Rally Portugal and Rally Italy Postponed

by Steven Batey

Rally Portugal and Rally Italy have both been postponed by the FIA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally planned as the fifth and sixth rounds of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship, the pair join Rally Argentina in being suspended due to the worldwide outbreak of the virus.

This now means no rounds of the championship will take place until at least mid-July with Rally Kenya, although that could still yet be affected.

Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) President Carlos Barbosa said: “We wish to thank all our supporters and partners for their understanding and look forward to welcoming them in Matosinhos at a later stage this year.”

Meanwhile Italian ACI President Angelo Sticchi Damiani added: “Automobile Club d’Italia, as the federation of Italian motor racing and as Rally Italia Sardegna organiser, has made itself available, with the FIA and with the WRC Promoter, to study a possible new date for an event of great prestige and great historical importance.”

The decision comes with sporting events around the world being postponed for the next few months and WRC Promoter Manging Director Oliver Ciesla spoke of the next steps for the championship: “All parties will work to identify potential alternative dates for the postponed rallies later in the season should the COVID-19 situation improve.

“(This is when) taking into consideration championship logistics, the ability of competitors to travel again and the ability of the country in question to prepare and host the WRC at such a time.”

Sebastien Ogier currently leads the Drivers Standings after he won the shortened Rally Mexico in his first victory for Toyota.

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