Announced by the FIA and WRC Promoter is news that Rally China, scheduled for September 09-11, will not be held. This is the second time this event has been abandoned after being scheduled as a qualifying round of the World Rally Championship. In 2000 it was cancelled five months before the event; this time four weeks.It is reported that disputes arose over who should pay for repairs to the roads proposed for the stages damaged by heavy storms in the area a month ago.
Didier Auriol and Denis Giraudet airborne in the Toyota Corolla WRC at the 1999 China Rally
The WRC Promoter has said: Some of the worst floods in China for many years forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes in the north of the country, prompting authorities to introduce emergency measures in the region, which continues. The rally will not be replaced in this year's FIA World Rally Championship, which will now comprise 13 rounds."
No statement has been issued about how the regulations for the support championships, which competitors select the restricted number of events they enter, will have to be altered because of the reduction of their calendars. A major storm about the circumstances in which the FIA promotes the concept of WRC rallies in countries such as China, and the damaging effect this news will have on the sport, is sure to erupt.