The 2020 World Rally Championship has been hit by further delays due to the coronavirus outbreak, with Rally Portugal and Sardinia officially being postponed.
Last week’s Rally Mexico was ended early as a result if impending travel restrictions in the US threatening travel chaos for the paddock.
Winner Sebastien Ogier said afterwards that the rally should not have taken place altogether.
The following round in Argentina was also postponed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, while the original third round in Chile was cancelled due to ongoing social unrest in the country.
Portugal was due to host round five of the 2020 season on 21-24 May, while Rally Italy Sardinia was scheduled for the start of June.
The state of emergency has been extended in Portugal as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Italy continues to be one of the epicenters for the virus in Europe – with the lockdown in the country set to be extended in the coming days as confirmed cases and deaths continue to ride.
As a result, both events have agreed the postponement of the rallies with the FIA.
No new dates have been announced yet.
“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.
This announcement is just one of many to have come in the last week delaying world motorsport further.
On Monday, Formula 1 announced its eighth race to be struck from the calendar due to the virus outbreak, while MotoGP lost the first four rounds of its 2020 season and is expected to face further delays with the three grands prix in May almost certain to be postponed.
The first two rounds of the 2020 World Rallycross season, which were due to take place at the Circuit de-Barcelona in Spain and in Portugal, have also been postponed.