RALLIES THAT DESERVE TO BE ON THE WRC CALENDAR
Are there too little rallies on the WRC calendar?
As Rally Sweden is about to commence, I begin to look ahead at the WRC calendar and in my opinion, there may be a few irregularities. By that I think there are a few former Rallies that should be back onto the calendar. Then you have the question - should there be more Rallies on the WRC calendar? Currently there are thirteen Rallies on the WRC calendar, but should there be more? I think so, not lots more, around two or three. This is because we need to expand WRC around the world and honestly there are breaks on average of three weeks between Rallies. We can narrow that down to two can't we? Here are some potential Rallies that should come back into the calendar and some maybe that should go.
RALLY NEW ZEALAND
The rally has been on the calendar dozens of times and always provides a great spectacle. Rally New Zealand has been absent from the calendar since 2012 and I have missed the flowing gravel and tarmac roads for the past five years. If it were to return to the World Rally Championship calendar next year it would probably fit in around the September mark.
Rally New Zealand is known for it's winding roads and beautiful views over the ocean and honestly no other Rally can quite provide that. Colin McRae has won it three times, Carlos Sainz four times but Finn Marcus Grönholm has won it a record five times in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007.
This may be a stretch, however Iceland may have some amazing Rally roads. Just look at the photo above and just think: more rain, more wind, and a WRC car drifting at eighty mph, looks good no? There are many more roads like these and some very tricky dirt roads too. Is it possible? Yes. Is It going to happen? Probably not, but I think quite a lot of people would like to see it happen.
Now there have been WRC Rallies in the US before, like in Michigan in the mid 70's but we haven't had a consistent Rally in the USA, and with some of the best roads in the world we should, however there is a problem. Where?
The problem with having such a big country there are so many good regions for Rallying, from Michigan to Maine to California, there are dozens of potential locations. Maybe there should be two Rallies in the USA? I think so, so let's look at some of the potential locations in the USA for a World Rally.
Having been in the WRC calendar right at the beginning of the sport in 1973 and 1974, Michigan seems like it's perfect for Rallying. One of America's top rally is around Lake Superior, and why not in WRC?
WEST COAST (CALIFORNIA, OREGON & WASHINGTON)
This is a long shot because it would be a long rally, around 23 stage rally but I think instead of putting a WRC Rally in one state why not three? Of course Rally Olympus (Washington) was in WRC from 1986-1988, so why not re-instate it's status as a WRC just with California (Mainly Northern California) and Oregon in it.
NORTH EASTERN STATES (MAINE, VERMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CONNECTICUT)
On the other side of the USA we have the cold North-Eastern States such as Maine and New Hampshire. You could rely on snow in Maine in the right time of the year, so it could be a snow rally is the organisers planned it to the right time. I think it would be quite an interesting rally but unfortunately it's unlikely to happen.
As we learnt a few days ago, Canada is eyeing a place on the WRC calendar in the five years time. Could it be that it shares a Rally with Michigan around Lake Superior?
You may not think it, but Russia has a lot of amazing roads. It should though, it's the biggest country in the world.
Also a former WRC rally, Japan is full of spectacular mountain roads perfect for Rallying and is needed since there no isn't a Rally in Asia.
Though Rally Sweden does go into Norway, it would be good to see the Rally return, but isn't a top priority since we already have two rallies in Scandinavia.