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MotorSport New Zealand President, Wayne Christie, has expressed his extreme disappointment that Rally New Zealand has been overlooked for a place in the 2018 World Rally Championship calendar. Speaking to RallySport Magazine today, Christie said that while the decision was not entirely unexpected, it was very disappointing all the same. “I’m probably more disappointed for the team led by Peter Johnston that has put so much effort into trying to get Rally New Zealand back onto the calendar,” Christie said.
“It is even more disappointing that the decision seems to have come down to funding, and the apparently insurmountable costs of getting to New Zealand, rather than the ability to put on a great event.
“As we all know the Rally of New Zealand has traditionally been one of the best organised rallies on some of the best roads in the world, but that is less of a consideration in a very commercialised promotional arrangement.” Christie said that once again, the event had received insignificant support from the New Zealand Government, which didn’t help the event's chances of returning to the WRC.
“New Zealand has struggled to get leading international events to its shores in the face of considerable government investment by other countries, and the cold hard reality is that until the New Zealand Government appreciates the value that these events bring to a small country far away from everywhere, and invests appropriately, we will continue to miss out.
“We’ve always believed that the Rally of New Zealand has provided a marvellous showcase for our leading industry, tourism, and yet again we have missed out on a chance to show the millions of people who watch WRC around the world our beautiful country and its fantastic scenery and attractions.” Rally New Zealand will be held on the North Island in November as the final round of the national championship, with Hayden Paddon to compete in his Hyundai i20 AP4+.
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