WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2021

2021

VM kalendern 2021
21-24 jan Monte Carlo    
11-14 febr Rally Sweden    
26-28 febr Finland    
22-25 april Kroatioen *    
20-23 maj Portugal    
3-6 juni Italien    
24-27 juni Kenya    
15-18 juli Estland    
29-1 aug Finland    
19-22 aug England    
??-?? aug Belgien    
9-12 sept Chile    
14-17 okt Spanien    
11-14 nov Japan    
* Subject to agreement

 


21-01-14 Two-year WRC contract for Rally Estonia
WRC Promoter and Rally Estonia signed a two-year contract
Passion, commitment and team spirit ensured a spot in WRC calendar
Rally Estonia aims a longer success in WRC

WRC Rally Estonia 2020, the first ever Estonian WRC round was a success. On Wednesday, January 13, 2021 an agreement between WRC Promoter and Rally Estonia was signed by Managing Director Jona Siebel and Rally Estonia Commercial Director Tarmo Hõbe. Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas announced at the press conference that Rally Estonia has joined the WRC calendar for 2021 and 2022.

The two-year contract is a sign of trust from the FIA and WRC Promoter to the Estonian government and Rally Estonia organising team. As a sign of recognition, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas presented Estonian e-residency to FIA Rally Director Yves Matton, Managing Director of WRC Promoter Jona Siebel and President of the Estonian Autosport Union Ari Vatanen. All three were participating at the press conference online and e-residency enabled them to sign the contracts digitally during the press conference.

Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonian Republic: “It was an honour to announce that Rally Estonia is a part of the WRC calendar in 2021 as well as 2022. It shows that we have earned a trust of the stakeholders. The fact that we managed to organise a safe Rally Estonia with no infections was highly rated both internationally and here in Estonia. My congratulations to the organisers, partners and all the rally fans in the world. I’m sure that Estonia’s position in rally world will strengthen.“

Yves Matton, FIA Rally Director: „It is a part of the process and long commitment from Estonian Autosport Union and Rally Estonia organisers. They are involved organising rally since 2010 trying to achieve high level events. They were part of European championship. After that they deserved a right to organise WRC Promotional Event. It was success where all the manufacturers were involved. In 2020 under special circumstances, they were able to organise WRC event. They showcased that they really have the high level of competence and bringing new ideas and fresh approach to the series. They convinced FIA, WRC Promoter and all the stakeholders that this event has the level to join the calendar for 2021 and 2022.”

Jona Siebel, WRC Promoter Managing Director: „There were many factors which led to this agreement. First of all, the performance of last year’s event was one of the key aspects here. The second factor is the passion, especially the passion of the Estonian rally fans which is really great. Of course, that played a big part in Ott Tänak’s and Martin Järveoja’s World Championship titles for sure. And the third factor is commitment. It’s all about the commitment. Our understanding is that all Estonia is committed. The government, the whole organising team, the fans. Everybody is committed. Two years is a clear signal from FIA and WRC Promoter, it fits.”

Ari Vatanen, President of Estonian Autosport Union: „The organising team of Rally Estonia has done superb work. And we know they were capable of organising top-class events. The situation in the world last year pushed some processes to move faster and the dream became a reality. The Estonian Government, especially Prime Minister Jüri Ratas play a big part in the success of last year’s Rally Estonia and in this agreement. The support from the government is very important. What I have seen here is a great team spirit in everything. This team spirit brought WRC to Estonia and I believe it can keep WRC in Estonia.”

Urmo Aava, Rally Estonia Director: „Ten years ago it seemed impossible to organise a WRC event in Estonia. But we wanted to be better every year and it keeps our focus sharp. I believe that we have still room for improvement almost everywhere. We understand what and where we must do, and we are already working to deliver another great event. We have a unique opportunity to start a tradition here. Our goal is not just two years in the calendar, our goal is a longer success in WRC.”

The second edition of WRC Rally Estonia will run on 15-18 July.
21-01-14 Arctic Rally Finland joins 2021 FIA World Rally Championship
· Snow and ice fixture added to WRC schedule on 26 - 28 February
· Rovaniemi hosts all-new second round of 2021 season in Lapland
· Rally Finland gravel round retains existing date on 29 July - 1 August

The FIA World Rally Championship will venture into the Arctic Circle for the first time next month after WRC Promoter today added Arctic Rally Finland Powered by CapitalBox to the 2021 calendar.

The all-new snow and ice event will be based in Rovaniemi on 26 - 28 February and replaces the cancelled Rally Sweden as the WRC’s only pure winter encounter. It forms round two of the 12-event fixture list.

The announcement means the Nordic country will host two WRC rounds this year. Rally Finland, held on iconic rollercoaster gravel roads around Jyväskylä, will take place on 29 July - 1 August.

Rovaniemi, the capital of Finland’s northernmost Lapland province, lies just outside the Arctic Circle. The competition will take place inside the region, where temperatures can plunge below -30°C in February.

The city is famously known as the home of Santa Claus (or Joulupukki as he is called in Finland) and also attracts high tourist numbers to view the stunning Aurora Borealis displays – better known as the Northern Lights.

The rally starts on Friday 26 February with a morning shakedown, ahead of the opening special stages that evening. Saturday features three tests driven twice ahead of Sunday’s final leg, which closes with the Wolf Power Stage. The 10 stages cover 260km.

The rally will run under strict national, local and FIA Covid-19 procedures and organisers will follow all protocols on whether fans will be allowed.

WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel was impressed by promoter AKK Sports’ determination to organise the rally at short notice.

“Since it was confirmed in December that Rally Sweden would not take place, we’ve been working hard with AKK Sports, the city of Rovaniemi and the enthusiasts there to try to make this event happen. It’s been a tough race against time and my thanks go to all involved,” he said.

“Although the rally starts in just 44 days, we know AKK will leave no stone unturned to ensure it reaches the same high standards as the traditional summertime Rally Finland.

“Winter rallies provide some of the sport’s most spectacular action. A winter wonderland of full snow and big snow banks lining the roads are a driver’s dream, so I think the WRC is in for a great time!”

AKK Sports CEO Riku Bitter is delighted at how quickly Rovaniemi embraced the idea of a WRC round at such short notice.

“We set out to look into the matter and explore our possibilities. Of the various different options, Rovaniemi, with its solid culture in organising winter rallies, good reputation as an international event city and large number of enthusiastic and experienced rally-makers stood out,” he said.

FIA rally director Yves Matton said: “With Arctic Rally Finland joining the WRC calendar, we will experience a rally in a region that has always made us dream and where conditions promise to be optimal for a snow event.

“Following the unfortunate cancellation of Rally Sweden in December, this is proof that with challenges can come opportunities.

“I would like to thank AKK and the organising team for their commitment, professionalism and determination, which enables them to make a second round in Finland a reality within a short time window. We will give all our help and support to ensure a great success for this new round.”

The revised calendar is subject to FIA approval.
21-01-13 Rally Estonia is Asahi Kasei Team Spirit Award winner
After pulling together their maiden WRC event in just 63 days, the Rally Estonia organising team has been voted as the 2020 recipient of the Asahi Kasei Team Spirit Award.

Drawing in thousands of votes on wrc.com, the Estonian organising team won out over Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, Toksport and M-Sport Ford. In a season that was heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Estonia was brought onto the calendar as a replacement event, and was the first run under strict new Covid-19 regulations.

Urmo Aava, Rally Estonia Director: “This award is a great recognition to our team and Estonia. We are pleased that FIA and WRC Promoter believed and trusted us, it really means a lot. It was big effort to have spectators in Rally Estonia. It wasn’t easy for them, but they showed their best sides and we really appreciate it. Our team, all the people who have put their effort for ten years, thank you! All this couldn’t have happened without the support and cooperation from Estonian government and our partners. Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone who voted for Rally Estonia!”

With the eyes of the rallying world focused on the Baltic nation, Rally Estonia organisers successfully executed a Covid-safe event and did enough to earn themselves a spot back on the calendar for 2021.

The icing on the cake for the organisers, was seeing local hopeful Ott Ta¨nak standing atop the podium on Sunday afternoon.

Staying true to their team spirit, the organisers produced a thank you message featuring gratitude from a number of members of their team, who thanked the FIA, WRC Promoter, Estonian government and the fans for their support.

The second edition of Rally Estonia will run from 15-18 July.

21-01-08 Belgium added to 2021 FIA World Rally Championship
· Renties Ypres Rally Belgium joins 2021 WRC calendar
· Belgium hosts World Rally Championship for the first time
· Asphalt fixture replaces UK’s Rally Northern Ireland in August
· British event shelved due to continuing Covid challenges
· Focus turns towards securing 2022 WRC round in Northern Ireland

Belgium will stage a round of the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time after Renties Ypres Rally Belgium was today (Friday) added to the 2021 calendar.

The asphalt event will take place in August on a date to be confirmed. It will replace the UK’s proposed fixture in Northern Ireland, which has unfortunately been deferred for this year due to uncertainty over public funding relative to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Belgium will become the 35th nation to stage a WRC round – at the second time of asking ­– since the series started in 1973. Last November’s round in Ypres was called off due to Covid-19.

Ypres was first held in 1965 and has become established as one of Europe’s most demanding rallies. Previous winners include current Hyundai Motorsport driver and home hero Thierry Neuville in 2018 and team-mate Craig Breen the following year.

The rally will feature three days of competition with an atmospheric service park in Ypres’ historic Grote Markt.

Jona Siebel, managing director of WRC Promoter, the commercial rights holder for the championship, said Ypres would be an appetising encounter for teams, drivers and co-drivers.

“Ypres has been a hugely popular cornerstone of European rallying for more than half a century. Its elevation to the WRC will provide one of the season’s sternest challenges and I’m delighted the championship will finally visit Belgium after last year’s unfortunate delay,” he added.

“Its tricky mix of narrow asphalt lanes with big ditches lining the roads, allied with some stages in the dark and the potential for mixed weather, will provide plenty of thrills and spills for fans.”

Siebel acknowledged the difficulties of Rally Northern Ireland obtaining the required government support in such challenging times.

“It’s sad the WRC will not enjoy the beauty of Northern Ireland this year, but the pandemic continues to impact the global economy. Our enthusiasm for a WRC round there remains strong and we look forward to continuing our discussions for 2022,” he said.

FIA Rally Director Yves Matton said: “The 2021 calendar has been developed against the backdrop of the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and we knew we would possibly face ongoing issues in this new year.”

“Bobby Willis and his team have put in a lot of work and efforts to bring the WRC to Northern Ireland and we’re very disappointed there will be no rally in the UK this year,” he added.

“It is a chance for Ypres Rally Belgium to step in after last year’s attempt. It will showcase the DNA of rally with a route that links Ypres to Spa-Francorchamps, two iconic venues of Belgian motorsport. I very much look forward to it.”

In October, Renties Ypres Rally Belgium was named on the WRC’s 2021 reserve list and Alain Penasse, president of event organiser Club Superstage, said the rally was ready to take its place on the calendar.

“Last year our volunteers proved they could switch quickly and organise a WRC event at short notice. Sadly it didn’t happen, but we will be delighted to welcome the WRC for the first time in mid-August,” he said.

“Broadly speaking, we will use last year’s proposed format again. This was clearly appreciated by the participants as the entry list for the 2020 edition looked impressive with 140 teams registered.”

Rally Northern Ireland promoter Bobby Willis explained that requisite public funding was unavailable to support a successful WRC event this year due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

“Tourism Northern Ireland recognises that hosting Rally Northern Ireland in 2021 represented a positive opportunity to profile the region globally, and would serve to celebrate Northern Ireland’s motorsport heritage.

“However, it feels Covid-19 could diminish the substantial economic benefits WRC historically bestows upon its host regions, and therefore investment would not represent best value for public money at this time.

“We must accept the situation for 2021 and focus on our discussions to explore the avenues for 2022,” he said.

The agreement in principle between WRC Promoter and Renties Ypres Rally Belgium is subject to FIA and ASN (national sporting authority) agreement.

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