The 2020 Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) will ring in the new decade in the nation’s capital, with the Netier National Capital Rally.
Hosted by the Brindabella Motorsport Car Club, the event has spent the past few years running as both an ARC and FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) round towards the start of winter, making it a difficult rally to contest in tough conditions.
However with the APRC no longer a factor in its scheduling, the rally has been bumped up to a March slot and event spokesperson Adrian Coppin believes everyone involved was thrilled with the new date.
“It’s really exciting that the Netier National Capital Rally is the opening round of the season this year,” Coppin said.
“We had a big push from the club to try and get into the round one slot because it’s just not conducive to be in the middle of winter in Canberra to be doing a rally.
“We wanted to get back into warmer climate and we have some really good support from the ACT government, who also wanted to push us to March to be part of the ACT birthday calendar celebration.
“Now that we are round one of the ARC and New South Wales Rally Championship, it’s very exciting for the event and hopefully we can see a good turnout from competitors.”
Following the success of this year, the event will again run as a single-day sprint event with special stages to kick off the event on the day earlier as a way to involve the local community.
Crews will tackle two special stages on the Saturday, before completing around 130 competitive kilometres over 10 stages on the Sunday.
With naming rights partner Netier and accommodation partner Abode Hotels both signing three-year deals, Coppin believes the future is bright for an event they hope to continue making exciting for the locals.
“Having both companies sign on from next year onwards has given the event some longevity and we can now continue to build the event and profile,” Coppin added.
“We are sticking with the one-day format but tweaking it a little bit with some stages on Saturday to take place out in the Kowen Forest area.
“Saturday afternoon is going to be really good day out. A Super Special stage out in the Kowan Forest area with a food festival, rally show, autograph signing session and live entertainment all on offer.
“It is also a unique chance for people to see all aspects of the event in a friendly environment and spectators will be able to see the cars multiple times undergo a few jumps and corners in amphitheatre style stages.”
At this year’s event, eventual 2019 champions Harry Bates and John McCarthy dominated the competition in their Toyota Yaris AP4, winning all bar one stage across the eight stages.
The 2020 Netier National Capital Rally kicks off the six-round 2020 Motorsport Australia Rally Championship on 21-22 March 2020.