While some domestic sports leagues are scheduled to return this month, with the soccer leagues in Europe leading the way, things are a little more complicated in other sports. It is motorsports that have the toughest road back for a number of different reasons, the most obvious of which is that they tend to have larger teams and are required to travel from country to country over the course of a season. With travel restrictions still in place in some parts of the world, you can begin to see how getting the season back on track might be something of a logistical nightmare. That is what the FIA and the WRC are dealing with now as they try to bring some sense of normalcy back to their disrupted season. Let’s take a closer look at the current situation so you can start sorting out your options for betting against our WRC odds.
WRC COVID-19 Status & Return Date
WRC Pandemic Timeline
The 2020 WRC season began as normal with races on Monte Carlo and Sweden in January and February, respectively. It was the third race of the season, which was held in Mexico, where it became clear that the world was beginning to change and adapt to the pandemic. The Mexico race was cut short to allow teams time to get back to their home bases as travel restrictions began to fall into place. Like every other sports organization in the world, the FIA adopted a wait and see attitude.
As time went on and the pandemic continued with no end in sight, the WRC took the steps to cancel Rally de Portugal and the Safari Rally Kenya. Events in Argentina and Italy were postponed rather than cancelled and may yet be added back to the calendar at a later date. A testing ban was also put in place, meaning that drivers would not be able to get into the cars that they use in WRC events.
WRC Timeline for the Remainder of the Season
The testing ban, which was put into place in April, will end on Sunday, June 7, at which point drivers will head to Finland to get behind the wheel and start preparing for the return of racing. The next race on the schedule will be Rally Finland, a gravel track event that will run through the weekend of August 6-9.
The Finland race, there are 5 more dates that have been confirmed, with stops in New Zealand, Turkey, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan all on the schedule. This, though, is all still dependent upon the state of affairs in each of those countries in the future, not to mention any travel restrictions that may still be in place on the dates in question.
The FIA is also still going to need to decide when they will squeeze in any races that were postponed in hopes of fitting in a later date. The WRC is really now just beginning to get back to business, so I am sure we will see more details begin to emerge in the weeks leading up to Rally Finland.