China’s hopes of a World Rally Championship return face a crucial test this month as a ‘candidate event’ takes place.
Both the FIA and WRC Promoter are keen to see China on the calendar for 2016 and have now acknowledged that one of its domestic rallies will be officially monitored during August as the next stage in this process.
WRC Promoter’s Oliver Ciesla said: “There will be an event that will be monitored and observed to double-check it has the qualities we need. It will fulfil the criteria and standards that are sufficiently representative to allow us to get a picture.”
Ciesla would not confirm whether the event in question is the Beijing-based round of the Chinese Rally Championship running later this month.
“We are optimistic we will have an opportunity to observe such an event before the next World Motor Sport Council meeting,” he said. “It will be an event in that [Beijing] region before the next World Motor Sport Council meeting.”
WRC manager Michele Mouton said: “For China, we will know something soon. We have to know soon because the calendar is coming for September.”
The next WMSC meeting happens on September 30 in Paris.
China has appeared on the WRC schedule once before, in 1999, a rally won by Didier Auriol for Toyota.