The WRC has been absent from the UK since 2019 after COVID-19 compelled the cancellation of final 12 months’s occasion amid lowered funding from the Welsh authorities.
Rally GB then misplaced its place on final 12 months’s schedule to Belgium’s Ypres Rally, which was finally postponed to 2021 because of the pandemic.
After the cancellation of the 2020 occasion, a bid fronted by promoter Bobby Willis tried to convey the WRC to Northern Eire for this 12 months however the mission did not safe the £2million funding to run the occasion.
Nonetheless, Willis has continued with the bid which is amongst six proposals on the desk to fill 4 vacant spots on a 13-round 2022 WRC calendar, following final month’s launch of a partial 9 occasion calendar, starting at Monte Carlo from 20-23 January.
It’s understood talks are ongoing with Tourism Northern Eire concerning a deal to convey the WRC to Northern Eire for the primary time since 2009.
FIA rally director Yves Matton confirmed to Autosport that there are six proposals tabled to fill the remaining the berths on the calendar, with a GB occasion firmly within the combine.
Matton admitted that the FIA does want to have a rally within the UK and could be eager to discover the opportunity of the occasion biking via totally different areas inside Nice Britain sooner or later.
Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photograph by: Austral / Hyundai Motorsport
“Sure they [Northern Ireland promoter] are working laborious to attempt to be a part of the calendar,” Matton informed Autosport.
“I can’t anticipate the outcome. I do know that it’s an ongoing course of with the promoter.
“All of us for positive need to have a rally within the UK and Nice Britain. The place is it’s not the primary situation, for positive we’d be comfortable to return to Eire.
“I would love the long run if we’re capable of, have one occasion annually in Nice Britain and go possibly to totally different areas, this is able to be for positive within the development of what we need to do.”
Matton hopes to disclose a full calendar in September as work continues to asses the proposals from six promoters.
“For positive our want from the promoters and the FIA could be to publish a full calendar in June however I need to thank the promoters for the laborious work they’ve achieved to have the ability to publish a bit greater than a half calendar in June and to be near finalise agreements with the opposite occasions,” stated Matton.
“The problem for 2022 is to see after we will capable of journey once more abroad as international locations are closing their doorways once more and that’s the reason we want bit extra time to see what we will do.
“I’m actually comfortable that at the least these occasions [the nine confirmed] are actually capable of work and anticipate 2022 and I’m very assured that in September we will finalise the complete calendar.”
Croatia, Finland, Arctic Rally Finland and Belgium (Ypres Rally) are all occasions featured on this 12 months’s calendar which can be at this stage absent from the 2022 schedule.
Lengthy haul occasions corresponding to New Zealand, which was scheduled to return to the WRC in 2020 earlier than COVID-19, can be within the combine however is more likely to be topic to the state of the pandemic and the chance of strict journey restrictions being lifted within the area.
“I imagine it’s bit early to present you a solution not solely on New Zealand however this area. It’s fairly closed there,” Matton added.
“It’s a want to go to New Zealand as it’s a part of the DNA of championship and truthfully I hope it may be again in 2022, however crucial factor is to go there as soon as once more as early as attainable.”