed Super Special Stage in Murwillumbah.

“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).

“Highlights of the most recent sales reports show 46 per cent buyers came from Queensland, 26 per cent from New South Wales regions outside the Northern Rivers and nine per cent 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.”

Rally Australia, round 10 of the 2009 FIA WRC, will cover more than 340km in competition on closed public roads between Kingscliff, on the coast, and south-west of Kyogle, around 120km inland.

General Admission viewing in no-alcohol areas with catering facilities will be available for 12 of the gravel Special Stages, with the competition schedule set so spectators can see cars in action from at least two points each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Big crowds are expected at the Tweed Super Special Stage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, when cars will race three at a time, pursuit-style, around two laps of a 1.2km street circuit near the centre of Murwillumbah.

Adult tickets to the Tweed Super Special Stage will cost from $25 per night or $75 for three nights.