Italy advances three weeks in FIA World Rally Championship calendar while ADAC Rallye Deutschland is called off due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Italy’s 2020 FIA World Rally Championship fixture at Rally Italia Sardegna will move forward by three weeks to 8-11 October. The request to re-schedule came from rally organiser Automobile Club d’Italia and was agreed by the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, and WRC Promoter following the forced cancellation of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.
The switch avoids a date clash with Formula 1’s Gran Premio Dell’Emilia Romagna, which will be held at Italy’s Imola circuit on the same late- October weekend on which Rally Italia Sardegna was originally scheduled.
The move forward offers the prospect of better weather on the Mediterranean island for the gravel road fixture, as well as additional daylight hours as Europe moves deep into autumn.
Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of rally organiser Automobile Club d’Italia, said finalising a date which aligned with other championship calendars was a difficult task.
“In ACI we have worked hard to redefine the new dates for the 2020 Rally Italia Sardegna,” he explained. “It has not been easy to find the right days which could accomodate the needs of all stakeholders and could work well for the region of Sardinia.
“In this very difficult year ACI has wanted, as already shown with the F1 GPs in Monza, Mugello and Imola, to protect national and international motorsport by confirming also our competition. I personally thank the region of Sardinia for their absolute support to make all this happen.”
The change was made possible after ADAC Rallye Deutschland was called off. The Bostalsee-based event on 15-18 October was scheduled to be round six of the season, but organisers have cancelled it due to restrictions on mass gatherings in Germany related to COVID-19.
The 2020 calendar:
Round - Rally - Date
1 Monte-Carlo 23-26 January
2 Sweden 13-16 February
3 Mexico 12-15 March
4 Estonia 4-6 September
5 Turkey 18-20 September
6 Italy 8-11 October
7 Belgium 19-22 November
Image: WRC - Rally Italia Sardegna - T. Neuville/N. Gilsoul, Hyundai Motorsport