Just before the end of June, the first look at the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship calendar was presented with nine countries set to be part of the 2021 season, although this appears to be ever changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More details about next year’s calendar are expected to appear soon, although the season-opener at Rallye Monte Carlo is already confirmed between 21-24 January followed by the traditional Rally Sweden as round two, no official date has been announced but there is a chance it will be held on berween 11-14 February.
After Sweden, if the season can be carried out as hoped, it appears their could be a long break. The restrictions for competitors’ entry into Sweden will be released shortly and hopefully this will feature a crowd.
But a rally without an audience would certainly be a huge problem for the event, where the audience revenue accounts for a large part of the rally’s budget every season.
After the planned stop in Sweden, Portugal is next up in May. This is the first change for the calednar as it appears both Mexico and Argentina may be forced to leave the series for 2021.
The championship is expected to be centered in Europe to reduce costs and simplify logistics although this could again change deepening on the ongoing constant changes in travel restrictions around countries such as Sweden.
During the summer months, the lineup will be continued by Italy in June before heading outside of Europe to the Safari Rally in Kenya.
The Estonian round which is currently set to be the following round is said to have gained new WRC status thanks to its hard work to secure this year’s championship at short notice and will seemingly be followed by nearby world-famous Rally Finland in the first weekend of August.
A potential new addition to the calendar will be Rally Ireland round in favor of returning to Wales and Great Britain in 2021. If this is indeed the case, the Irish event will take place at the end of August and Chile will then return after a year of absence due to political unrest in the country. In September, Turkey is set to also appear in the championship.
The Spanish round is also back on the calendar in October as it stands. They were forced to abandon plans to run in 2020 but a reported new itinerary sees the 2021 edition ran completely on asphalt. The final round is expected to take place in Japan in November.
The FIA and WRC Promotor are expected to release the details of the upcoming WRC season shortly – below is a calendar based on the promoter’s first draft and rumors circulating among several organizers.
|Round 1||Rallye Monte-Carlo, Monaco||21-24 January|
|Round 2||Rally Sweden, Sweden||TBC, February|
|Round 3||Rallye de Portugal, Portugal||TBC, May|
|Round 4||Rally Italia Sardegna, Italy||TBC, June|
|Round 5||Safari Rally, Kenya||TBC, July|
|Round 6||Rally Estonia, Estonia||TBC, July|
|Round 7||Neste Rally Finland, Finland||TBC, August|
|Round 8||Rally Ireland, Ireland||TBC, August|
|Round 9||Copec Rally Chile, Chile||TBC, September|
|Round 10||Rally Turkey Marmaris, Turkey||TBC, September|
|Round 11||RallyRACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada, Spain||TBC, October|
|Round 12||Rally Japan, Japan||TBC, November|