Canary Islands ERC round to be moved to December

Event will become new season finale

Canary Islands Rally 2019

The Canary Islands will move to the end of this year’s European Rally Championship schedule, taking over from Rally Hungary as the final round of the 2020 season.

The Spanish island event was scheduled to run in early May before the coronavirus made that date impossible. Las Palmas will now run on the December 3-5 weekend, and host both the final competition and the awards ceremony.

Rally Hungary’s November 6-8 date remains unchanged.

President of the Canary Islands Rally organizing committee Germán Morales said: “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 [Spanish motorsport’s governing body] RFEDA.

“Keeping the [May] date would have led us, quite possibly, to a hasty cancelation with uncertain consequences.

“This new calendar slot allows us to work with all the enthusiasm and with the extra honor 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.”

With the planned season-opening Azores Rally already having moved to September, ERC co-ordinator Jean-Baptiste Ley said he would continue shuffling dates to maintain the eight-round series.

Ley 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 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.”

Currently, the ERC season is set to open with Latvia’s Rally Liepāja (May 29-31).