Poland’s return to the World Rally Championship is set to be confirmed when the 2014 calendar is voted on later this week.
The calendar was expected at June’s World Motor Sport Council meeting, but had to be delayed due to ongoing contractual negotiations between individual event organizers and the WRC promoter. A fax vote is expected to be taken on Friday, with official confirmation of the calendar soon after.
Monte Carlo, Sweden, Mexico, Portugal, Argentina, Finland, Germany, Poland, France, Spain and GB are believed to be on the schedule, although negotiations are known even at this stage to be still ongoing with some of those events.
A question mark remains over Sardinia, Greece and New Zealand/Australia. The indication is that Sardinia is in the best position, with finance in place and an improvement in the quality of this year’s rally over previous seasons. Hopes of Brazil or China being included have all but disappeared for 2014, but both countries will continue to run a candidate event this year.
Dropping the Acropolis Rally and Rally New Zealand would be a significant move: Greece was part of the calendar when the WRC for manufacturers’ began in 1973, while New Zealand was on the itinerary when the drivers’ title was first fought for in 1979.
Poland last ran a WRC round in 2009, when the Mikolajki-based event was an instant hit with fans from across central and eastern Europe.
Rally Poland will run as a European Rally Championship round in September, where high numbers of spectators are expected to attend to support local hero Robert Kubica.