FIA World Rally Championship

WRC Japan and New Zealand rounds set to be cancelled

1 Mins read
Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

The returning FIA World Rally Championship rounds in New Zealand and Japan are set to be cancelled due to the economic and logistical issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Efforts are being made to completely reschedule the 2020 calendar and it is expected to be a largely European-based schedule.

It is understood that teams are unwilling to make the trip to New Zealand during the pandemic, given the island country’s remote location in the Pacific Ocean.

Similar circumstances are the reason for the likely cancellation of the returning Rally Japan as the event could prove to be a significant financial burden on the teams while auto manufacturers are feeling the effects from COVID-19.

According to Motorsport.com, the WRC will complete its feasibility study on Rally New Zealand by end of May, but no date has been set to make a decision on the Japan event, which was supposed to close the 2020 season in late November.

The WRC is also expected to postpone Rally Finland by at least one month which could delay the start of the season even further.

This follows the confirmed cancellations of the Safari Rally Kenya, Rally Portugal and the confirmed postponements of Rally Argentina and Rally Italy.

Sebastien Ogier leads the championship after three rounds as the wait for the start of the WRC season goes on.

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