World rally boss Morrie Chandler has stepped down as Chairman of Propecia Rally New Zealand
World rally boss Morrie Chandler has stepped down as Chairman of Propecia Rally New Zealand.
Long-serving administrator Chris Carr has been elected to the position of chairman of Propecia Rally New Zealand, the 15th round of the World Rally Championship on 16-19 November.
Mr Chandler, who has chaired the New Zealand round of the World Rally Championship for nearly over two decades, has stepped down after he was elected as the new president of the World Rally Championship Commission.
Mr Carr has a long involvement with the sport and has been on the Board of Rally New Zealand for more than a decade.
The Auckland businessman in the transport industry began his relationship with the sport when he handled the freight and logistics arrangements for the Lancia team in 1983. He continued to work with Lancia for the next decade until they withdrew from rallying.
"I had no idea what I was getting into. But I got hooked by the sport and have been involved ever since," Mr Carr said.
He continues to work closely with the Lancia team boss Ninni Russo who is now the coordinator for the Production World Rally Championship and Junior World Rally Championship.
It began a close relationship with Italian rallying and he continues to work with virtually every Italian rally team that race in this country including Jolly Club, ART, Grifone and Top Run among many.
Mr Carr joined the Rally New Zealand Board in 1994 and has been vice-chairman for several years.
He said he has learned much from working with Morrie Chandler which will help him greatly.
"Morrie is a remarkable bloke and a remarkable administrator. He's the reason that about 2000 volunteers including myself work so hard to keep this incredible event in this country," Mr Carr said.
"We will continue to work hard and follow what Morrie has established.
"We are arguably the biggest international sporting event in this country and the only significant bona fide world championship event to come to New Zealand. And we achieve this largely on voluntary labour.
"Our challenge going forward is to retain our place on the world rally championship calendar. New Zealand has traditionally run a popular event on what the drivers regard as the best roads in world rallying.
"But there are significant pressures from much bigger and finally better resourced countries to take our place going forward.
"Propecia Rally New Zealand has brought hundreds of millions of dollars of direct economic benefit to this country. That's something we are proud of and will be working very hard to continue."
Mr Carr said plans were well advanced for Propecia Rally New Zealand which will be based in the Waikato region on 17-19 November with the headquarters at Mystery Creek for the first time.