Wales Rally GB set to lose WRC season finale status in 2016

Wales Rally GB is set to lose its traditional slot as the World Rally Championship's season finale in 2016

Wales Rally GB set to lose WRC season finale status in 2016

The Deeside-based event is being lined up for a move to October next year, with Rally Australia likely to shift from September to November and close out the calendar.

Rally Australia hosted the season finale in 2004 and '05, during its time in Perth, and its current organisers have been pushing to stage the final round, with a view to holding an end-of-season party in Sydney following the Coffs Harbour rally.

Australia has been granted a single-season extension to a three-year deal, which comes to an end later this month.

Rally GB running out of its traditional November date isn't unheard of, having occupied a September slot in 2003 and '04.

It also concluded the 2009 season on the final weekend in October, and when the WRC was held over 15 and 16 rounds between '06 and '08, Rally GB ran in December.

Rally GB managing director Ben Taylor admitted he was relaxed about the potential loss of Britain's traditional calendar spot.

"When was the last time the championship was decided on the final round?" he said.

"It doesn't happen all that often. Honestly, October could work for us.

"We will retain the traditional challenge, while having the added bonus of more daylight hours."

The 2016 WRC calendar is being discussed by the WRC Commission in Paris today (Wednesday), and is expected to be ratified at World Motor Sport Council at the end of the month.

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