WRC: Portuguese, Italian races postponed due to coronavirus

accreditation
<b> FIRST WIN OF 2016: </b> Belgian driver Thierry Neuville and compatriot co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul won the Rally Sardinia in their Hyundai i20 WRC. <i> Image: AFP / Giuseppe Cacace </i>
<b> FIRST WIN OF 2016: </b> Belgian driver Thierry Neuville and compatriot co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul won the Rally Sardinia in their Hyundai i20 WRC. <i> Image: AFP / Giuseppe Cacace </i>
Giuseppe Cacace

The next two rounds of the World Rally Championship (WRC), in Portugal (21-24 May) and Italy (4-7 June), have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) announced on Tuesday.

"All parties will work to identify potential alternative dates for the postponed rallies later in the season should the COVID-19 situation improve, taking into consideration championship logistics, the ability of competitors to travel again and the ability of the country in question to prepare and host the WRC at such a time," said WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla in a statement.

The first three rallies of the season - in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico - were run, though Sweden was curtailed by lack of snow and Mexico ended a day early because of the pandemic.

Hyundai WRC driver Daniel Sordo took to social media to voice his disappointment at the decision to postpone the races. 

The Argentina rally, scheduled for 23-26 April, had already been postponed.

The WRC and the FIA added they "continue to closely monitor the situation in affected countries due to host future rounds, as well as the home countries of WRC teams and all competitors."

In a response to a question from AFP, the FIA said the championship does not have to include a minimum number of rounds.

The next surviving round on the calendar is the Rally of Kenya on July 16-19.

Updated WRC calendar after the postponements of Portuguese and Italian rallies: 

- Monte-Carlo (23-26 January) run

- Sweden (13-16 February) run

- Mexico (12-15 March) run but ended a day early

- Argentina (23-26 April) postponed

- Portugal (21-24 May) postponed

- Italy (4-7 June) postponed

- Kenya (16-19 July)

- Finland (6-9 August)

- New Zealand (3-6 September)

- Turkey (24-27 September)

- Germany (15-18 October)

- Great Britain (29 October - 1 November)

- Japan (19-22 November)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Who do you feel was at fault for Verstappen and Hamilton's Italian GP crash?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Verstappen
25% - 1177 votes
Hamilton
42% - 1923 votes
They were both at fault
33% - 1527 votes
Vote