Turkey date change opens door for Belgian WRC round

The WRC’s new managing director says the flexibility of Rally Turkey organisers in changing date should help allow at least one extra round to join this season’s calendar. 

Turkey date change opens door for Belgian WRC round

Originally due to run from September 25-27 , the Marmaris-based event has been brought forward by a week to September 18-20 by the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED), paving the way for Rally Ypres to join the WRC fray. 

The Belgian rally’s possible inclusion in the 2020 championship relied on cooperation from Rally Turkey to ease the logistical pressures on teams. 

Prior to the date change, crews would have had to hotfoot it from Turkey on the Sunday evening and begin their recce in Europe 72 hours later – a scenario that Alain Penasse, the ex-Hyundai boss who is now the president of Ypres Rally organiser Club Superstage, previously conceded was unworkable. 

It was also difficult to move Rally Ypres’ date because of its reliance on the availability of the main market square, which has been the service park for the all-asphalt event for many years.  

With Turkey’s new timings rubber-stamped, an announcement on Ypres being added to the calendar is thought to be imminent.

Jona Siebel – who fills the void left by former WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla – thanked Turkey’s Ministry of Youth and Sports and TOSFED for agreeing the change.  

“The date switch provides us with options if we wish to introduce further events to the 2020 calendar and we’re extremely grateful to TOSFED for its flexibility in what are challenging times for sport across the world,” he explained. 

“Marmaris, a popular holiday resort in Turkey, is open for business and welcoming tourists. Competitors and fans can feel confident about travelling there again after the coronavirus lockdown.” 

Despite restrictions being eased in the area, Siebel said the gravel counter would run under stringent COVID-19 protocols in an effort “to create a safe environment for all involved and for fans to enjoy”. 

If, is as widely expected, a deal is inked to bring the WRC to Ypres, crews will be in action every other week between the series resuming in Estonia on September 4 and the penultimate round in Italy in late October. Rally Japan is then set to bring the curtain down on a truncated campaign in late November.

shares
comments
Tanak keen to capitalise on Estonia home advantage

Previous article

Tanak keen to capitalise on Estonia home advantage

Next article

Belgium replaces Japan on 2020 WRC calendar

Belgium replaces Japan on 2020 WRC calendar
Load comments
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
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Prime

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium Prime

Home hero Neuville delivers overdue WRC success for Hyundai in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Prime

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Prime

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021