The COVID-19 measures making 2020 World RX competition possible | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

The COVID-19 measures making 2020 World RX competition possible

20.08.20

The 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship season starts this weekend at Höljes Motorstadion, Sweden, owing to the joint efforts of the FIA, the series promoter IMG, the local organiser and health authorities.

Originally, the 11-round season was due to start in April, traditionally at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Instead, the 2020 campaign will be held across a 10-round, seven-venue schedule including three double-headers, with this weekend’s curtain-raiser being one of them. The championship will conclude mid-December in Germany, also visiting Finland, Latvia, Belgium, Portugal and Spain along the way.

In the current circumstances, putting the calendar together represented a major challenge and required close collaboration between all parties.

The FIA, the governing body of world motor sport, has developed protocols and procedures to manage the risk associated with the resumption of motor sport amid the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learnings have also been taken from recent Formula One, Formula E and World Endurance Championship events to benefit the FIA World Rallycross Championship’s return to racing.

Issued in June, and prepared under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant, following input from the World Health Organisation, the Return to Motor Sport Guidelines cover topics varying from virus transmission mitigation measures to motor sport-specific cases such as limited number of personnel working on site.

The FIA has also collaborated with IMG on the development of a Return to Racing Event Plan which is specific to rallycross and in line with FIA procedures.

Professor Gérard Saillant said: “The FIA has undertaken a lot of work along with the World Health Organisation (WHO) our ASNs, event organisers and local health authorities in devising robust COVID-19 protocols to enable the return to motor sport in these challenging times.

“I am delighted that the FIA World Rallycross Championship is resuming racing this weekend at Höljes, Sweden. We trust that the measures we have in place will be effective in ensuring the health and well-being of all those in attendance.”

Strict regulations on PCR pre-testing, temperature checks upon entry to the circuit, mandatory use of face masks and social distancing have been applied along with the creation of team groups and sub-groups to minimize the risk of an outbreak spreading. Trace procedures are also in place along with containment measures in the case of a suspected case.

There are also changes to podium procedures and press conferences. The measures will vary from round to round and will depend on the guidelines and regulations issued by the relevant local health authorities.

Three champions headlining a strong entry list

The entry for this weekend’s World RX Supercar category contains 17 drivers, including three title-winners. The reigning champion Timmy Hansen, again paired with his brother Kevin at Team Hansen, will begin the defence of the title he won in dramatic circumstances in Cape Town last November.

The Swede will face tough opposition headed by his compatriot, the 2017 and ’18 title-winner, Johan Kristoffersson, who returns to the disciplines after the season of circuit racing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup. The 2016 champion Mattias Ekstrom has also joined the fray, acting as a last-minute replacement for Janis Baumanis.

Höljes also forms the opening event of the three-round FIA European Supercar Rallycross Championship which will include events in Latvia and Belgium.

The action will begin from 10:30 on Saturday and 09:50 on Sunday, with livestreaming carried on the official FIA World RX Facebook and YouTube channels.