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The World Motor Sports Council's announcement of the 2013 World Rally Championship calendar has provided the final piece in the jigsaw for the 2013 Australian Rally Championship, allowing organisers to unveil a six round series, with a new rally taking the sport back to the National Capital for the opening round of the title.
Scott Pedder, CEO of the Australian Rally Championship announced the revised calendar, which will see the series run from the first weekend in March to the middle of November visiting every mainland state as well as the ACT.
The 2013 series will also usher in a new era with two wheel drive cars becoming the only machines eligible to win the Championship, ending almost 30 years of four wheel drive dominance.
The 2013 ARC series will also include two International rallies with Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour and the International Rally of Queensland on the Sunshine Coast as well as now traditional rounds in WA's South West corner, the Adelaide Hills in South Australia and Victoria's Gippsland.
"With the World Motor Sport Council announcing Rally Australia will run from 13-15th September we have now finalised our 2013 ARC calendar with six events spanning nine months and we are very pleased to welcome Canberra back onto the schedule," said Scott Pedder.
"The National Capital Rally will be an exciting addition to the championship with strong support from the ACT Government as part of the Canberra Centenary celebrations and using classic rally roads many of which are only minutes from the centre of the city," he added.
"Rally Calder will not run in 2013, however we believe it is likely to return at some point in the future because the concept is a good one, however at this point in time, with the series still in rebuilding mode, I believe the championship should remain at six rounds to help nurture that rebuilding process," he said.
"With the backing of the ACT Government it was important to welcome Canberra back as this was one of the iconic rounds of the championship for many years.
"With a number of new manufacturers and teams coming on board in 2013 and the need to keep budgets at a reasonable and manageable level we felt it was not yet time to expand to seven rounds.
"Eventually in the next few years I see the Championship expanding to seven or more rallies and see no reason why we shouldn't have a round in say the Northern Territory and also return the series to Tasmania," Scott Pedder added.
"I believe that with more manufacturers coming into the championship they will want us to reach as many of their customers as possible so expansion will be on the agenda," he said.
"Six events across six states the series is a truly national championship and is well positioned to really blossom in coming years," he concluded.
The 2013 Australian Rally Championship will kick off in Canberra with the National Capital Rally on 1-3 March before moving across the continent just over a month later for the Quit Forest Rally at Busselton in WA on 5th - 7th April. Scouts Rally SA will be round three of series, moving from its traditional July date to the 24th-26th May in the Adelaide Hills while the International Rally of Queensland will run from 12th -14th July on the Sunshine Coast. While Rally Australia will host the world's best rally drivers and cars at Coffs Harbour from 12th - 15th September it will also see Australia's top crews battling it out for round five of the ARC with the final round based in the Gippsland town of Warragul in Victoria on 15th -16th November.
2013 Australian Rally Championship Schedule
1-3 March                   National Capital Rally, ACT
5-7 April                     QUIT Forest Rally, WA
24-26 May                  SCOUTS Rally SA
12-14 July                  International Rally of Queensland, Qld
12-15 September      Rally Australia, NSW
15-16 Nov                   Rally Victoria, Victoria 

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