I have been the chief photographer for the World Rally Championship Rally Australia ever since it returned back to Australia and it really is the most amazing motorsport event. If you have never seen a WRC car and driver in action then you have never seen the best drivers in the world and the most incredible cars in action. Established in 1973, the WRC is widely regarded as the most challenging motorsport championship in the world. In 2016, the roads on this epic motorsport adventure are spread across more than 15 countries, with 14 rallies on everything from snow packed forest tracks to rock-strewn mountain passes.
Each rally features a number (typically between 15 and 25) of timed sections – known as stages – run on closed roads. Drivers battle one at a time to complete these stages as quickly as possible, with timing down to 1/10th second. Along the way, a co-driver reads detailed pace notes that explain what is coming up ahead. Competitors drive to and from each stage on public roads, observing normal traffic regulations. Most rallies follow the same basic itinerary. This starts with two days of ‘reconnaissance’ where driver and co-driver practise the route, at limited speed, to make pace notes. It is followed by ‘shakedown’ – a full speed test of their rally car – with the competition proper running for three days from Friday to Sunday.
The World Rally Championship cars will change significantly from 2017 so make sure you head to Coffs Harbour next year. For a start, power will rise from the current 300bhp or so to 380bhp, thanks to a larger 36mm turbo restrictor. Combined with a new aerodynamics package, which allows a larger rear wing, 55mm increase in width and greater overhangs at the front and rear, it’ll be the closest WRC has got to Group B since the legendary class was banned in 1987.
All of the images you see in this post were shot on either the Nikon D750 or D500. I used just 3 lenses and all Nikon, the 16-35mm f4, 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8. Big thanks to the guys from Nikon Professional Services for getting all the dust off them!