The Coronavirus has claimed its first round of the World Rally Championship with the official postponement of next month’s Rally Argentina.
The anticipated decision to postpone the Villa Carlos Paz event, which had been scheduled for the last weekend of April, was taken following direction from the Córdoba Provincial Government as the local authority and national government seek to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The FIA, WRC Promoter and Automobile Club Argentina are in full agreement with the move.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said: “We understand the priority of the authorities in Argentina to prevent the further spread of this virus in their country, in particular via events where large numbers of people come together.
“We regret the postponement and all parties will work closely together to identify a potential new date for the event.”
Carlos García Remohí, president of the ACA Sports Commission, added: “It is disappointing but we are facing a world problem that exceeds us and we understand that today we have to protect everyone’s health.”
This weekend’s Rally Mexico is currently going ahead as planned and due to begin shortly with the opening street stage.
But it remains unclear when the WRC will resume after that.
Rally Chile had already been canceled for unrelated reasons, so the loss of Argentina means the next scheduled WRC event is currently the Rally of Portugal on the last weekend of May.