Rally Australia pushing for long-term WRC future

Rally Australia organisers are continuing to push for a longer-term WRC deal, despite currently being forced to work on a year-by-year basis at the moment.

The event is at the end of a three-year deal with WRC promoters to hold a World Championship event, and is now running on single-year deals despite a new three-year promise of government funding.

While conceding that a new multi-year deal is unlikely in the short term, Rally Australia Chairman Ben Rainsford stressed that the event will continue pushing for longer agreements in the future.

"We were the first event to push into the three-year deals, and we did that for strategic reasons so we didn't have comparison to New Zealand," said Rainsford.

"The FIA have always been year-by-year in regards to the World Motor Sport Council. You saw that with Poland, where they issued the second yellow card and they automatically came off the calendar instantaneously.

"I'd prefer to be doing longer deals, because it means stability with out commercial partners and stability with government.

"We push hard, but at the moment they won't [do a multi-year deal].

"These things also cycle. Their attitude to that might change. The FIA won't change, but the promoter."

While the event enjoys solid backing from the New South Wales government, which makes it a desirable choice for both the FIA and the WRC, Rainsford conceded that there is always a threat from new events.

"[We have] a track record of doing what we've said we're going to do," he said. "Having said that, there are a huge number of events that are falling over themselves to get the WRC – Turkey, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, there's now talk of something coming out of the United Arab Emirates.

"You've got to keep doing it better and better every time or you'll lose your spot and get swallowed."

A second round in the Asia-Pacific region, however, would be welcomed by the Rally Australia boss.

"Japan would be great for us. All of a sudden we'd have another event in the same timezone.

"We'd end up being a bit of a mentor in the early days like we have in the past, and it would probably make a lot of sense."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series WRC
Event Rally Australia
Article type Breaking news