Rally Portugal cancelled outright amid pandemic

Rally Portugal has become the first event on this year's World Rally Championship schedule to be cancelled outright as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Rally Portugal cancelled outright amid pandemic

Originally scheduled as the sixth round of the 2020 campaign, the Porto-based event was due to take place on May 21-24 before it was indefinitely postponed in late March along with Rally Italy amid the worsening COVID-19 crisis.

Efforts had been underway to move Rally Portugal to the end of October, potentially slotting in between Rally Germany and Rally GB, but a statement from the Automovel Club de Portugal issued on Thursday revealed these plans have now been abandoned.

It becomes the second round to be cancelled outright after Rally Chile, which was scratched off the calendar due to social unrest late last year.

The ACP's statement read: "After a joint assessment together with our partners, the various municipalities, national authorities and sponsors, all health and safety conditions needed to run the WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal in a safe way are not achievable given the unpredictable situation that we live in these days, and also the uncertainty of opening the national borders or airspace.

"Due to this critical situation, the Automovel Club de Portugal is forced to cancel the Portuguese round of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship.

"The Automovel Club de Portugal deeply regrets this decision. But it is the responsible decision bearing in mind the thousands of supporters, teams, municipalities, sponsors and all the people involved in the event, that was responsible in 2019 for an economic impact in the national economy of more than 142 million Euros."

It added that the ACP has already applied for Rally Portugal to be given its usual May date on next year's WRC calendar.

The opening three rounds of this year's schedule have been completed, although last month's Rally Mexico was cut short by a day in order to allow teams to return to Europe safely at a time of growing uncertainty surrounding international travel.

As things stand, the Safari Rally in Kenya is due to be the next round of the 2020 WRC season on July 16-19.

shares
comments
Motorsport Heroes: Michele Mouton's sad end to her WRC career
Previous article

Motorsport Heroes: Michele Mouton's sad end to her WRC career

Next article

Sainz is surprise winner of WRC greatest driver vote

Sainz is surprise winner of WRC greatest driver vote
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Prime

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport.

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya Prime

How Kalle Rovanpera tamed a wild WRC Safari Rally in Kenya

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Prime

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Prime

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Prime

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Prime

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Prime

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Motorsport.com donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the life of a rally mechanic.

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Prime

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022