Confirmation Rally Australia will return next September will provide many opportunities to further develop the Coffs Coast-based event, organisers have said.
Rally Australia will be staged on 11-14 September 2014, following the announcement on Friday of the full 2014 WRC calendar
by the FIA, the world governing body of motorsport.
After the successful staging of the 2013 Coates Hire Rally Australia this month - won by Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier - early news of a change from biennial to annual frequency will allow the organisers and their partners to maintain the momentum and devote more resources to enhancing the event, Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford believes.
“Confirmation of Rally Australia 2014 is great news not only for us as organisers, our local suppliers and our partners including Coates Hire, East Coast Bullbars and the Forestry Corporation, but it is also a reward for the Coffs Coast community, which made a very big contribution to the success of our recent event and the previous one in 2011,” Rainsford stated.
“I thank the New South Wales Government through its Destination NSW organisation, Coffs Harbour City Council and the many other parties that have supported our bid for an annual WRC round.
“Knowing that we can turn around straight away on organising 2014 means we can retain local staff, supply chains, logistical arrangements and potentially sponsors and put more time into improving the attractions for spectators.
“As Australia's only other four-wheel world championship outside F1, Rally Australia has a tremendous opportunity to become one of our biggest and most exciting motorsport festivals and to make an even bigger contribution to the Coffs Coast regional economy.
“We're already reviewing plans for 2014 and hope to announce some new initiatives soon.”
Rainsford added that Rally Australia had signed a contract for events in 2014 and 2015 with the WRC commercial rights holder WRC Promoter GmbH, although confirmation of 2015 would be subject to the normal FIA processes.
Rally Australia is also pressing ahead with a bid for 2016, he said.