Monza Rally has been confirmed as the final round of this year’s World Rally Championship, replacing Rally Japan which was lost to the COVID-19 pandemic last week.
News of the northern Italian event’s return to the 2021 calendar was discussed during commentary of Acropolis Rally on Sunday.
DirtFish expects further details of the season finale early next week.
Monza Rally was drafted in as a replacement for Ypres Rally last season and ran with two days on the Monza circuit and perimeter roads, with one day in the surrounding mountains.
The event was won by Toyota’s Sébastien Ogier who came out on top of a championship battle with team-mate Elfyn Evans.
A similar format is expected for this year’s event, despite speculation that some of the potential stage roads in the circuit would be unavailable due to construction work.
The teams are hoping for a greater emphasis on the roads outside of the circuit, with Toyota technical director Tom Fowler’s comments typical of those in the service park.
“The circuit was interesting,” Fowler told DirtFish, “but the roads outside were really nice. One of the issues with some of the circuit stages is that running World Rally Cars on gravel with Tarmac set-up isn’t really perfect.”
M-Sport’s Rich Millener added: “COVID regulations are a bit more relaxed now [so] they will take into account the feedback we gave them last year and I would hope that there’s some more stages outside of the track to make it a bit more WRC-like.
“But at the same time, they will have the opportunity to have a lot of fans there and I do think it’ll be a really good environment if they have packed grandstands like they do at Monza Rally Show.”
The event will take place on November 19-21, a week after Rally Japan was scheduled.