Rally Australia remains positive on three-year WRC bid

Gordon Lomas

Tuesday 16th July, 2013 - 1:43pm

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David Catchpole addressing the media at today's official Rally Australia launch

David Catchpole addressing the media at today’s official Rally Australia launch

Rally Australia is awaiting approval from the FIA to be granted a three-year annual contract.

Since 2009 the Australian round of the World Rally Championship has alternated with Rally New Zealand, staging an event only every two years.

The bi-annual arrangement has made it challenging for the Event to find sponsorship stability.

Destination NSW remains firmly in favour of the organiser’s desire to return to the WRC calendar on an annual basis.

Rally Australian event manager David Catchpole confirmed a submission has been lodged with the FIA.

If the request is successful it could come at the price of Rally New Zealand which has been a vital part of the WRC since the 1970’s.

“We have a submission in and we want it to remain here on a three-year contract,” Catchpole said at the official event launch in Coffs Harbour.

“For this event to grow we can’t keep going on a bi-annual basis. You can’t attract someone like Coates Hire who have come on as naming rights sponsor and expect it to work. For them to leverage of it it needs to be on an annual basis.”

Catchpole says it is vital for the event’s survival that the FIA and its promoter Red Bull Media to come to the party.

“It’s all looking good from the business model that we’ve put to the WRC so we are hoping to have an answer in the next three to four weeks.”

Rally Australia initially understood they were to be supplied with an answer at the end of June following a meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council but it was not forthcoming.

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