DirtFish understands Rally Germany will be canceled tomorrow, becoming the World Rally Championship’s latest coronavirus casualty.
Organizers had already planned to scale back the 2020 edition of the event to run solely in the confines of the Baumholder military area – essentially becoming a single-venue rally.
But the Bostalsee-based event was always in doubt after regional government restrictions on mass gatherings prohibited gatherings of over 350 people, but ADAC – Germany’s ASN – will confirm the rally’s cancelation on Tuesday.
“In recent weeks, we have worked well and constructively with the Ministry of the Interior of Saarland, local authorities and the Bundeswehr [German armed forces] in Baumholder,” said Thomas Voss, head of ADAC Motorsport.
“Unfortunately however, the official requirements do not allow us to carry out the rally. Also according to the regulations of Rhineland-Palatinate, a maximum of 350 persons are allowed to enter the rally area under certain conditions.
“This number of people is courageous, and since participants are already included in the calculation, it is not possible to carry out a world championship round. In addition, the area in Baumholder has a circumference of about 80 km.”As the organizer, it is not possible to ensure that the site is secured in such a way that people do not gain unauthorized access and thus violate official regulations. ”
Aside from a one-year absence in 2009, Germany has been a mainstay of the WRC calendar since it joined in 2002.
The event quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most unique and demanding asphalt tests of the season, and was dominated by nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb, who won the event eight times in succession from 2002-2010.
In recent years the event has been a happy hunting ground for current World Champion Ott Tänak who has won every edition since 2017.
Rally Germany joins events in Chile, Argentina, Portugal, Kenya, Finland, New Zealand, Wales and Japan in being called off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 season will resume next weekend in Estonia, before further rounds in Turkey, Sardinia and Belgium that will conclude a seven round calendar.