Rally Islas Canarias will host the deciding round of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship from 3-5 December** due to government restrictions – introduced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – making it not possible for the event to run as scheduled from 7-9 May.
In what is an extremely challenging and ever-changing situation, health and safety considerations remain the absolute priority and the thoughts of the entire ERC family are with all those people experiencing great difficulty and suffering at this time.
However, the importance of maintaining the ERC’s eight-event schedule, not just for everybody who depends upon the rallies taking place for their income and enjoyment, but for all the businesses located within communities hosting events, is also recognised.
Therefore, Eurosport Events, the ERC promoter, has worked closely with the local organising team, Club Deportivo Todo Sport, the government authorities and municipalities on Gran Canaria, the Spanish ASN, RFEDA, and the FIA, to achieve an alternative date, which also had to take into account the requirements of the local and national championships that include Rally Islas Canarias on their respective calendars.
Like Rally Hungary, which was originally scheduled as the season finale but now becomes the penultimate round from 6-8 November, Rally Islas Canarias is a very well run and promoted event. It will be a more than worthy host of the deciding round of the 2020 championship.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “Clearly, postponing and rescheduling events brings upheaval and is not the work of a moment. By monitoring the situation on a continuous basis with all organisations who make Rally Islas Canarias possible, we have been able to secure an alternative date and maintain the planned eight-event calendar. We thank everyone involved for helping us to achieve this, including the promoters of other ERC events affected by the change of dates.
“We obviously realise the delayed start to the season is resulting in considerable compromise and hardship, but we continue to acknowledge the support and cooperation we are receiving from our drivers, teams and partners. Preparations for the upcoming events are in full swing and we look forward to another action-packed and highly competitive ERC season getting underway.”
Germán Morales, President of the Rally Islas Canarias Organising Committee, said: “Needless to say, this situation was not in our plans, but during this time we have had the full support and understanding of Eurosport Events, the FIA and RFEDA. Keeping the date would have led us, quite possibly, to a hasty cancellation with uncertain consequences. This new calendar slot allows us to work with all the enthusiasm and with the extra honour of being the rally that decides the 2020 season, also hosting the awards ceremony. December will allow us to show off more about our archipelago, landscapes and climate.”
The ERC season is now set to begin on Rally Liepāja from 29-31 May.
Updated 2020 FIA European Rally Championship calendar (subject to FIA validation)
Round 1: Rally Liepāja (Latvia, gravel), 29-31 May
Round 2: 77th Rally Poland (gravel), 26-28 June
Round 3: Rally di Roma Capitale (asphalt), 24-26 July
Round 4: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt), 28-30 August
Round 5: Azores Rallye (gravel), 17-19 September**
Round 6: Cyprus Rally (gravel), 16-18 October**
Round 7: Rally Hungary (asphalt), 6-8 November
Round 8: Rally Islas Canarias (asphalt), 3-5 December**
**Date subject to FIA validation
The FIA ERC are also putting up their 2019 rally reviews online – go here for more details