Indonesia's hopes of hosting a round of the World Rally Championship have taken a further knock, with the cancellation of its Asia-Pacific Rally Championship round.
The Indonesian tourist board had been backing the nation's bid to return to the WRC for the first time since 1997. The decision had already been made to cancel Rally Indonesia's WRC candidacy status for the Sept. 25-26 event, and now the whole event has been halted.
The Makassar-based rally had been at the center of speculation for some time, but, just as the fifth round of the APRC series kicks off in New Calendonia, the confirmation has been received that round six has been canceled. The event will not be replaced in the APRC, which moves on to its final round in China in November.
A statement regarding the termination of Indonesia's WRC bid said: "While it was BMI's [Bloedus Management Indonesia, rally organizer] clear intention to run a candidate event as close as possible to the FIA WRC requirements and standards, BMI concluded that the huge investments necessary to achieve that level are hard to justify in the current economic situation."
BMI pointed out that, with next year's WRC calendar, including reserve events, already agreed, there was little point in running a candidate event.
Rally Indonesia ran as a WRC round for two years, with Carlos Sainz winning both events in 1996 and 1997. The event had been expected to run for a third time before the Asian financial crisis hit the country, causing political unrest and ultimately the resignation of President Suharto in 1998. The event did not run for the next two years, but returned in 2000. This is the first time since then the rally has been canceled.