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The NSW Rally Championship has release their vehicle eligibility rules for the 2021 season, with G4 and AP4 class cars now eligible to score points. Cars under the international classification, R5, are still ineligible, however. In an official statement, the MTA NSW Rally Championship explained: "The timeline for expanding the pool of vehicles eligible to score points in the MTA NSW Rally Championship has been under consideration for some time, specifically with reference to R5, AP4 and G4 cars. The Motorsport Australia NSW Rally Panel sees its foremost role as supporting Rallying at the grass-roots level, by protecting the interests of club and state level competitors alike. The Panel’s review of vehicle eligibility in early 2019 arrived at the position that the newer vehicle categories appeared to represent significantly higher levels of performance than currently eligible vehicles. This, together with affordability issues, resulted in the Panel voting to not to include these vehicles in the eligibility criteria for the 2020 MTA NSW Rally Championship. The Panel also resolved to revisit the situation annually, with the aim of making decisions pertaining to the following year. The Panel has continued to observe the relative performance and affordability of these vehicles at events across Australia and has sought input from a wide range of interested parties. Recently introduced freedoms have closed the gap between the latest PRC cars (which are currently eligible for the MTA NSW Rally Championship) and some of the vehicle types under consideration. The difference in performance has been observed to be significantly less than was previously the case. One of the criticisms of Rallying in Australia over recent decades, particularly at club/state level has been the tight restrictions placed on vehicle modifications. Where club/state-level rallying was once the domain of the home-garage-based enthusiast, some competitors are of the opinion that production-biased regulations diminish the sport’s appeal. The NSW Rally Panel is conscious of the benefits of fostering a culture of ongoing ingenuitive development. While this has traditionally been allowed under classic car regulations it’s been relatively absent from the regulations governing modern PRC cars. Following a course of its ongoing investigation over the past 12 months, the NSW Rally Panel has voted to allow vehicles built under G4 and AP4 regulations to earn points in the MTA NSW Rally Championship from 2021 onward. At this stage R5 cars remain ineligible, a situation that will be reviewed annually."
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