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Renties Ypres Rally Belgium joins the 2021 WRC calendar, webhosting a round of the World Rally Championship for the first time. The asphalt fixture replaces UK’s Rally Northern Eire, shelved as a result of continuing COVID-19 challenges, in August.

Rally Ypres - T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul

Belgium will stage a round of the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time after Renties Ypres Rally Belgium used to be this present day (Friday) added to the 2021 calendar.

The asphalt occasion will snatch location in August on a date to be confirmed. It will receive to change the UK’s proposed fixture in Northern Eire, which has unfortunately been deferred for this twelve months as a result of uncertainty over public funding relative to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Belgium will change into the 35th nation to stage a WRC round – at the 2nd time of asking – on epic of the sequence started in 1973. Closing November’s round in Ypres used to be referred to as off as a result of Covid-19.

Ypres used to be first held in 1965 and has change into established as for dawdle one of Europe’s most traumatic rallies. Previous winners embody unusual Hyundai Motorsport driver and residential hero Thierry Neuville in 2018 and team-mate Craig Breen the next twelve months.

The rally will feature three days of competitors with an atmospheric service park in Ypres’ ancient Grote Markt.

Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter, the industrial rights holder for the championship, mentioned Ypres could perhaps be an appetising bump into for groups, drivers and co-drivers.

“Ypres has been a vastly new cornerstone of European rallying for bigger than half a century. Its elevation to the WRC will provide for dawdle one of many season’s sternest challenges and I’m jubilant the championship will finally talk to Belgium after last twelve months’s downhearted prolong,” he added.

“Its sophisticated mix of slim asphalt lanes with mammoth ditches lining the roads, allied with some stages in the dreary of night and the aptitude for mixed weather, will provide plenty of thrills and spills for fans.”

Siebel acknowledged the difficulties of Rally Northern Eire acquiring the well-known govt toughen in such moving times.

“It’s unhappy the WRC won’t revel in the implausible thing about Northern Eire this twelve months, however the pandemic continues to impress the worldwide economy. Our enthusiasm for a WRC round there stays stable and we look forward to continuing our discussions for 2022,” he mentioned.

FIA Rally Director Yves Matton mentioned: “The 2021 calendar has been developed against the backdrop of the challenges attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic and we knew we would perchance face ongoing considerations on this unusual twelve months.”

“Bobby Willis and his team receive place in quite so a lot of work and efforts to bring the WRC to Northern Eire and we’re very disappointed there will be no rally in the UK this twelve months,” he added.

“It’s miles a enormous gamble for Ypres Rally Belgium to step in after last twelve months’s try. It will receive to showcase the DNA of rally with a route that links Ypres to Spa-Francorchamps, two iconic venues of Belgian motorsport. I very noteworthy look forward to it.”

In October, Renties Ypres Rally Belgium used to be named on the WRC’s 2021 reserve list and Alain Penasse, president of occasion organiser Club Superstage, mentioned the rally used to be willing to snatch its location on the calendar.

“Closing twelve months our volunteers proved they would perchance perhaps change snappy and organise a WRC occasion at short watch. Sadly it didn’t happen, but we’re going to have the flexibility to be jubilant to welcome the WRC for the first time in mid-August,” he mentioned.

“Broadly speaking, we’re going to have the flexibility to use last twelve months’s proposed format all over again. This used to be clearly favored by the contributors as the entry list for the 2020 edition appeared impressive with 140 groups registered.”

Rally Northern Eire promoter Bobby Willis outlined that requisite public funding used to be unavailable to augment a a success WRC occasion this twelve months as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

“Tourism Northern Eire recognises that webhosting Rally Northern Eire in 2021 represented a obvious alternative to profile the situation globally, and would serve to receive a honest correct time Northern Eire’s motorsport heritage.

“Nonetheless, it feels Covid-19 can also diminish the mammoth economic advantages WRC historically bestows upon its host regions, and therefore investment would no longer signify most life like seemingly price for public money at the moment.

“We need to accept the wretchedness for 2021 and focal level on our discussions to explore the avenues for 2022,” he mentioned.

The settlement in precept between WRC Promoter and Renties Ypres Rally Belgium is field to FIA and ASN (national carrying authority) settlement.


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