The competing Ford Fiestas are being loaded onto planes in England bound for Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast.
The competing Ford Fiestas are being loaded onto planes in England bound for Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast.

Rally by land, air and sea

AS RALLY Australia’s service park grows by the day at the Coffs Harbour Regional Airport, fast moving goods are being freighted to Australia by road, sea and air.

M-Sport, the Cumbria-based company, running Ford’s FIA World Rally Championship logistics, has precious cargo coming in by plane, in the form of the competing Ford Ford Fiesta RS world rally cars.

The drivers will fly out of Manchester via Abu Dhabi this Saturday and arrive in Coffs Harbour on Monday.

M-Sport’s air freight securities co-ordinator Ashley Fowler is co-ordinating the cargo to be transported Down Under.

"I’m responsible for ensuring that everything is transported for our long-haul rallies, which have included Mexico, Argentina and Australia this year," Mr Fowler said.

"My main responsibilities are managing transportation targets, liaising with air freight suppliers, monitoring dangerous goods, weighing all items and compiling a comprehensive list of everything that is sent in the air freight.

"It is an extremely complex process, which can have costly mistakes if not done the correct way, so I need to make sure everything is done properly and by the book."

So how is everything transported to a long-haul event you may ask?

"At the start of the year seven shipping containers left M-Sport and will not return to M-Sport until December," Mr Fowler said. "Inside the containers are nine recce cars, service park infrastructure, consumable parts, hospitality tents and spare parts.

"The containers travelled by sea in time for the first long-haul event in Mexico, and from there it went to Argentina.

"Since then they have travelled from Buenos Aires to South Africa and then by sea to Singapore.

"The containers were taken off at Singapore and put on another vessel which then went on to complete the final leg to Brisbane," he said.

From there they will be brought to the Coffs Coast via road.

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