Organisers of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship have confirmed a five-round calendar for its 2021 season, with Rally Coromandel serving as next year’s finale.
This year’s championship was axed back in May to future-proof the sport in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That decision was made so the sport can be reset and be in a position strong enough to return to normal in 2021.
The opening four rounds of next year’s series have already been announced with the Otago Rally kicking off proceedings in April.
The International Rally of Whangarei will host the second round over May 14-16.
Rally South Canterbury and Rally Hawkes Bay will make up the middle portion of the schedule with single-day events on June 19 and July 24. Rally Coromandel, based out of Whitianga, will serve as the championship’s finale on September 7.
Unfortunately, with no round of the World Rally Championship in New Zealand next year, the previously mooted six-round calendar has been reduced to just five.
But championship coordinator Blair Bartels still believes the shortened calendar will offer an exciting season for competitors and fans.
“We understand the challenges everyone is still facing in the wake of COVID,” said Bartels.
“We feel a five-round championship is well balanced and will provide a terrific championship as we look to get on with life after these unprecedented times.
“Each of the five rounds presents a unique challenge for competitors and adds its own flavour to our overall championship.
“It was great to see some new events run in the second half of 2020 and some new competitors announce themselves as contenders.
“It feels like an age since we last held a round of the national championship and we can’t wait for Otago in April.”
Acting MotorSport New Zealand chief executive Elton Goonan says he is pleased with how the sport had survived the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was absolutely the right decision to not run the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship this year given the circumstances,” Goonan said.
“It means all rallies and competitors have a better shot at returning to normal in 2021 and we certainly hope that is the case.
“We have a great championship and I’m sure everyone will be chomping at the bit come Otago in April.”
2021 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship:
|Int. Rally of Whangarei
|Rally South Canterbury
|Rally Hawke’s Bay
Main Image: Euan Cameron