Owing to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, World Rally Championship has confirmed the cancellation of the New Zealand Rally that was originally scheduled for September.
The New Zealand Rally was set to make its comeback to the world rally stage on 3-6 September. However, with the New Zealand borders remaining closed to international visitors, the organising body of the event has made the decision to call off the race meeting.
Rally New Zealand CEO Michael Goldstein has labelled the September 2020 date as „not practical” due to the logistics required to host thousands of international visitors amid the current coronavirus sitatuion.
FIA Rally Director Yves Matton said: "We were all excited to see New Zealand reclaim its place in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2020 after a seven year absence and we are naturally sad that we will not be able to go there this year.”
Neither the governing body nor the promoter has confirmed that the event will be included on the 2021 WRC calendar, but Matton has said he hopes that the Auckland-based rally will take place in the near future.
WRC has also announced that „Rally Finland, the next scheduled round of the FIA World Rally Championship due to take place in Jyväskylä on 6 - 9 August, has been deferred to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” read the statement.
Boss of Rally Finland Promoter Jani Backman has stressed that the organisers want to show how seriously the situation has to be taken. ”By cancelling the event this year, we want to show responsibility towards each and every one of the stakeholders as well as the whole society. Health and well-being are always a priority.”
“We will confidently move our focus into 2021, when we will finally be able to organise the well-deserved 70th anniversary celebrations in an amazing atmosphere and in great spirits together with the spectators, competitors as well as our long-term and new partners.”