WRC announces cancellation of 2021 Rally Sweden

The WRC has announced that February’s Rally Sweden will not go ahead as planned, becoming the first event on the series’ 2021 calendar to be cancelled due to coronavirus.

WRC announces cancellation of 2021 Rally Sweden
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Sweden was one of the three countries to successfully hold a WRC event on its original slot this year before the coronavirus pandemic took hold and led to a series of cancellations.

The season finally resumed with Estonia in September after a major calendar revamp, and experienced further changes after that, with notably the Ypres Rally in Belgium cancelled and an extra event in Monza added to cap off the year.

With just over a month until the start of the 2021 WRC campaign in Monte Carlo, Swedish authorities have communicated their inability to host the second round of the season on February 11-14.

A rise in COVID-19 cases in Sweden was cited as the reason behind the cancellation. The country's case tally has more than tripled from 100,000 on October 15 to 320,000 as of Monday, according to the latest information on real-time statistics website Worldometer.

“Rally Sweden organisers, the FIA and WRC Promoter fully understand that the health of the local population is of primary concern and are committed to a collective duty of care to protect both the Varmland community and the WRC family,” Rally Sweden CEO Glenn Olsson said.

“During our planning, we have closely monitored what is a constantly evolving Covid-19 situation in the region. While we are naturally extremely disappointed, especially given the exciting new-look itinerary, this is a decision we support.”

The WRC said it is in negotiations with promoters to find an alternative venue to replace Sweden and hopes to announce a replacement event shortly. 

The original WRC calendar for 2021 calendar comprised 12 rounds, with Catalunya, Chile, Japan and Kenya all making a return and Croatia being a new addition to replace Mexico.

Monte Carlo is still scheduled to open the new campaign on January 21-24.

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