The Motorsport Australia NSW Rally Panel is charged with, among other things, approving all Motorsport Australia rally events in NSW and coordinating the NSW rally calendar. We therefore regretfully announce further changes to the NSW rally calendar for 2021, in response to the COVID-19 situation and a number of other external influences on organising clubs.
Bega Valley Toyota Rally and Mini Eden Rally
Many competitors will be aware the Sapphire Coast Sporting Car Club, based on the NSW South Coast, organises the iconic Bega Valley Rally, traditionally held on the June long weekend. This event is a highlight on the Australian rally calendar and extremely popular with competitors. For 2021, the club also planned to run a smaller event, the Mini Eden Rally, in February, as a shakedown for the Bega event. The Mini Eden Rally would have been a round of the Clubman Rally Series and Hyundai Rally Series. However, due to illness and injury, the organising team was unable to carry through with the Mini Eden Rally and received approval from the NSW Rally Panel for a new date of 6 November.
The members of the Rally Panel have enormous respect for the resilience of this small group of dedicated enthusiasts. Organisers of this calibre are gemstones in our sport (sapphires no less…). Enter the wet weather in May which damaged the roads for the Bega Valley Toyota Rally and necessitating Council to withdraw its approval for the event. More bad luck for our hapless friends in the south and the rally fraternity at large.
Given the Bega Valley Toyota Rally is a two-day event, a long weekend is ideal for competitors to minimise their time away from their weekday commitments to compete. To this end, the SCSCC secured approval from the local authorities, and the Rally Panel, to postpone Bega to the long weekend of 2-3 October.
Given the closeness of Bega to the postponed Mini Eden Rally on 6 November and the club’s stretched resources, they applied to combine the Mini Eden Rally into the Bega Valley Toyota Rally, which was approved by the local authorities and the Rally Panel.
In summary, the Bega Valley Toyota Rally has been rescheduled to 2-3 October 2021, as a round of the:
NSW Rally Championship (2-day event)
East Coast Classic 2WD Rally Series (2-day event)
East Coast Classic 4WD Rally Series (2-day event)
Clubman Rally Series (1-day event: Saturday only)
Hyundai Rally Series (1-day event: Saturday only)
CRS and HRS competitors will have the option to contest the Sunday stages at extra cost, but these stages won’t count towards CRS or HRS point scores but would qualify them for NSWRC and, if eligible, ECCRS 2WD or ECCRS 4WD points.
The SCSCC and the Rally Panel regret any inconvenience from these changes, however we trust that competitors who are able will at least have an opportunity to compete on the fantastic roads that will be on offer at the Bega Valley Toyota Rally, including five stages on the legendary shire roads near Bega on day 1 of the event.
AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay
North Shore Sporting Car Club has made a call to postpone the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay which was to be held in Batemans Bay on 17 July, due to the uncertainties arising from the current COVID-19 restrictions in NSW.
The Club has applied to the Rally Panel for a new date of 28 August. This date is a squeeze, being only two weeks after the Horizon Apartments Narooma Forest Rally (a round of the NSW Clubman, Hyundai Rally Series, East Coast Classic 2WD Rally Series and East Coast Classic 4WD Rally Series) and only three weeks prior to NSSCC’s other major Rally, being the Mid-State Freight Oberon Stages on 18 September.
Whilst this is not an ideal outcome, it’s the only date that both fits (tightly) in the rally calendar and suits both the organising club and the event’s hosts at Batemans Bay.
Following consultation with the other clubs whose events may be affected by the proposed change, the Rally Panel has agreed with the date of 28 August for the Bay, rather than force the club to cancel the event for 2021.
The Rally Panel hopes that competitors will understand the difficulties in re-scheduling events, and that the advantages in offering these postponed events within a tight timeframe are preferable to removing them from the 2021 calendar. Some competitors will no doubt be inconvenienced, and this is regretted by the Panel and the organising clubs involved.
In summary, the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay is re-scheduled to Saturday 28 August, and will remain a round of the:
NSW Rally Championship
East Coast Classic 2WD Rally Series
East Coast Classic 4WD Rally Series
Clubman Rally Series
Hyundai Rally Series
The Rally Panel would like to acknowledge the generosity of Shoalhaven and Kiama Districts Auto Club (SKDAC) for offering up this date that was originally set down for their Rallysprint. In turn the SKDAC Rallysprint will now be held on 20 November in the forest to the north of Batemans Bay.
Revised 2021 NSW Rally Series Calendar
The Panel appreciates the fact that both the SCSCC and NSSCC consulted fully and openly with it on their options prior to making any public announcements regarding re-scheduled dates.