ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Due to unforeseen challenges associated with bringing an international rally to a new venue in the United States, the inaugural running of RallyUSA, originally scheduled for June 23-25, 2000 as a round of the Asia-Pacific...
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Due to unforeseen challenges associated with bringing an international rally to a new venue in the United States, the inaugural running of RallyUSA, originally scheduled for June 23-25, 2000 as a round of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship on the FIA international calendar, has been postponed until 2001, it was announced today by Dennis Dean, Executive Director of the event.
"We have been extremely gratified by the enthusiastic reception the announcement of our event has received from every corner of the international rally community," said Dean. "Since the first day of our effort, we have been totally committed to making our event first-class in every aspect, as befits a top-level international rally event. We have encountered some obstacles that we feel would prevent us from achieving that goal in the inaugural running of the event. Since so many top level teams and competitors have indicated their desire to participate in the event, we felt an obligation to them to make this decision in sufficient time for them to adjust their plans accordingly. We want to emphasize that this is a postponement of the event and not a cancellation. We have every expectation that the 2001 event will go on as scheduled and we intend to re-apply to the FIA for a suitable calendar date in 2001."
Support for RallyUSA remains strong throughout the rally community. Iwao Kimata, General Manager of Ralliart, Inc. who operates the Mitsubishi factory team supporting four time defending WRC Champion, Tommi Makinen, said "We wish very much to see international rallying return to the USA and have been most impressed with RallyUSA's efforts to achieve that goal. We had planned on supporting this year's event and have no doubt that we will be there next year. We wish them all the success in their important effort."
David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive, Ltd., whose efforts have turned Richard Burns into the up and coming star for Subaru, also weighed in with strong support -- "It is disappointing that RallyUSA will not be conducted this year. We were committed to supporting the event this year and looking forward to international rallying's return to the USA. We remain very supportive of the organizers and have every expectation that they will achieve a first class event in 2001 -- and we shall certainly be there when they do."
Equally solid support came from Martin Whitaker, Director of European Motorsport for Ford Motor Company, who is working so hard to make this the year of the Focus with former World Champions Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz paired together, said "We have been planning on competing in RallyUSA's inaugural event since we first learned of it. While it's disappointing to hear of the postponement, knowing the talents available to the organizers, we fully expect to see a top notch event in 2001 and we will do everything we can to support it."