Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

World Rally Set to Go to NZ for 2012; We're All Go This Year, but Not in 2012

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

World Rally Set to Go to NZ for 2012; We're All Go This Year, but Not in 2012

Article excerpt

RALLY Australia remains hopeful the event will have a long-term future on the Coffs Coast despite the surprise announcement it's headed to New Zealand next year.

The peak body of the World Rally Championship revealed in Europe that Australia would not get an event in 2012.

While the announcement was listed as a[approximately]provisional', there appears little chance things will change and Auckland will get the gong.

The news has disappointed key stakeholders who hoped Rally Australia would be granted hosting rights to the important world motor sport event over consecutive years a a major factor in the business case to bring it here.

aWe're disappointed that the provisional list appears to make our claim more difficult, but we will continue to propose that Rally Australia's location, solid community, business and government support, and this country's economic and social background fully justify our inclusion in the World Rally Championship,a Rally Australia general manager Michael Masi said.

aIn recent weeks we have argued strongly for Rally Australia to have a permanent annual WRC round from 2012, and we'll continue to push our case until the countries on the provisional list of events and the dates a which have not been announced yet a are subject to a final vote of the FIA (Federation International de l'Automobile) in Paris on June 3.

aBut whatever happens in 2012 will not affect one iota our preparations for the 2011 Rally Australia on the Coffs Coast.

aEverything is on track for a successful, well-supported event.a

The news is also a bitter pill for major partners the Coffs Harbour City Council, which in less than ideal circumstances, hopes to see Rally Australia Coffs Coast

become a biennial event at the very least.

aThe council is disappointed by this decision, but it's important we work with Rally Australia to make sure the local government area gets the maximum benefit from this year's World Rally Australia,a the council's director of corporate business, Craig Milburn, said. …

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