Rally Australia wants WRC finale slot

Rally Australia is looking to oust Rally GB from the World Rally Championship’s season finale slot within the next two years.Although the FIA has announced another September slot for the Australia round in 2015, the last year of the rally’s current contract, organisers are pushing for a change after that. Rally Australia’s Ben Rainsford feels confident the Coffs Harbour-based event offers a better option for ending the season than Britain’s Wales-based event.

Rally Australia stage

“We have started discussions about the future,” he said, “and the more visibility we have of that the more investment we can achieve for the event to help it build and build. We’re pretty open about wanting to be the last event in the championship and we’ll push hard for it, very hard.

“We’re looking at putting on a gala dinner, an end-of-season party in Sydney. The city’s ripe for it and Sydney’s good at that kind of thing.

“An Australian summer is a very good place to be, especially when you’re in a European winter. We’ve run as the final round in Perth a few times and it was very popular.”

Rally GB managing director Ben Taylor defended Britain’s position.

“Rally GB has always presented a unique and demanding challenge to the teams and a fitting climax to the championship,” he said. “Over the years it has thrown up some thrilling finishes and it makes sense for the key WRC markets for those to be played out in a European time zone.


“We certainly don’t presume the right to hold the final event, but Wales Rally GB is on an upward curve and we are committed to working with our partners, the FIA and the promoter to deliver the best possible rally with which to end the next two seasons and beyond.”

Rally Australia has twice run as the final round, in 2004 and ’05. Including this season, Rally GB has occupied the finale position for 33 years since the start of the world championship in 1973.

Spain, France, Ivory Coast and Australia have held the final round twice, while America’s Olympus Rally¬† brought the curtain down on the Group B era in 1986.

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