China Rally dropped from WRC

The organisers of the China Rally have pulled the plug on the event's place in the World Rally Championship for 2000.

China Rally dropped from WRC

The event was promoted to the premier series last year but was criticised
for its lack of atmosphere and the high level of risk involved as
competitors faced unsuspecting Chinese road users.

Plans to change the rally base and bring the event closer to the capital
city of Beijing are still in place and it seems likely that an event will
be run this year to test the new arrangements.

That event will most likely count solely for the FIA Asia-Pacific
Championship. The series needs a new round to replace the postponed Rally USA.

The China Rally lost its sponsorship from 555 at the end of 1998 but the
cigarette giant relented last year to help the rally realise its dream of
WRC status.

However 555 has insisted that it will not do the same this time
and the Chinese authorities have had to face organising a major event
without sufficient financial support.

The official reason for pulling the plug will most likely be given as the
safety risk and the high cost of appropriate insurance.

Long term the event's future now hangs in the balance. The USA event is expected to
become a part of the championship within two years and other events
continue to put themselves forward for inclusion in the series.

However,
teams are eager to maintain the current cost-cutting trend and so adding
events will most likely not find a great deal of favour.

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