Hope for Whangarei

A glimmer of hope remains to run the International Rally of Whangarei in 2020, despite having to postpone its originally scheduled 8 – 10 May date.

A qualifying round for the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), the event was scheduled to host several international competitors.

While a new date is yet to be considered, organising committee chairman Mr Willard Martin says the prior preparation and council support mean a new date can be delivered at very short notice.

“Even during this time of uncertainty we have a timeline for the event to be held once our Government allows sport to resume in New Zealand. Our regulations have been published and would need to be revalidated to the new date and we would also need to renew our application’s to Councils for Road Closures. Our timeline for this would be six weeks.”

Consideration for the international aspect and prospect of foreign competitors or spectators to attend in 2020 are another topic.

Rally Whangarei 2018, Kphoto
“Discussion by the FIA at how the remainder of the 2020 season could operate has opened a couple of options. They are favourable for New Zealand and Whangarei as we have the groundwork done and support in place.”
Rally Whangarei 2018, Brian Young
“We remain optimistic, and realistic that while the future may seem a long way off – there are some changes coming that can quickly put the current pandemic behind us.

“With FIA talks to resume in a month’s time, the unfolding situation gives the event time to consider a suitable date that will support the local economy at a more significant level.”

Although a new date isn’t being considered in the next month it is likely the direction of the 2020 season will be clear and what time of year best suits International Rally of Whangarei.

Photos: Brian Young and KPhoto