35 photos from the 2018 Coffs Coast World Rally showdown

Preparations for the FIA World Rally Championship finale – which incorporates the Kennards Hire Rally Australia – are at full speed.

The action begins on Thursday at Coffs Harbour on the NSW mid-north coast.

Construction workers are putting the finishing touches to the Destination NSW Super Special Stage, which will run on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Event clerk of the course Wayne Kenny said the 1.27km section of esplanade had been transformed from a quiet beach access road into a high-speed challenge for the fastest rally drivers and cars in the world.

At the Pedders Rally Central Service Park, mechanics for top WRC teams Toyota, M-Sport Ford, Hyundai and Citroën, plus Australian Championship frontrunner Neal Bates Motorsport were preparing their cars.

They hit the gravel for the first time on Thursday morning in a shakedown-test session.

What starts when?

Kennards Hire Rally Australia kicks off with a free Rally Show and ceremonial start on the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores from 4pm Thursday.

Competition will begin on the first of 24 special stages, Orara East, at 8.03am on Friday.