Elfyn Evans believes it’s “a bit of a crime” that Rally Spain is set to be missing from next year’s World Rally Championship calendar.
Unusually, the 2023 WRC calendar is yet to be signed off but Spain is understood to be losing its place on the schedule – at least for next season.
Although the stages that demand a circuit-racing driving style don’t always provide the most thrilling of sporting battles, the drivers love the rally as they can push their cars to the limit on pure asphalt roads.
Evans in particular feels that an event like Spain, which has long been popular with spectators, should be kept on the calendar.
“We were just discussing actually in the van back to the hotel last night that it’s a bit of a crime that we don’t come back to these rallies that are so well attended,” he told DirtFish.
“You know, you just see so many people attending this rally, supporting it. It’s a good rally.
“I can’t help but think we’re going to be rallying in ghost towns at some points next year, so I don’t fully agree with it.”
Evans wasn’t alone in feeling Spain would be missed.
“I guess that’s every driver’s opinion,” said Thierry Neuville.
“But there is no place for everybody, that’s for sure. However, any time an event is removed from the calendar is a disappointment for myself.”
Craig Breen added: “I think this is one that needs to stay, to be honest with you. It’s always so popular with the fans, especially Irish fans.
“I like it; I like the format. It’s always been an interesting event and for me, it deserves its place. So I’ll definitely miss it next year.”
And unsurprisingly, Spanish driver Dani Sordo is another who’ll miss the trip to Salou.
“I think it would be nice to come here because when you see the rally, see the spectators, the amount of people there in the stages, in the road sections, in the service park… sometimes you need to take care of some of the rallies that should be in the calendar because it’s very normal for the people,” he said.
Views weren’t unanimous though, as Gus Greensmith pointed out that rotation can sometimes be a good thing.
“It has some nice roads, but I think it’s nice to mix up the calendar,” he reasoned.
“When it’s more of a Formula 1 calendar, you ‘ve got 23, 24 races, you can keep some of the classics but when it’s only for 13, 14 rounds, it’s nice to have a variety.”