Cancellation of WRC Belgium makes Tänak's title defense near impossible

Reigning world champion Ott Tänak in front of his Hyundai i20 Coupe.
Reigning world champion Ott Tänak in front of his Hyundai i20 Coupe. Source: Hyundai Motorsport

The organizers of the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship (WRC), Ypres Rally Belgium, announced on Friday that the event will be canceled due to surging Covid-19 figures across the country.

"We have always fully supported Ypres Rally Belgium, but this time we can't let the rally go on," said Emmily Talpe, Mayor of Ypres, Belgium.

Jan Huyghe from Club Superstage, the organizing group, said organisers fully understood the decision. "At the moment, the health of the population, of the staff in the care sector, of our employees and volunteers, of the participants and of all rally fans comes first," he said.

Therefore, the WRC season will be concluded with Rally Monza near Milan, Italy on December 4-6.

While Ott Tänak's title defense is not mathematically impossible, it is highly unlikely, as the fourth-place Estonian driver must receive at least 28 to tie with Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota).

Evans is at 111 points in the driver standings, followed by six-time world champ Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) 14 points behind. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) finishes the top three with 87 points, followed by reigning world champion Ott Tänak whose title defense currently stands at 83 points.

Ogier, a Belgian himself, commented on social media: "Finally a reasonable decision... There is much important than rally right now. Take care everybody!"


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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