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Amid Australian state border restrictions, there was simply no way organisers could prepare the event for running by the late November date.

In a similar situation to what has hampered the rest of the country, including the Alpine Rally initially scheduled for December, organisers were unable to complete the preparation required for the international and national events.

“We’re shattered to be announcing this decision, but unfortunately it simply will not be feasible to continue to prepare to host these events in Coffs Harbour in November, particularly without the international component of the APRC and the ongoing border restrictions,” Motorsport Australia’s Michael Smith explained.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank the NSW Government for its tremendous support of this event, and we hope to be able to confirm details of a 2022 replacement event soon, which will deliver significant benefits for regional New South Wales.

Organisers of the Australian Rally Championship are still holding out hope for an event in the last months of the year, however, as Australia continues towards its vaccination targets and restrictions begin to ease across the country.

“Motorsport Australia is definitely looking at adding one extra round of the 2021 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship event in December, subject to any ongoing restrictions,” Smith added. 

“With the rate of vaccinations and the plan to relax restrictions at a certain level in place nationally, this provides us with some hope that a December event in a location to be confirmed could still be possible. We’re keen to see what we can make happen later this year and continue to consult with competitors and teams.”

Even if the worst affected state, New South Wales, opens up and comes out of lockdown by December with a 70 or 80 per cent double vaccination rate achieved, a round of the national championship would require the whole country to be at similar restriction levels for this proposed December round to go ahead.

That would mean borders would have to be fully open and events the size of an ARC round would need to be possible.

Recent feature cars:

Tom Clarke’s 2.4-litre Datsun Stanza

Global pandemics care little about motorsport though, so the first showing of the classic 1982 Datsun Stanza will have to wait until some time in 2022. Outside running his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

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Luke Whitten

Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.
Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.