WRC Turkey date change gets green light

The move is set to pave the way for the Ypres Rally to join the calendar in October

Sebastien Ogier

WRC Promoter has confirmed Rally Turkey will move forward by one week, running from September 18-20.

WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel – who replaces Oliver Ciesla, who departed the firm on Friday – remained tight-lipped on the subject of Ypres Rally slotting into the four-week gap between Rally Estonia and the Marmaris-based Rally Turkey.

“The date switch provides us with options if we wish to introduce further events to the 2020 calendar and we’re extremely grateful to TOSFED (Turkish Automobile Sports Federation) for its flexibility in what are challenging times for sport across the world,” said Siebel.

“Marmaris, a popular holiday resort in Turkey, is open for business and welcoming tourists. Competitors and fans can feel confident about travelling there again after the coronavirus lockdown.

“The event will, of course, run with COVID-19 protocols in place. FIA and WRC Promoter guidelines will be applied to Turkey’s health laws to create a safe environment for all involved and for fans to enjoy.”

“We’re delighted to be welcoming the FIA WRC back to Turkey for the third time and will do all that’s required for running a safe and successful event under the required conditions,” said TOSFED president Eren Üçlertopragi.

DirtFish understands agreement has been reached with the Belgian organizers of the Ypres Rally, but the contract for an October 2-4 event has yet to be signed.

The route for Rally Turkey, which starts in seven weeks, is expected to utilise the same roads as last season, but official documentation including Rally Guide 1 has yet to appear on the website. This document is required, by the series’ sporting regulations, to be made public four months before the start of the rally.

As one service park source indicated, these are unprecedented times, but until Friday Turkey’s date hadn’t changed. Rally Japan is the only other WRC round which hasn’t changed its date or been introduced for the first time and RG1 for the season finale was delivered earlier this month.

Words:David Evans

Image:Mahmut Cinci / Red Bull Content Pool