The final round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship set to take place at the Nürburgring (Germany) on 12-13 December has been cancelled, consequently crowning Johan Kristoffersson as the 2020 World RX drivers' champion and KYB Team JC teams' champions for the 2020 season.
PHOTO CREDIT: FIA World RX Media
The 2020 season was due to start in April this year, but due to the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the start of the season was delayed to August. This, in turn, meant that adjustments were made to the calendar, which saw rounds in Norway, France, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, Portugal, and Belgium all cancelled due to a rise in coronavirus cases.
With Germany set to make its debut appearance on the World RX calendar in August, the event was moved to mid-December.
"In light of continued health concerns regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the organizer of the World Rallycross of Germany, scheduled to take place 12-13 December, has decided to cancel the final event of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross season," the statement from World RX said. "A number of options were explored in the hopes of moving forward with this event, but unfortunately, it was not possible in the end."
Although the Nürburgring proved over recent months that events with spectators also work in the context of infection protection, the situation is now a different one due to the sharp rise in the number of infections in Germany. Thus forcing the cancellation of the 2020 event. However, World RX will return to the Nürburgring in 2021.
"We were all very much looking forward to this premiere at our race track," the Nürburgring Managing Director Mirco Markfort said. "The FIA World Rallycross Championship is an entertaining and action-packed format that further enriches our portfolio. Nevertheless, this decision is essential for the benefit of all involved and their health".
The cancellation of the World RX of Germany, unfortunately, means that the season has effectively ended at the Barcelona double-header held last month. And with a 27-point lead in the championship standings, Johan Kristoffersson is a World Rallycross Champion for a third time. Whilst KYB Team JC are the 2020 FIA World Rallycross teams' champions.
"We offer our warmest congratulations to Johan and the KYB Team JC for their well-deserved titles,” said Paul Bellamy, Senior Vice President of Motorsports Events at IMG. “We are disappointed we were not able to hold our final event in Germany, but are very proud of the season we were able to produce throughout these unprecedented times, and our deepest gratitude goes to all our event organisers, partners and fans for their patience and continued support through it all."
The EuroRX and Super1600 championships have also ended prematurely following the cancellation of the World RX of Germany, which was set to host a third and final round of the season. However, due to the series not reaching a third round, it means that the season did not meet the FIA championship requirement, and thus no champions will be crowned.
The premature conclusion of the 2020 FIA World Rallycross Championship also marks the end of an era. An era of growth, success, and global reach that many championships could only dream of, and that all came down to the hard work of IMG, commercial rights holders of the World Rallycross Championship.
Despite signing a lengthy deal with the FIA to hold the commercial rights to the championship since 2013, the British promoter announced that they will end the agreement at the end of this season. And, whilst the future of World RX remains uncertain with a new promoter, the FIA are currently working to appoint a new promoter for the World RX championship for 2021 and beyond.
Written By - Junaid Samodien