Wednesday, Aug 14 11:47am
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

New Zealand Rally Championship investigating tarmac rally

Organisers of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship are looking at the opportunity to run a tarmac-based event.


Competitors were polled recently with 61 per cent of respondents keen to see a fully tarmac or mixed surface rally. Only 38 per cent want the championship to be gravel only.


Those that were surveyed are current competitors in the national rally championship.


New Zealand Rally Championship Coordinator Blair Bartels said there are no existing rallies in the country that could be used to form the basis of an all-tarmac event. However, organisers are looking at their options.


“It is getting more difficult to find suitable gravel roads in many places around the country and a tarmac event would work better in some regions,” Bartels told


“We won’t be rushing into anything in regards to a tarmac rally but clearly the appetite for it is starting to grow. It is unlikely a tarmac or mixed surface event will appear on the 2020 calendar but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before one does appear.


“We just need to start preparing for how that might work and what regulations are used for it.”


Competitors were also asked where they’d like to see a new rally incorporated into the championship. The wider Queenstown/Wanaka area was the equal most preferred with 21 per cent of the vote alongside the Wairarapa. Nelson came in behind them on 17 per cent.


It is expected the 2020 calendar will be announced before Rally Waitomo in October.