Race Reviews

Ypres Rally cancelled due to Covid

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With a heavy heart, Club Superstage is forced to cancel the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium, the penultimate round of the FIA ​​2020 World Rally Championship. From 20 to 22 November, a round of the FIA ​​World Rally Championship would be held in Belgium for the first time in history, but the current Covid-19 figures have decided otherwise.

While the volunteers of Club Superstage worked very hard in recent months on the preparation of the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium, the corona virus flared up again and the infection figures rose rapidly.  To the extent that the Consultation Committee imposed strict measures to contain the spread of the virus, but in the meantime the pressure on hospitals and the care sector became very great and everyone was urged to stop social life.

“We have always fully supported the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium, but this time we cannot let the rally go ahead,” says Emmily Talpe, Mayor of the City of Ypres.

“In close consultation with the organiser, the administrative authorities and the Cabinet of the Minister of the Interior, and based on the evolution of the pandemic in our region, it was decided that in the current circumstances it was irresponsible to allow the World Championship Rally to take place in Ypres.  A governor’s decision will be drawn up in line with the new evolution of the measures as decided in the today’s meeting (October 30) and in line with the amendments to the ministerial order on the urgent measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, taken on October 28 2020 by the National Security Council,” confirmed governor Carl Decaluwé.

 Health priority

Club Superstage continued to believe in the success of the first Belgian round of the World Rally Championship until the very last day.

“With the Monteberg Rally and the Aarova Rally, we organised two rallies in a Covid-proof manner in recent weeks, but we are not able to cope with the current outbreak of the virus. At the moment, the health of the population comes from  the personnel in the healthcare sector, of our employees, of the participants and of all rally fans in the first place,” Jan Huyghe of Club Superstage said. “We followed the health crisis in close consultation with the local authorities. Unfortunately, the numbers continued to rise dramatically. The Ypres Rally has been a leader in safety in Europe for years. This time health is also added to the mix. We therefore fully understand the current decision. ”

Future in the WRC

“This is of course a huge disappointment for all our volunteers who have proven to be able to organise a WRC round in the short term,” said Alain Penasse, President of Club Superstage. “Hopefully our efforts and investments have not been in vain. We have proven to the FIA ​​and the WRC Promoter that we can shift quickly and that we can organise the Renties Ypres Rally at WRC level. This cancellation was inevitable, but we are continuing our WRC  ambition. Hopefully this cancellation is just a postponement. ”

The feasibility of the World Championship in Ypres was proven by a top entry list with 140 teams. The popularity of rallying in Belgium has never been higher.  The interest in tickets came from all over the world and the Ypres region was also on the world map in this area.

Club Superstage also wishes to express its thanks to our partners for their trust and belief in the WRC project.  The organisation hopes to come through this crisis with their solidarity to organise a beautiful Renties Ypres Rally Belgium 2021 next year, if possible at the highest level.