Why Britain’s continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain’s best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It’s an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

This year should mark the 89th anniversary of Rally GB, Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship, since its inception. Only ever in times of world war or national disaster has it been missed, including the 2020 running of the event. We of course remain in the midst of a global pandemic, which does tend to put matters in perspective to a degree, but its absence for a second year in a row – with the news that the 2021 event will be replaced by Belgium’s Rally Ypres – is not one of COVID-19’s making. It is one of politics.

Would we be in this position if the FA Cup or even Crufts were in a similar pickle to that of the UK’s national rally? It’s hard to imagine prime minister Boris Johnson not lolloping to the rescue of any great British institution, beaming back at a grateful nation to announce that their pastime is ‘coming home’.

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