The FIA World Rally Championship have announced that Rally Ypres in Belgium will replace Rally Northern Ireland on the 2021 WRC calendar.
The event will take place in August and replaces Rally Northern Ireland which was due to take place in place of Rally GB.
Speaking about the news, WRC Promoter Jona Siebel commented saying:
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 went on to discuss Northern Ireland saying:
“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,
WRC Rally Director Yves Matton commented saying:
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,