The 2021 AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay has been postponed due to the ongoing restrictions in Sydney and beyond.
With New South Wales still in lockdown, the uncertainty surrounding travel constraints and whether the state will ease restrictions ahead of the scheduled date of 17 July were the main reasons behind the North Shore Sporting Car Club (NSSCC) postponing the event.
As a result of the change, the rally will unfortunately no longer be a promotional round of the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) due to scheduling conflicts with other championship events.
Event Manager Nigel Bland believed it was a difficult decision to make but one that had to be done.
"Even if the stay-at-home order in Sydney is lifted, there’s still a good chance people will be restricted from travelling. And whilst many of the competitors are not Sydney based, the entire organising team is,” Bland said.
“That’s left us in a difficult position. Do we continue with the event and hope that everything gets opened up next weekend, or do we make the decision now to give competitors the opportunity to plan for a new date.
“There are so many variables at play here that it’s just not worth the risk to continue with the original date.”
NSSCC President, Brett Middleton echoed Bland’s comments and believed it was the best option available as the event is far bigger than just a rally.
“The other option was to cancel the event altogether”, said NSSCC President, Brett Middleton.
“But there’s so many businesses in the Eurobodalla Shire that rely on our event. Last year we estimated the rally brought $750,000 worth of economic benefit to the region and it’s important for us to support the local community.
“Three of our major partners are local to Batemans Bay including the Batemans Bay Marina Resort, the Village Centre and Bridge Plaza shopping centres and the Eurobodalla Shire. We’ve already invested in a major marketing campaign in the lead up to the event so moving the date is the best outcome for everyone.”
“We understand this now puts some pressure on competitors because there are other events that are now closer to ours, but the Rally of the Bay is such an iconic event and we know our rally teams will expect us to reschedule and go ahead with it.
“With event scrutineering due to start this weekend, it’s important to make the decision before people start to get prepared. We hope our customers stick with us and that the event goes ahead in August and is a great success.”
The new date for the AMH Automotive Group Rally of the Bay will be released in the coming weeks.