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WRC suffers new blow with two cancellations


Craig Breen

The possibility of the World Rally Championship resuming has been dealt another blow with the cancellation of the rounds in Finland and New Zealand in August and September.

The WRC promoters had hoped to re-start the series with Rally Finland which would have seen Craig Breen return to the Hyundai team and Jon Armstrong re-join the JWRC (junior championship).

No rallies have taken place since Mexico back in March and now Finland and New Zealand have joined Argentina, Portugal, Italy and Kenya in calling off their scheduled rounds in response to the coronavirus.

Officially Rally Argentina and Rally Italia have been postponed rather than cancelled with the organisers hoping they can take place later in the year, fitting in alongside Turkey, Germany, Rally GB and Japan in a packed latter part of the season.

However, there is no guarantee that any of these events will be able to take place because of the social distancing and quarantine rules which remain in place in several of the countries where it is due to take place.

Wales Rally GB is not scheduled to take place until the end of October but the Welsh government, who fund the event, is very clear in its message that it doesn't want people coming into the country - to Deeside or the surrounding forests - any time soon.

They say: "Visit Wales. Later." How much later isn't clear.

It was also meant to include two rounds of curtailed the British Championship which remains on hold.

Meanwhile, Breen and Armstrong have had to be content with competing virtually in a specially arranged Suirway Ford Escort Challenge on the Digital-Motorsport channel.

It turned out to be a thrilling duel between reigning Irish Tarmac champion Breen and former World eSports champion Armstrong with the latter shading it by less than a second.

Belfast Telegraph