Motorsport Australia is disappointed to confirm the two Coffs Coast based RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship events will not take place in 2021.
The November events included the finale of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) which would have seen international competitors taking part alongside Australian based teams.
Given competitors from New Zealand and the wider Asia Pacific region are extremely unlikely to be able to travel to Australia in the short-term, the FIA and Motorsport Australia made the decision to cancel the 2021 round to avoid competitors losing out on shipping and travel bookings and any non-refundable charges they may incur.
As intra-state travel within Australia is also expected to be heavily restricted for the remainder of 2021, it was also decided to cancel the Australian component of the events, avoiding any costly last-minute cancellations for teams, organisers and fans.
Motorsport Australia Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith thanked those who had contributed to the double-header so far, including the passionate support the events have received from the local Coffs Coast community.
“We’re shattered to be announcing this decision, but unfortunately it simply will not be feasible to continue to prepare to host these events in Coffs Harbour in November, particularly without the international component of the APRC and the ongoing border restrictions,” Smith explained.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank the NSW Government for its tremendous support of this event, and we hope to be able to confirm details of a 2022 replacement event soon, which will deliver significant benefits for regional New South Wales.
“Everyone at Motorsport Australia is disappointed to not be heading to the iconic Coffs Coast region this year. The local community has been extremely supportive of what we’ve tried to achieve, including the great backing we’ve received from the Coffs Harbour City Council.”
The next round of the ARC is scheduled for October.
“We remain in regular contact with the AGI Sport Adelaide Hills Rally team and will provide updates on this event in the coming weeks,” Smith added.
While the November events are unable to proceed, Smith confirmed a new December event may also be added to the calendar later this year.
“Motorsport Australia is definitely looking at adding one extra round of the 2021 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship event in December, subject to any ongoing restrictions.
“With the rate of vaccinations and the plan to relax restrictions at a certain level in place nationally, this provides us with some hope that a December event in a location to be confirmed could still be possible. We’re keen to see what we can make happen later this year and continue to consult with competitors and teams.
“Also as previously announced, we’re also working hard on preparing for an expanded 2022 RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship calendar with seven rounds already locked in for next year.”