Race Reviews

Spa Rally cancelled, ERC to end in Spain, BRC season annulled

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Notwithstanding the hard work and enthusiasm of all the parties involved, they have unfortunately been unable to reverse the trend. This Wednesday morning DG Sport is officially obliged to postpone the Spa Rally until 2021, namely the final round of the JobFIXers Belgian Rally Championship 2020, which was also meant to round off the FIA European Rally Championship 2020. A decision taken by general agreement with the Mayor of Spa Sophie Delettre and the Governor of the Province of Liège Hervé Jamar, and this following assessment of the health situation and analysis of the conditions allowing the event to be held in full safety. Despite a highly professional organisation it is difficultly justifiable to go ahead with such an event in the current context.

#2//Cherain Cédric&Sibille Pierre//Cédric Cherain//Škoda Fabia R5//Spa Rally//Sam Tickell

“Despite the excellent work and all the professionalism of the DG Sport company, whom I wish to congratulate and underline, I found myself obliged to request the postponement of the Spa Rally, Sophie Delettre, the Mayor of Spa explained. The health crisis we are presently experiencing, with the dangers it poses, impels me to be extremely cautious. I can assure you that I am deeply saddened by this health situation, which affects all our activities. Tourism, culture and motorsport are an intimate part of the DNA of our spa town, and I whole heartedly hope we will be able to resume our lives with peace of mind following this second wave of the epidemic. All we can do now is to hold back on our brakes and await a new start!”

“It is with great disappointment that we are obliged, similar to last March, to once again postpone the Spa Rally, Christian Jupsin, the organiser continued. Everything had been put into operation to make this a spectacular edition, and I wish to take this opportunity to salute our team who, despite a complicated year, put in an impeccable job believing in it through to the end. I also wish to thank the Town of Spa and the other municipalities welcoming the various special stages, our sponsors, the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium, the promoter of the Belgian Rally Championship, the AMC Sankt Vith, as also Eurosport Events, promoter of the FIA European Rally Championship, for the support and trust they placed in us. In particular my thoughts go out to the professionals, be they teams, drivers, engineers, free-lance mechanics, sponsors, etc., affected by this postponement which is sure to have major economic consequences. All that is left now is for us to turn over the pages of this damnable 2020 year, retaining all our energy to bounce back and offer up and even more enticing event in 2021. As the saying goes; every cloud has a silver lining”

Worth noting that the postponement date of the Spa Rally has not as yet been decided. Details regarding this will be confirmed shortly.

Response from the FIA ERC

ERC Co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said: “We stand as one with DG Sport in accepting there was no choice other than to postpone the planned running of this year’s Spa Rally to 2021. Christian Jupsin and his team at DG Sport did everything possible to keep the Spa Rally on the 2020 calendar but the health and safety of all must remain the priority.

“While we share the sense of disappointment and the difficulties this decision causes, we must reflect on what has been achieved in 2020 in terms of what will be a five-event calendar during these challenging and unprecedented times. Our gratitude goes to everyone who made this possible, in particular the FIA Rally Commission. The thoughts of the ERC family are with all those people suffering due to COVID-19.”

Rally Islas Canarias takes place from November 26-28 and follows on from events in Italy (Rally di Roma Capitale), Latvia (Rally Liepāja), Portugal (Rally Fafe Montelongo) and Hungary (Rally Hungary). Of the 70 crews entered for the international section of Rally Islas Canarias, 46 are ERC registered to underline the continued success and popularity of the championship.

Response from the JobFIXers Belgian Rally Championship

This also means the end of the Jobfixers Belgian Rally Championship 2020. In the absence of sufficient rallies, no Belgian title will be awarded by regulation this season.

This decision means that the Jobfixers Belgian Rally Championship 2020 has ended after two rallies, the Rally van Haspengouw, won by Ghislain de Mevius, and the Aarova Rally, won by Craig Breen, but in which defending champion Adrian Fernémont scored the maximum points for the Belgian championship.

In the absence of a Belgian Champion 2020, Adrian Fernémont and Samuel Maillen as 2019 title holders will also drive in the Jobfixers Belgian Rally Championship 2021 with start number 1. Coincidentally, they were also in the lead in this year’s standings after 2 events.

In the meantime, the promoter and RACB Sport are already working hard on the plans for 2021. More about that soon.