Organisers of September's Rally Australia have had to cancel a planned course inspection by defending FIA World Rally Championship Academy winner Elfyn Evans this week.
"The storm currently passing along the New South Wales coast has delivered some flooding and lots of fallen trees," explained Rally Australia Clerk of Course Adrian Stafford.
"I have been out to some of the higher areas and in fact have driven a couple of short sections of the course," he explained. "However, to ask forestry and other manpower currently deployed on assisting the community just to open up the rally course for an inspection is not warranted."
That means the young Welsh star will now compete in the the opening round of the 2013 East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship in Canberra next weekend before flying back to Britain where he is based in Dolgellau in Gwynedd, Wales.
Evans is the son of former WRC driver Gwyndaf Evans. He won the 2012 FIA WRC Academy title with four wins in six rounds, coming top of the class in Greece, Finland, Germany and France and also making it onto the podium in the final race of the year in Spain.
Meanwhile, Adrian Stafford was confident that the storms currently hitting the Coffs Coast region of New South Wales would not have any long-term repercussions for Rally Australia, which is due to take place on September 12-15.
“I am amazed how well our rally roads handle this amount of rain," Stafford said. "If it was actually rally time we could put sufficient resources into the forests to clear fallen trees and ensure the event would run."
This year's Rally Australia will be the 22nd WRC event in the country, the third since it moved to New South Wales from Western Australia. The 2011 rally attracted more than 13,000 individual visitors to the Coffs Coast.