Teams are wary on re­turn of Rally Turkey on the 2017 cal­en­dar

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Lead­ing fig­ures in the World Rally Cham­pi­onship have spo­ken out against a po­ten­tial re­turn to Turkey next sea­son.

The WRC cal­en­dar com­ing from last month’s World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil listed 12 ral­lies with three pos­si­ble ad­di­tions in Turkey, China and Poland. But a sum­mer of vi­o­lence and po­lit­i­cal un­rest fol­low­ing a failed coup against Pres­i­dent Er­do­gan has called for many to post­pone the se­ries’ first trip back to Turkey since 2010.

World cham­pion Se­bastien Ogier said his con­cerns were for the peo­ple of Turkey.

“Right now with the po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in Turkey, I would not want to go there and I don’t think it would be clever to go there,” said Ogier. “But hope­fully – and more for the Turk­ish peo­ple – this sit­u­a­tion will change and it can de­velop in a bet­ter way.”

Citroen’s Yves Mat­ton echoed those sen­ti­ments say­ing: “Turkey could be an in­ter­est­ing rally for the cal­en­dar, but the tim­ing is not a good one. We don’t know if, in one year, the se­cu­rity will be good for us to go there. It’s maybe a rally more for 2018 than for 2017.”

WRC pro­moter’s Oliver Ciesla de­fended Turkey’s pro­vi­sional place on the cal­en­dar, say­ing: “I was there re­cently and the tourist sea­son was in full flow, there was no feel­ing any­thing was wrong. There are ma­jor events hap­pen­ing in Turkey, such as UEFA Cham­pi­ons’ League and a ma­jor bas­ket­ball event is go­ing to Is­tan­bul. We are not talk­ing about go­ing there to­mor­row, we are talk­ing about go­ing there in 12 months.”

Turkey 2010: Loeb won

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