The 2020 FIA European Rally Championship will be decided on Rally Islas Canarias next week following confirmation that the planned season-finale, the Spa Rally, will not take place in 2020.
It has been agreed by the Mayor of Spa, Sophie Delettre, and the Governor of the Province of Liège, Hervé Jamar, that despite DG Sport’s extensive efforts, going ahead with the event in the current COVID-19 context could not be justified. The decision follows an assessment of the health situation in Belgium and the ability for all necessary safety measures to be implemented.
“Despite the excellent work and all the professionalism of DG Sport I found myself obliged to request the postponement of the Spa Rally,” Sophie Delettre, the Mayor of Spa, said. “The health crisis we are presently experiencing, with the dangers it poses, impels me to be extremely cautious. I am deeply saddened by this health situation, which affects all our activities. Tourism, culture and motor sport are part of the DNA of Spa, and I whole heartedly hope we will be able to resume our lives with peace of mind following this second wave of the epidemic.”
Christian Jupsin of DG Sport, the Spa Rally organiser, said: “It is with great disappointment that we are obliged, similar to last March, to once again postpone the Spa Rally. Everything had been put into operation to make this a spectacular edition, and I wish to take this opportunity to salute our team. I also wish to thank the town of Spa and the other municipalities and organisations for the support and trust they placed in us. All that is left now is for us to turn over the pages of this difficult year, retaining all our energy to bounce back and offer up an even more enticing event in 2021.”
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.