Rally Liepaja de­layed due to warm weather

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Rally Liepaja or­gan­is­ers have de­fended their de­ci­sion to post­pone the open­ing round of the Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship.

The de­ci­sion to shelve the Lat­vian event just a week out from the Fe­bru­ary 5 start came fol­low­ing un­usu­ally warm weather. Had the event gone ahead, the use of stud­ded tyres would have wrecked the roads which are free from snow and ice.

There were calls for the or­gan­is­ers to al­low crews to run gravel-spec­i­fi­ca­tion rubber with­out the studs.

Clerk of the course Ja­nis Krastins said: “Switch­ing to gravel tyres was not pos­si­ble, not only be­cause of the FIA reg­u­la­tions, but be­cause it would have been more dan­ger­ous for the par­tic­i­pants. On such wet and soft roads, gravel tyres would have very lit­tle grip.

“When the road are like this, even the first few cars would de­stroy the roads so much that, in case of an ac­ci­dent, the med­i­cal and res­cue team would have dif­fi­culty to get through the stage quickly.”

The Lat­vian or­gan­is­ers are hop­ing to find a suit­able date fur­ther into the sea­son.

Mean­while, the ERC sea­son will now start with the cham­pi­onship’s re­turn to the Ca­nary Is­lands on March 10-12.

Breen won last year’s event

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