New Zealand Rally competitors to get more international opportunities than ever in 2020
The opportunity to compete for both an FIA Regional and International championship and to compete as part of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) has never been more accessible for New Zealand rallying competitors.
The 2020 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) calendar sees three of the five rounds running as International events. The opening two rounds, Rally Otago and Rally Whangarei are both qualifying rounds for the FIA Pacific Cup, while the series will conclude with the FIA World Rally Championship round in Auckland.
Competitors who compete in two qualifying rounds of the FIA Pacific Cup will also be eligible to compete in the winner-take-all finale of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), which will be held on Australia’s Coffs Coast in November.
The FIA’s policy to allow the rules of the National Sporting Authority (ASN) means competitors with vehicles eligible for the NZRC, both two and four-wheel drive, that comply with FIA safety standards and an equivalence formula that is likely to be very similar to the NZRC regulations will be eligible to compete.
MotorSport New Zealand’s CEO, Simon Baker, says this announcement will be ‘fantastic for the sport’.
“The opportunities for rallying competitors to take part in international events and compete for an FIA regional championship is fantastic for the sport,” said Baker.
“Obviously the return of the WRC is massive, it allows New Zealanders to pit themselves against the best in the world.
“The new format of the APRC makes the opportunity to put their names alongside Kiwi legends Rod Millen and Possum Bourne a realistic possibility without a budget that runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“This season we saw Mike Young along with Jack and Andrew Hawkeswood travel to China which saw Andrew take a superb second place at the final in China, but the conditions in Coffs Harbour should be a lot more familiar to New Zealand competitors, as well as being logistically a lot more achievable.”