One Year Update
A little over a year ago we announced the formation of RPAC as the next step in looking at hosting a round of the World Rally Championship in Canada. We sought public help through a membership sales drive, and we worked on finding out more about what taking on the WRC means both as organisers, and for the rally community. It has been an interesting, and informative year for sure.
As we’ve worked through the ideas we’ve been fairly quiet, but that isn’t to say that we haven’t been making progress. A lot of time has been spent looking at ‘what makes a WRC event,’ from stages, to host communities, and most importantly financially. The result, as we guessed, is daunting in many ways, but is equally exciting.
In meetings with the FIA and WRC we’ve developed an understanding of what they would like to see, and what we need to focus on in building our event. They were clear in their desire to show the world what Canada is about, telling us to not focus on replicating existing events. This message is not only great for us, but it is also great for our potential Canadian partners.
So, what does a WRC event in Canada look like? It would be a winter event with reliable snow/ice conditions held in an area that would have significant venues and accommodation availability that could showcase great Canadian scenery and culture. It would also have a ‘national’ component that would allow non-homologated cars to run in order to flesh out the field. The host area would also allow us to access sponsorships and marketing partnerships with Tourism agencies and corporations.
With that in mind, we think there is one obvious place to host our WRC event, and having met with the key rally community in the area they seem to agree. We are envisioning Canada’s WRC round as a mid-February event based in Ottawa/Gatineau, turning to both Quebec and Ontario for stage roads, as well as planning a super special and ceremonial events within the capital region. There are still a lot of questions to be answered, plans to be made, and money to be found, but we feel this plan can give us the best foundation for success.
One thing that has become clear to us is that what seemed like a dream a year ago is now very possible.
We’ve been told we should expect a four-year commitment and while our original goal was to have our first WRC event in 2023, the FIA wants us to look at 2022, putting an observation event only two-years away. That isn’t a lot of time, and there is a lot of work to be done between now and then. The roads, venues, super-specials and community partnerships will come together… we’re confident of that. The biggest challenge will be developing the partnerships that will support the budget needed for an event of this magnitude. That will be no small task, but we think this is manageable as the exposure that comes with the WRC will be attractive to many potential partners.
RPAC appreciates the support that has been shown so far from members, sponsors and leaders in the rally communities. We have a lot to do in a short amount of time and would appreciate the subscribing, renewal or upgrading of your memberships in order to maximise the strength that momentum.
Memberships are available at https://rallypromoter.ca/about/membership/
RPAC Board of Directors
Keith Morison | Martin Burnley | Jorge Dascollas | Chris Kremer | Warwick Patterson