Australian Rally Championship expands 2022 calendar

The Australian Rally Championship has unveiled an expanded seven-round 2022 schedule.

With this year's six-round schedule still affected by the pandemic and Australia's fickle internal borders, ARC organiser Motorsport Australia has gone early with a full seven-round calendar for 2022.

Like this year the season will kick off with the National Capital Rally in Canberra on March 26-27, before a return to Western Australia for the first time since 2019 for the famous Forest Rally on April 30-May 1.

Rally Tasmania will be on June 25-26, Rally Queensland on July 30-31, the Gippsland Rally in Victoria on August 27-28 and the Adelaide Hills Rally on October 15-16.

The season will then end at an event currently named Rally New South Wales, which no set location, on November 18-20.

It's feasible that the NSW event could be a forerunner to Australia's planned return to the World Rally Championship calendar in 2023.

Bathurst has long been mooted as the new home for a bid to reclaim a spot on the WRC schedule, after the Coffs Harbour event – last run in 2018 – lost favour with the teams.

“We’ve been impressed with the interest and growth in the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship in 2021, with competitive fields, big crowds and strong commercial interest in our events,” said Motorsport Australia’s Director of Motorsport & Commercial Operations Michael Smith.

“With new cars, some familiar faces along with plenty of rising stars, the future of Australian rally is bright.

“We know 2021 has been a tough year for our calendar to date, but with increasing confidence about the ability to host events across the country in 2022, we’re excited to confirm a bigger and better calendar next year with seven rounds hosted between April and November.

"We were eager to confirm these dates as soon as possible to give everyone, including our state rally panels, time to plan for these events accordingly.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to our event organisers, competitors and commercial partners who have been fantastic during the past 24 months dealing with a lot of uncertainty and change. It’s been a tough period, but the events we have been able to deliver have been bigger and better than ever. We can’t wait to expand on that in 2022.”

There have been two rounds of the 2021 ARC completed, the National Capital Rally and Rally Queensland, while the Gippsland Rally has been cancelled due to border restrictions in Victoria.

As it stands the season should continue with Rally Tasmania in September followed by the Adelaide Hills Rally in October, a TBC round, and the Coffs Coast Rally in November.

2022 Australian Rally Championship calendar

  • Round 1: Netier National Capital Rally, Canberra – 26-27 March
  • Round 2: Make Smoking History Forest Rally, WA – 30 April – 1 May
  • Round 3: Les Walkden Rally Tasmania, Launceston – 25-26 June
  • Round 4: Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland, Gympie – 30-31 July
  • Round 5: Gippsland Rally, Victoria – 27-28 August
  • Round 6: AGI Sport Adelaide Hills Rally, SA – 15-16 October
  • Round 7: Rally NSW – 18-20 November
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