Spa World RX round cancelled due to COVID-19 spike
The penultimate round of the World Rallycross Championship, which was set to be held at Spa-Francorchamps later this month, has been cancelled.
The rescheduled event had been planned to run on the final weekend in November, alongside the final day of the Ypres rally, set to be an edition to the World Rally Championship calendar amid the coronavirus hit schedules.
Spa’s World RX round was initially due to take place in May, before being moved to October and then November. Belgium’s Formula 1 venue recently announced it would have no option but to run its World RX round behind closed doors.
However, due to a rapid increase in the number of coronavirus cases throughout Europe and especially in Belgium, and following the cancellation of the Ypres rally, the Belgian round of World RX at the country’s Formula 1 venue has been cancelled.
“The current health situation in Belgium and throughout Europe has forced the organisers into taking this joint decision,” said the circuit in a statement. “The Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, IMG and the FIA are in fact very mindful of the progression or development of the pandemic and the extremely tense situation in the hospitals.
"Furthermore, the various restrictive measures taken recently by several governments, such as those relating to travel, make the situation extremely complicated for holding the Spa World Rallycross of Benelux. “
Circuit CEO Nathalie Maillet added: “This decision is related to an exceptional situation and even if this saddens all the teams who have worked so hard to hold this second edition, announced last week moreover to be held behind closed doors following the deterioration in the public health situation, our priority is and will remain the health of safety of everyone.”
Spa has announced that it expects to return to its original May date in the calendar for the 2021 season. The FIA is currently undertaking a tender process to find a new promotor for the series after it was revealed that IMG would depart the World RX at the end of the current campaign.
The final round of World RX is still expected to take place at the Nurburgring in December, but the Belgian round's cancellation gives Swede Johan Kristoffersson an almost unassailable lead of 27 points over compatriot Mattias Ekstrom in the standings, with a maximum 30 points available from a single World RX round.
The rescheduled second and third rounds of the British Rallycross Championship 5 Nations Trophy, set to be held at Lydden Hill this weekend, have also been postponed due lockdown regulations in England. The double-header event will now take place in early December, the series having applied for elite status to be able to run behind closed doors, much like the British Touring Car Championship is doing for its finale next week at Brands Hatch.
Spain WRX: Kristoffersson battles to victory to boost title bid
World RX finale set to be cancelled, Kristoffersson champion