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  Home > Seasons > Season 2020
Year of cancellations
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Theme of 2020 was cancellations. First off, Chile was cancelled before season ever started and then Sweden came under threat of cancellation as weather was too warm for winter rally. It survived in heavily truncated form, running only about half of the original planned distance. In Mexico, final day was cancelled to allow team personnel to get home before Corona-virus related travel restrictions were put into effect.

From then on, COVID-19 outbreak wrought havoc in 2020 calendar. Events were first postponed and then put in hold until outright cancellations began. Rounds in Argentina, Portugal, Kenya (Safari), Finland, New Zealand, Deutschland, Great Britain and Japan as well as replacement event in Belgium were all cancelled while Sardinia was postponed from June to November.

FIA was desperate to salvage the season because with too few events, championship titles could not be awarded. As just three events had been run before the outbreak, new events were brought in - either as completely new event in case of Rally Estonia or European Championship rounds elevated to WRC status as Rally Belgium (formerly known as Ypres Rally). Oddest addition was final round at Monza, which seems to be hastily assembled short rally around event better known as rally show.

All this meant that WRC was on forced break from mid-March to early September, for almost six months. With ten cancelled events, only seven events in total were run which is lowest number in WRC history. Additionally, two of these events were run in Italy.

From sporting point of view, Tanak started weakly with his new team Hyundai as he crashed heavily in Monte Carlo. Ogier kept his stride although not winning there and gaining championship lead only after third event in Mexico, holding it until his retirement in Turkey. After that, Evans was leading championship and only needed sure finish from season's final event at Monza. He was well placed until icy mountain roads caught him out and with Ogier winning the event, title was once again returned to France. This same result meant that Hyundai outscored Toyota to retain manufacturer's title.

Changes
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Biggest change that was to be expected was calendar rotation. New Zealand, Japan and new-format Kenya (Safari) were expected to replace Australia, Corsica and Catalunya respectively. Due to COVID-19, all of these rallies were cancelled. Instead, new replacements events were drafted in, like noted above.

Another major change was Tanak's depature from Toyota to Hyundai and former Citroen-ace Ogier jumping into fill that gap. M-Sport scooped up Lappi, another driver left in the cold by Citroen's departure.

In support categories, WRC-2 Pro was renamed WRC-2 and former WRC-2 was renamed WRC-3. Confusing, because now WRC-3 Champions no longer were in different category than WRC-3 Champions of previous years (2013-2018) despite series sharing same name.

New cars
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With new hybrid technology rules behind the corner (but as of yet, not finalized despite clear urgency), no new World Rally Cars debuted for 2020.

Sebastien Ogier
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
2020 FIA World Champions: Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Drivers scoring their
first win
  no new winners
first drivers' point
  J. Huttunen (Sweden)
  O. Solberg (Estonia)
  K. Kajetanowicz (Turkey)
first stage win
  K. Rovanpera (Sweden)
  U. Scandola (Monza)
  T. Katsuta (Monza)
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