MELBOURNE - Hyundai were confirmed winners of the World Rally Championship's manufacturers' title after the season-ending Rally of Australia was cancelled on Tuesday due to the threat of bushfires.
Organisers had planned to run the November 14-17 event at Coffs Harbour in eastern New South Wales state with a dramatically shorter route but decided the risks were too high for the more than 1000 officials, competitors and support personnel.
"Considering the best interests and safety of everyone involved in the rally, and of course the wider community, it is not appropriate to conduct the rally," Rally of Australia Event Chairman Andrew Papadopoulos said in a statement.
"Our thoughts are with the NSW community, especially the people who have lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes as a result of the fires in northern NSW, and we thank the rally community for your support and understanding."
Hyundai, who held an 18-point lead over defending champions Toyota after the penultimate round in Spain, claim their first manufacturers' title in the global series.