Next month’s Renties Ypres Rally Belgium (19-22 November) has been cancelled today, Friday October 30, due to surging COVID-19 figures across the country.
Belgium was due to host the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time but directions from regional government mean organiser Club Superstage was forced to halt the season’s penultimate round this afternoon.
Rising Coronavirus figures brought strict measures to contain the spread of the virus but pressure on hospitals and the care sector has increased correspondingly and further social restrictions are being put in place.
“We have always fully supported Renties Ypres Rally Belgium, but this time we can’t let the rally go on,” said Emmily Talpe, Mayor of the City of Ypres. “We took this decision in close consultation with Governor of West Flanders, Carl Decaluwé, and the mayors of the other municipalities.”
Jan Huyghe from Club Superstage said organisers fully understood the decision.
“At the moment, the health of the population, of the staff in the care sector, of our employees and volunteers, of the participants and of all rally fans comes first,” he said.
“We have followed up the health crisis in close consultation with the local authorities. Unfortunately, the figures continued to rise dramatically. The Ypres Rally has been at the forefront of safety in Europe for years. This time, health is also on the rise.”