Rally Finland is latest to join the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship’s (WRC) casualty list as unknowns due to restrictions for COVID-19 has made it difficult to host.
Rally Finland joins Kenya, Chile and Portugal in the 2020 WRC cancellation list due to COVID-19 as the August 4-6 event has been officially deferred to the 2021 season, despite the improvements in Europe in terms of lowering cases.
The decision to cancel Rally Finland was already in the minds of organisers AKK Sports as they are uncertain about the travel restrictions and did not wish to push through for last minute changes. The safe idea was then to defer the 70th anniversary to 2021.
WRC Rally Finland promoter Jani Backman stated: “Although the cancellation of the Neste Rally had already been prepared for in the spring, it is clear that the decision was difficult in many ways. With the cancellation, we want to show responsibility to all our stakeholders and to society as a whole. Health and well-being are always a priority.
“We are looking with confidence to 2021, when we will finally be able to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the rally in a well-deservedly good mood together with spectators, competitors, event makers and our long-term and new partners.”
At the same time, race director Kai Tarkiainen added: “We are investigating the postponement of the event until the autumn, but our assessments of the uncertainties in the implementation of the posting unfortunately spoke in favor of the cancellation.
“In particular, we would like to thank all those volunteers who had already committed to this year’s event and have done so alongside our professional organization since last autumn – we will get up from this, we will be new next year.”
The decision to cancel Rally Finland came before Rally New Zealand, which had intended to confirm its move by May end. The event is scheduled for September 3-6 and considering that things is looking brighter there, it will depend on travel restrictions now.
For now, Rally Turkey (September 24-17), Rally Germany (October 15-18), Rally Wales GB (October 29 – November 1) and Rally Japan (November 19-22) remains on schedule – however the Japanese could be cancelled after it omitted its MotoGP event.
Here’s decision to cancel Safari Rally
Here’s the last update from WRC