Organisers of the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge have put their hands up to host a round of the Australian Rally Championship in Burnie this year.

The expression of interest to the Championship organiser, ARCom, follows the cancellation of this year’s Rally of Melbourne, round five of the national series, which was scheduled for October 18-20.

With a hole looming in the ARC calendar, event organiser Scott Spedding informed ARCom of his organisation’s interest in moulding the ARC round into the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge this year.

“Our event is happening on October 4 and 5 no matter what happens with the Australian Rally Championship, but this would be a great opportunity to add a tarmac event to the national series by incorporating it within our existing structure,” Spedding said.

“The World Rally Championship is currently a combination of gravel and tarmac events, so this would offer the chance for the Australian series to more closely replicate the world series.

“It would certainly provide a new and fresh challenge for the ARC competitors.

“We have seen increasing interest in tarmac events. You only need to look around and see the success of Targa Tasmania, Rally Tasmania and a number of mainland tarmac events to see that people like this format.

“We know that ARCom have been considering a 2009 tarmac round so this is just a good opportunity to bring that forward by one year.

“Last year, as Rally Burnie, we were observed by CAMS as a potential future host of an ARC round. We came out with a very good report card, so we know we can do it and we hope that ARCom will see it that way as well.

“The feedback from competitors in our other event, Rally Tasmania, was also very strong, and that must go in our favour,” Spedding added.

“But I must emphasise that this will not be done to the detriment of our current event. The Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge, with or without ARC status, has a strong following and we must look after this loyal competitor base.”

“However, we believe that we will be an even better event with the ARC behind us and we believe that their series will be even stronger for having us.”

Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge organisers are pushing for an immediate decision by ARCom to allow it to maximise its opportunity to plan and conduct a successful event.

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