Rally New Zealand cancelled due to coronavirus border rules

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) — The New Zealand leg of the world rally championship has been cancelled because of border restrictions imposed following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rally New Zealand was to run on September 3-6 on roads near Auckland, allowing New Zealand to host a WRC rally for the first time since 2012.

The announcement yesterday came a day after Rally Finland was called off. Six rallies have been cancelled or postponed this year, including in Argentina, Italy, Portugal and Kenya.

The final deadline for confirming the New Zealand rally had passed, organisers said, and hosting the event would be impractical as New Zealand’s borders were likely to be closed to most travellers for the foreseeable future.

“It became clear that with our borders closed to international travel and the logistics required to host thousands of international visitors as part of the world rally championship, that the September 2020 date was not practical,” Rally New Zealand Chief Executive Michael Goldstein said.