Following the extension of a state of emergency in Portugal and similar emergency measures in Italy, extensive discussions were held involving national authorities in both countries, the FIA and WRC Promoter.
With the unanimous agreement of all parties, organisers Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) and Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) requested a postponement of their rallies.
Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship, was due to take place in Matosinhos on 21 - 24 May. Rally Italia Sardegna, round six, was due to take place in Sardinia on 4 - 7 June.
ACP president Carlos Barbosa said: “We wish to thank all our supporters and partners for their understanding and look forward to welcoming them in Matosinhos at a later stage this year.”
ACI president Angelo Sticchi Damiani said: “Automobile Club d'Italia, as the federation of Italian motor racing and as Rally Italia Sardegna organiser, has made itself available, with the FIA and with the WRC Promoter, to study a possible new date for an event of great prestige and great historical importance.”
WRC Promoter and FIA 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.
“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 these challenging and extraordinary days, the entire teams at WRC Promoter and FIA send a strong message of solidarity to all competitors, officials, personnel, volunteers and fans across the globe who are fighting this pandemic together. Please follow medical advice and stay safe and healthy.