WRC: Rally China unlikely to make 2017 cut

2016-10-24 17:14:02

China's aspirations for a World Rally Championship return have been spiked for another season - with the country not expected to see WRC action until 2018 at least.

This September's event was cancelled, allegedly due to weather-damaged roads, but some have questioned whether Huairou is even the right region for the rally to be looking to be based in.

One source in China, who actually drove the route in the week of the event, poured cold water on official stories of the damage to the road.

"In the entire route, I would say there were two places which would have caused a problem," said the source, "and one of those could have been fixed easily. This rally could have run with the roads as they were  that is beyond question.

"The bigger question, which needs to be asked here, is whether this region actually wants and is capable of hosting and running a world championship round. For sure, other areas of China are."

Citroen CEO Linda Jackson previously told Autosport she would only sanction a full-time WRC return for the marque once there was a clear path for China's presence on the calendar.

Team principal Yves Matton says the desire to compete in China remains, but the emphasis is on a sustainable rally.

"It seems very difficult to organize a rally in China," he said. "We are interested in having a rally in China  but what we want is a rally that is able to stay inside the championship, not a rally that is coming for just one year.

"For me, we don't need to be in a hurry. It's a question of having a good one for a long time."


Originally on Autosport.com

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