Rally New Zealand organisers today said that it is unlikely that the event will return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar next year.
Latest discussions with the FIA and the World Rally Championship Promoter (WRC Promoter) suggest that expanding the 2018 Championship for a new event outside Europe will prove too challenging because of commercial considerations.
The final outcome will be known next month at which time Rally New Zealand will reassess their plans for the future.
Rally New Zealand spokesman Peter Johnston said his organisation is disappointed but will not give up on their long term goal of returning Rally New Zealand to the WRC calendar. Rally New Zealand has historically been considered as one of the greatest events in the championship, noted for its unrivalled, fast and flowing roads and spectacular scenery.
“There is still a small chance that we could be included on the 2018 calendar, but at this stage the WRC Promoter has said that the costs to venture to New Zealand are a major hurdle,” Johnston said.
“We want to thank the generous support from a number of public and private sector stakeholders across New Zealand including Tauranga City Council, the New Zealand motorsport community and the general public for their tremendous support in what we believe was a compelling bid for the WRC to return to this country.”