WRC Rally GB moves to August, addition of new Croatia round

The WRC Rally GB changes to the new Croatia round in August
The British round of the World Rally Championship has been postponed to next August following a virtual meeting of the members of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) on Friday.
The decision to add Rally GB to the Eurocentric twelve-lap calendar puts an end to months of speculation and means the event will continue its longstanding association with the World Rally Championship.
However, it remains unclear whether the event will take place in Wales, as it has done for the past two decades, or whether it will make the leap across the Irish Sea to a new base in Northern Ireland.
A possible change of location between representatives of Rally GB and government officials from Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been discussed for some time. These talks are being led by North Antrim MP Ian Paisley - the same politician who spoke on the matter in the House of Commons in June.
WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel confirmed tonight that discussions on the funding of the 2021 installment of Rally GB will continue and that an announcement is expected "soon."
As part of the new calendar, the World Rally Championship will visit Croatia for the first time in its history at the end of April, ending a 19-year wait with a return to the legendary Safari Rally in East Africa.
The Rally Estonia - one of the meetings of the WRC team bosses who praised autosport - marks half of the series in July, with Turkey, Greece, Belgium and Argentina on the reserve list.
The WRC Rally GB changes to the new Croatia round in August
"The first-time inclusion of Croatia in the WRC is an exciting new challenge for our schedule list and brings great anticipation with it," said Siebel.
"Estonia's championship debut a few weeks ago was a huge success, especially given the short time the organizers had to prepare for the rally," adding that one of the fastest rallies in the WRC "fully deserves its place keep "season.
Given the impact and travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus health pandemic, which is expected to be felt for much of the next year, Siebel admitted it had an impact on the composition of the calendar.
"COVID-19 has hit international sporting events extremely hard," he said. "The WRC was not spared, which led to the unfortunate cancellation of several events over the course of 2020.
"In developing the FIA ​​World Rally Championship 2021 calendar, we had to make pragmatic and strategic decisions about its ongoing impact on global travel over the next year.
"We couldn't have anticipated that in the first five months of 2021 long-haul events would be safely held for the public or for our large group of traveling employees, suppliers, competitors and the media.
"It is important that our promoters are fully committed to managing the difficult COVID-19 controls we can expect next year as we deliver high quality championship rounds."
"I am confident that the 12 rallies selected for next year won't let us down."
WRC 2021 calendar
1. Monte-Carlo - 21.-24. January
2. Sweden - 11.-14. February
3. Croatia - 22.-25. April
4. Portugal - 20.-23. May
5. Italy - June 3-6
6. Kenya - 24.-27. June
7. Estonia - 15.-18. July
8. Finland - July 29th - August 1st
9. Great Britain - 19.-22. August
10. Chile - 9.-12. September
11. Spain - 14.-17. October
12. Japan - 11.-14. November
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