Following hard on the heels of the announcement that Tasmania’s round of the Australian Rally Championship, Subaru Safari Tasmania, will not run in 2007, rumours are circulating that another traditional ARC round, the NGK Rally of Melbourne, could also be a casualty.

Although there has been no official announcement from the organizers, RallySport Magazine understands that the event’s place in the 2007 ARC calendar is far from certain, despite being listed as the final round of the ARC calendar which was released last week (albeit the allocated date was tentative).

RallySport Magazine’s attempt to get a response from the organisers was met with a simple “no comment”.

Declining spectator numbers, a reduction in the number of ARC competitors and a lack of paying corporate sponsors have all contributed to a serious downturn in the ARC branch of the sport.

This is affecting promoters who are increasingly finding that the sponsorship dollars are now just paying for the shortfall in operating profit, rather than prizemoney and trophies.

The NGK Rally of Melbourne has been one of the most competitor-friendly events on the calendar under the direction of Neil Cuthbert and Justin Hunt, and it would be a serious reflection on the standing of the Australian Rally Championship if it were to fall over.

RallySport Magazine will be monitoring the story in the coming days.

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