Time running out for UK 2023 WRC calendar bid

The chances of a United Kingdom round on the 2023 World Rally Championship calendar appear unlikely, with the WRC confirming time is running out to reach an agreement.

Time running out for UK 2023 WRC calendar bid

Work is well underway to secure next year's calendar with the championship aiming to expand to 14 events, comprising eight based in Europe and six long-haul rallies.

The UK remains a key market for the championship, with efforts continuing to bring rallying's top tier back to the shores for the first time since Wales Rally GB 2019.

Rally Northern Ireland is the most likely prospect on the table for the WRC to return to the UK, but securing government funding continues to be a hurdle.

The WRC has worked closely with Rally Northern Ireland promoter and businessman Bobby Willis for the last two years to turn the proposal into a reality.

An August slot on the 2022 calendar was kept open for the rally, but the bid collapsed when a funding agreement from the Northern Ireland government hadn't be committed to within Motorsport UK's timeline.

WRC event director Simon Larkin says the championship is still supporting the Rally Northern Ireland bid to join the 2023 calendar, but admits "something dramatic" would need to happen in the next few weeks for the event to receive the green light.

"Our ambition is to get back to where we were or would have been in 2020 which is aiming for 14 events and I think we will achieve eight in Europe and six outside of Europe," Larkin told Autosport.

"We have been working with Bobby Willis in Northern Ireland for a couple of years.

"It is a project we were quite enthusiastic about and we have lent all of our support. The UK is not a great place for politics and Northern Ireland is not a great place for politics.

"There is a lot of party politics and it is very difficult to get the final sign off and we are still persisting with it. We hope it will continue but the time is running out.

"Something drastic would have to shape in the next few weeks for it to happen."

Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

However, it appears Germany has indicated its interest in rejoining the calendar for the first time since 2019.

While the WRC is yet to receive a formal proposal, there has been some initial discussions with German ASN, the ADAC.

Read Also:

Meanwhile, the FIA released tweaks to the WRC's Rally1 regulations on Wednesday following the latest World Motor Sport Council meeting.

The time to repair retired Rally1 cars will be increased to a maximum of four hours with the option to split this window into a maximum of two slots (the amount of time per section being at the discrepancy of the team).

This will enable team personnel to optimise the workload before and after the evening service and allow additional time for them to work on the car, due to more complex procedures with Rally1 hybrid vehicles.

In the Technical Regulations, proposals related to the opening of the rear window and roof vent of Rally1 cars, which require the support of the Homologation Commission, were approved to address the challenges of cockpit temperatures experienced at the last rallies.

shares
comments

Related video

Moncet: Hyundai WRC team still working through “complications”
Previous article

Moncet: Hyundai WRC team still working through “complications”

Next article

Pirelli content with WRC tyres after "positive" Safari Rally examination

Pirelli content with WRC tyres after "positive" Safari Rally examination
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Plus

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022