Rally Australia – more info comes to light
- 26th October 2007, 3:06pm
Following the announcement of the postponement of next year’s Rally Australia until 2009, a number of reasons for the move have come to light.
RallySport Magazine understands that one of the major factors in requesting the postponement comes from the inability of the organizers to secure a suitable venue for the Rally Headquarters, due to the close proximity of the event to the annual Indy Car race.
The organizers are also believed to be unwilling to use a ‘temporary’ Service Park for the first year of the event, prior to the completion of the I-METT motorsport centre at Norwell. There have also been suggestions that the Queensland government have concerns as to whether the appropriate Environmental Impact studies have been carried out on the proposed site.
It has also been difficult, apparently, to secure backers for the event with potential sponsors not keen on the FIA's rotational policy whereby the event would only be held every two years.
Sources have told RallySport Magazine that the rally stages for the Legs on the NSW side of the Queensland/NSW border were right to go, and that there is a suggestion that next year’s ‘Border Ranges Rally’ could be ramped up, possibly as a round of the Queensland Rally Championship, and run as a ‘test’ event for the 2009 Rally Australia.
The NSW local governments involved in the planning of the rally are said to have really had their eyes opened to the potential of what the WRC round can bring to the area, and are keen to see it eventuate.
Strangely, with Rally Australia planned to run in their backyard, the Queensland Rally Panel have not been privy to any discussions about the WRC round. One observer said that “it has come as no surprise” that the event has been postponed. But there is some good news for Rally Australia – a leaked 2009 calendar for the 2009 WRC includes the Australian event, which is scheduled for September of that year.
The unconfirmed 2009 WRC calendar also lists an event in Poland but will see such regular calendar fixtures such as Monte Carlo and Wales Rally GB miss out due to the FIA’s new rotational policy.
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