The organisers of Rally New Zealand have announced they have withdrawn plans to host a round of the World Rally Championship in 2014.
New Zealand and Australia have alternated since 2009, however, Rally NZ chairman Peter Johnston has said the idea hasn't worked and that it has been difficult to attract sponsors and retain key staff.
He is now hoping the two countries can agree a new share, which will see the two countries hold events for three-year blocks, with Rally Australia, which will take place in a few weeks time, continuing in 2014 and 2015, before Rally New Zealand gets it own three-year slot from 2016-2018.
"The problem is this [holding events on a biennial basis] has just not worked," Johnston confirmed to the APNZ News Service
. “The lack of continuity has significantly affected the commercial viability [of the event] and our ability to resource the event with skilled personnel to a world class level.”
“We have [therefore] come up with the concept of each country staging the event for three years at a time,” he continued.
“It is a fair time for sponsors to maximise branding and gain a return on their investment. We can build a solid marketing base to develop public interest and we can retain a high level of expertise to run the event.
“We are competing with other international venues in the WRC that receive significant central and local government support.
“We hope that this new structure would enable us to attract levels of government support that are in line with the international status of the event and the financial investment that the WRC enjoys around the globe.”
The 2014 World Rally Championship calendar is expected to be confirmed soon.