The Australian Rally Championship will start one month later than anticipated after the surprise postponement of the first round of the 2008 series, Rally Queensland.

The date change, from March 8 and 9 until the weekend of June 21 and 22, means that Western Australia’s Forest Rally will be the first round of the ARC, on April 5 and 6.

Although the date change has not yet been officially announced by CAMS or Rallycorp, the information has come to light after an email was leaked to the media late yesterday.

According to the email, the SunCoast Classic tarmac rally, which was to take place that weekend, will be deferred to 2009.  

“This date change, which was instigated by ARCom and Rallycorp, was discussed and negotiated over the Christmas/New Year period, and has been agreed to by our major stakeholders, including coates, Maroochy Tourism, Pacific Ford and SurfAir,” the email said.

An official press release from Rallycorp is expected in the coming days, which may shed some light on why the event has been postponed.

It is the second round of this year’s ARC to have been granted a date change. The Great Lakes Rally in NSW had its date change in December 2007, and will now be held on September 20 and 21.

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