Rally Liepaja delayed due to warm weather
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.