Rally Australia will continue to bid for future rounds of the World Rally Championship to follow its event this September on the Coffs Coast of New South Wales, organisers have announced.
Rally Australia will host round ten of the 2011 WRC on 8-11 September, but so far it is not included on a provisional 2012 list of events announced last week in Europe by championship organisers [see separate story – click here
General manager Michael Masi has now said Rally Australia and its supporters aim to have a long-term future on the Coffs Coast. He also added that they are keen to see it happen every year, rather than every other.
“In recent weeks, we have argued strongly for Rally Australia to have a permanent annual WRC round from 2012 and we'll continue to push our case until the countries on the provisional list of events and the dates, which have not been announced yet, are subject to a final vote of the FIA in Paris on 3 June,” he said.
“We're disappointed that the provisional list appears to make our claim more difficult, but we will continue to propose that Rally Australia's location, solid community, business and government support and this country's economic and social background fully justify our inclusion in the World Rally Championship.
“But whatever happens over 2012, it will not affect one iota our preparations for the 2011 Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast. Everything is on track for a successful, well-supported event.”
Masi added that the provisional list of 12 countries to host a WRC round in 2012 – one fewer than in 2011 - continued a practice of recent years to alternate Australia and New Zealand.
It also reflected the difficult task of accommodating an over-supply of candidate countries.
“Rally Australia hosted the WRC in 2009, New Zealand last year, Australia this year and provisionally New Zealand next year. Without prejudice to New Zealand, we have been pushing for Australia to have its own permanent place on the calendar,” he continued.
“This is not a trans-Tasman issue. Both Australia and New Zealand have to independently prove their worth to host one of world motorsport's most prestigious and widely-followed competitions against rival bids from many countries in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.
“We appreciate the predicament of the World Rally Championship in trying to accommodate all these interests, but our focus is bringing the championship to Australia,” he summed-up.