As this year’s action takes place, officials are already in talks for international competition to return here in two years’ time.

nz chases regular spot on world rally circuit

Rally New Zealand organisers hope the event’s return to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) this weekend can become a biennial fixture on the motorsport calendar

Chairman Peter Johnston has confirmed Rally NZ will not be part of the WRC in 2023 but discussions are already under way with promoters and stakeholders regarding the international event returning to Auckland in 2024.

“We believe that the future is strong for this event in New Zealand. WRC has deep roots in New Zealand and the fan interest this week shows how special this event is for our country,” he adds.

“This week is the first FIA World Championship motorsport event to be held in New Zealand featuring hybrid electric vehicles and fully sustainable fuel which represents a new age of motorsport.”

This year’s Rally NZ has attracted a raft of national and international stars and got under way in Auckland on September 29. Racing will take place around the region before concluding on October 2.

Johnston says the global calendar for WRC is competitive and Rally NZ believes hosting the championship annually would not be practicable, but it is seeking to be a part of the competition every two to three years.

“We are confident that after a successful event this week that our team will be in a strong position to be included on the 2024 WRC calendar.”

Jona Siebel, WRC promoter managing director, says his organisation is pleased to be back in New Zealand and says the organisation was working on a “strategy for a future return”.

“This will require a clear commitment from central government as well as Auckland Unlimited, and we’re very much in the mix with these negotiations now,” he adds.

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