Rally New Zealand Organizers Propose Plan To Retain World Rally Championship
Rally New Zealand organizers "have withdrawn their bid to host the World Rally Championship event in 2014 in favour of Australia in order to initiate a new concept allowing both nations to stage the WRC round for three years in succession," according to APNZ. The popularity of the sport "has resulted in the FIA deciding to share the Championship to some countries on a biennial basis, which has resulted in Australia and New Zealand hosting every other year." Rally New Zealand Chair Peter Johnston said, "The problem is this has just not worked. The lack of continuity has significantly affected the commercial viability and our ability to resource the event with skilled personnel to a world class level.'' In order to provide a more sustainable model with continuity of profile and interest, Rally New Zealand "has raised the concept of replacing the current format with one that would see a three year-term in Australia followed by three years in New Zealand." Johnston said that "sponsors had struggled to leverage their investment on a year-on, year-off basis, while it proved too challenging to retention and re-training key volunteers in what is a significantly technical sport" (APNZ, 9/2).