WRC looking at ERC rounds to top up depleted calendar

The World Rally Championship is looking to top up its depleted 2020 calendar with other rallies in Europe, with events on the European Rally Championship calendar in consideration.

WRC looking at ERC rounds to top up depleted calendar

Earlier this week, Rally GB became the WRC's fifth casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving only five rallies left on this year's schedule (including two that were postponed) on top of the three that were already completed at the start of the year.

With question marks surrounding some of the remaining events, notably flyaway events Rally Argentina and Rally Japan, it has put the championship in danger of not hitting the seven-rally target that has been mooted as the minimum to award championship titles.

Now WRC Promoter boss Oliver Ciesla has revealed that "four or five" rallies have been identified as possible targets to be added to the 2020 schedule.

“We are looking at all possible options," Ciesla told SVT. "We'll see which are the available weekends and how much time we need to move from one event to another.

"Logistics are quite a limiting factor and a bottleneck in our championship. The consequence of that is that particularly we are looking for alternatives within Europe.

"Another aspect is that we need to make sure of is the safety standards are at world championship levels. Safety remains a high target and this limits the options quite a bit.

"If you take away the logistics aspect to get to a point where it’s maybe better on mainland Europe than on an island, this narrows our opportunities down to four or five events. These can be events that have gathered experience from being part of the ERC, or that have already been in contact with us as we were looking to observe them as a candidate rally.

“There are already quite a number of events that we already identified and you won't be surprised if I tell you that we are already in talks with all of them to see as quickly as possible what is possible and where are the limits."

Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen

Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen

Photo by: Ford Motor Company

The most obvious candidate for inclusion of the current ERC events on the WRC schedule is Rally Cyprus (pictured above), which was part of the world championship between 2000 and '06 and again in 2009. That event is currently scheduled for October 16-18, although this would create a clash with the existing WRC round in Germany.

Rally DirtFish in Estonia at the start of August is also regarded as a contender to be added to the schedule, following Estonia's successful candidate rally last year. Former ERC event Rally Ypres likewise is in the frame to make an appearance at the start of October.

A revised 2020 calendar is expected to be released on June 19 during the next meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

shares
comments
Neuville suffers nasty crash in private Hyundai test

Previous article

Neuville suffers nasty crash in private Hyundai test

Next article

Toyota decides against debuting GR Yaris in WRC next year

Toyota decides against debuting GR Yaris in WRC next year
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Prime

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Prime

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Prime

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up.

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Prime

Why winning in Finland was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant? Prime

Does Neuville have a point with his WRC Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains Prime

How Rovanpera reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Prime

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Prime

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021