Originally Posted by wrk2surf
RALLY OF TUNISIA 2013 : FLASH INFO
For several months, the NPO teams work daily with the Tunisian authorities, sports federations car and motorcycle (FTM and FTA) and many loyal partners to organize the 31° edition of the famous International Rally of Tunisia.
The economic crisis, alerts issued by various embassies to the attention of their citizens and the emphasy of international media sometimes outrageous, of social movements in Tunisia, have dampened enthusiasm of European for Tunisia destination. Moreoever, the geopolitical context does not enable the organization of the event with serenity.
Following the various official meetings held this week in Tunis, NPO, by mutual agreement with the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the FTA and FTM, has taken the decision to postpone the Rally of Tunisia 2013 and today build a project of Future.
Registered participants were called today by the NPO team and mostly decided to postpone their entries to OiLibya Rally of Morocco. Few of them unavailable this fall, will be fully refunded in the coming days.
Someone more cynical than I might suggest this is a 'convenient' excuse...
I think the problem NPO have is numbers - the round is no longer an FIM championship round, and yet it is still run under the same infrastructure (and associated costs - helicopter / Iritrack / International Race Licence etc)... it is also held only three weeks after Qatar and three weeks before Sardinia - both of which are FIM rounds, and Sardinia costs the same or less that the Tunisie - so if you were a pro, which event would you chose?
Similarly, for the Amateur/budget contingent, the Tuareg Rallye this year proved that if the price is right, there are plenty of Europeans (250+ of them) willing to race in Tunisia... and indeed the Tuareg Orga met with various ministers of tourism during the course of the Tuareg, who reassured the rally that everything was safe and events like this were welcomed and encouraged.
I do feel sorry for NPO - their organisation is excellent, their roadbook/route very varied and exciting (when I raced that event in 2010), it seems they have fallen out of favor with the FIM for whatever reason, and their event/s are now suffering because of it...
With so many Amateur (and by that I mean non-FIM affiliated) rallyes happening in Morocco now - which is part of the reason I suspect the Tuareg wanted to move to a new destination - I can see the NPO organised Oilybia du Maroc also having less and less attendance in the future (again, it no longer being an FIM championship round, despite being run under the same logistics) - the only thing that keeps it going is the fact it is traditionally the last event on the calendar before Dakar, so the teams like to use it as a shake down for their logistics... but again, to attract those teams, the logistics and their associated costs make it correspondingly more expensive for amateurs to attend.