The prospect of no New Zealand round of the World Rally Championship has become a reality.
This week, an official announcement of the event's cancellation was issued by Rally New Zealand chief executive Michael Goldstein.
"We've been in the head space that the event wasn't probably going to happen in 2020 for a number of weeks now. Making the announcement, though, made it pretty real," Goldstein told the Weekend Herald.
"It has been a hard time and a difficult decision to make, but there are bigger things happening in the world at the moment."
It's a disappointing outcome on a number of levels for many people who put years of hard work into trying to bring the WRC back to Kiwi roads.
New Zealand was one of the longest running rounds on the WRC calendar, with just five years missed between the first in 1977 and 2012.
"It's disappointing for the whole team, not just me. The whole rally community came together to make this happen. Everybody wants to see it happen," said Goldstein.
"We had hundreds of new volunteers sign up, and it was a chance for the sport to rejuvenate, as many of them were first timers to the sport.
"Big global events are good for the sport and fans, and introduces something new to a lot of people."
Former WRC driver Hayden Paddon was well down the path of getting a campaign together to contest the round in the hope of winning on home soil.
"It was a little bit expected, I guess. Still, it doesn't make it any easier to have to make an announcement," said Paddon. "It was pretty clear the event couldn't go ahead with what was happening with the borders here and around the world.
"It's disappointing, as we were just about to sign a contract with Hyundai to run another car in the WRC over four rounds, with New Zealand being the last. We had the contract on the table just days before the first community outbreak [of Covid-19].
"The programme was aimed at winning Rally New Zealand. Obviously that's all over now, and it's way too early to think about next year. We've just got to buckle up for the ride over the next few months."
Not all hope is lost, as a round could still be allocated for 2021. All those involved are now focusing their energies into putting a case together to present to the rally prompters, WRC and FIA as to why a 2021 event in New Zealand would be a winner.
"We're very optimistic that we can make a good case," said Goldstein.
"We just have to convince the FIA and promoters to come to New Zealand in 2021. There are other well publicised events like Australia and Spain who are hoping to return next year, and there are also question marks over the number of events on the WRC calendar next year, so there are a few difficulties to get over.
"We have done a huge amount of work and investment to get a one-off event in 2020 and it would be pretty callous of the FIA if they didn't at least consider coming to New Zealand in 2021."