NOT DRIVING: Molly Taylor in action on the Coffs Coast in 2017. The ARC won't be held this year because of the bushfires.
NOT DRIVING: Molly Taylor in action on the Coffs Coast in 2017. The ARC won't be held this year because of the bushfires. Brad Greenshields

ARC cancelled, WRC could be 'significantly shortened'

THE bushfires which have impacted large parts of the North Coast have forced organisers to make changes to the upcoming Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

While the WRC component of the event is still proposed to be run at this stage, the CAMS Australian Rally Championship (ARC) will not take place.

Rally Australia released a statement earlier this morning outlining further changes to the event are expected.

"Rally Australia is consulting with emergency services, authorities and the local community about the evolving situation," the statement said.

"We still hope to stage the final round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship, although it may be on a significantly shortened course."

While no ARC points will be awarded, a number of ARC regulars will still be in action at this stage, given they had entered in the WRC component of the event.

However, Subaru do Motorsport's Molly Taylor has withdrawn her WRC entry from the event and Subaru have confirmed the team has donated its entry fees to the Coffs Coast Rural Fire Service.

ARC competitors learned of the event's cancellation via email this weekend. 

"Due to bushfires in the Coffs Coast area, the national competition (car numbers 80-151) has had to be cancelled," the email read. 

"Consequently, there will be no points awarded to the national event or any subsequent championships, and there will be no awards presented for the rally. 

"We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to you and your team and we appreciate your understanding."

Competitors will be refunded their entry fee if they chose to withdraw, alternatively they have been invited to provide demonstration runs on the Destination NSW Super Special Stage and Raleigh Raceway.

Competitors who would like their entry refund to be donated to the Coffs Coast Rural Fire Service can do so by emailing competitors@rallyaustralia.com.au by Sunday, November 17.