WRC team pushing for 2019 Rally Italy boycott if it's on Sardinia

A World Rally Championship team is trying to muster support for a letter to FIA president Jean Todt outlining plans to boycott Rally Italy 2019 if it stays on Sardinia

WRC team pushing for 2019 Rally Italy boycott if it's on Sardinia

The WRC teams met during last week's Alghero-based event and Autosport understands a letter to Todt was talked about, but ultimately dismissed by the group.

But there remains significant disquiet about the logistical effort to get to the island and the absence of sufficient reward in terms of promotional value from the rally.

Collectively the teams feel the same way about the WRC's other island rally, French round the Tour of Corsica.

Last week's Rally Italy was, once again, poorly supported, with the service park desolate for Saturday's lunchtime service.

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen was among those most vocal about the lack of support.

"In my opinion we should be on the mainland where naturally people are," Makinen told Autosport.

"The population here is too small and there are other things for the people to do.

"As well as that, did you find an easy connection to be here? The flights and logistics are too complicated."

Italy's WRC round moved from the mainland and its traditional Sanremo base in 2004 after the then promoter made it clear asphalt rallies were of limited appeal.

The Sardinian infrastructure was already in place, with the famous Costa Smeralda Rally running out of Olbia.

This industrial port town never found favour with fans or teams and the event was eventually shifted to the other side of the island in Alghero in 2014.

It now seems a further move is likely in the near future.

Nobody from the event was willing to comment on the future, but a high-level source with the Italian motorsport's governing body told Autosport: "We know we are on the calendar for next year, we stay here [Alghero] in 2019 and we move to the mainland in 2020."

Next year, Rally Italy are pushing for a shift back in the calendar with a September date the preferred option.

"The source added: "When we ran in October [2004, pictured, and 2012], everything was easier.

"The flights are less crowded, there are more options and we have more people - this is a good solution."

Autosport understands there is similar pressure on the Tour of Corsica for next season, with the French island event equally unpopular among the teams.

The benefit Sardinia has over its Mediterranean neighbour is a population of 1.6 million compared with the 330,000 residing on Corsica.

The 2019 WRC calendar is expected in September.

shares
comments
Latvala: Citroen wrong to drop Meeke from WRC squad mid-season

Previous article

Latvala: Citroen wrong to drop Meeke from WRC squad mid-season

Next article

Sebastien Ogier: 2019 WRC decision between M-Sport and retirement

Sebastien Ogier: 2019 WRC decision between M-Sport and retirement
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author David Evans
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021