MotorSport New Zealand is supporting New Zealanders running in this year’s FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship by putting up a $5,000 grant for one competitor who has qualified for the APRC final in China in October.
The FIA APRC has a strong Kiwi focus this year with two New Zealand Rally Championship rounds – Otago and Whangarei – both featuring on the APRC calendar for the first time.
The FIA APRC has been in existence for more than 30 years and past winners include New Zealand greats Possum Bourne and Rod Millen, along with multiple World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, and more recently, current WRC competitor Pontus Tidemand from Sweden.
The 2019 Otago Rally will form the opening round of the FIA APRC Pacific Rally Cup, with round two also in New Zealand (the International Rally of Whangarei), followed by two rallies in Australia, before a grand finale at the end of the year.
MotorSport New Zealand President Wayne Christie says with significant efforts to reinvigorate the APRC, the sport’s governing body in New Zealand also wanted to support a New Zealand competitor who sought to enter the championship’s finale in China.Selection of the recipient to receive the grant will be done via a random draw from all the competitors who meet the following criteria:
- Having met the qualifying requirements for the APRC final in China
- Have a car which is compliant with the regulations for the APRC final in China
- Registered as a NZRC competitor
- Holder of a MSNZ R Grade licence
“The FIA APRC has a fantastic heritage, so to see two New Zealand and two Australian rounds part of an eight, possibly nine round APRC calendar this year is fantastic for the sport of rallying in our region,” says Christie. “This year the championship also heads to Indonesia and Japan twice – with an additional Japanese round still to be announced – then the final in China.
“We would love to see more New Zealanders named the FIA APRC driver and co-driver champions. We might even see New Zealanders take some of the other APRC titles – that would also be great!”The following titles will be awarded following the 2019 FIA APRC:
- FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship for Drivers and Co-drivers
- FIA Junior APRC Championship for Drivers (under the age of 28 years)
- FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship for Manufacturers
- APRC Nations Trophy
- APRC Team Trophy
Prior to entering the qualifying rounds, a competitor must register with the FIA APRC Secretariat. Visit https://fiaaprc.com/ for full details.
MotorSport New Zealand will assess the qualifying competitors following the completion of the qualifying rounds in New Zealand and Australia.
2019 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship Calendar
Rnd 1 13 – 14 April Rally of Otago – New Zealand Pacific Cup
Rnd 2 4 – 5 May Rally of Whangarei – New Zealand Pacific Cup
Rnd 3 22 – 23 June Rally Tasmania – Australia Pacific Cup
Rnd 4 6 -7 July Rally of Medan – Indonesia Asia Cup
Rnd 5 24 – 25 August Eureka Rally – Australia Pacific Cup
Rnd 6 21 – 22 September Rally Hokkaido – Japan Asia Cup
Rnd 7 26 – 27 October China Rally – Longyou Asia Cup