The World Rally Championship and the FIA have given an update on the future of the 2020 calendar amid various postponements and cancellations.
With news that Portugal has been cancelled outright and both Argentina and Italy postponed, the season is set to restart with a return to Rally Safari in mid-July, however this remains subject to an update and guidance from the Kenyan government “on 15 May after further analysis of the Coronavirus situation”.
The statement confirms that Rally Finland is considering postponing its event to September or October from its current August date and Rally New Zealand is set to assess at the end of May whether early-September is still a viable date for its return to the WRC calendar.
The final four events are pushing ahead with preparations as normal given their later dates, with Rally Turkey set to run on 24-27 September, Rallye Deutschland on 15-18 October, Rally GB in late October and Rally Japan on 19-22 November.
Some postponed events may still be run according to the update with Rally Italia Sardegna and Rally Argentina both hopeful of slotting in at the backend of the season.
“Our goal is to now continue to monitor as best as we can with the evolving situation around the pandemic and the Government restrictions,” a joint WRC-FIA statement said.
“No decisions on event dates will be made before updates on the respective emergency status are available. There is a duty of care to all stakeholders including fans, drivers, teams, media, suppliers and others to protect not only ourselves but also the wider community, and this remains our key focus.
“We remain committed to continuing with as many rallies as we can either on their current date, or where possible, a rescheduled date.”
It went on to add that several options are under consideration to ensure the safety of the events, including tweaking the format and length, the logistics of the facilities, teams and locations as well as safety measures such as social distancing.
The statement added: “[The] FIA and WRC Promoter remain focused on the need to keep professional and private/customer teams, drivers and sponsors engaged and viable ongoing concerns for when the season can resume.”