Is A Rally Poland Return The Right Thing For The WRC?

October 12, 2023Joe Moore

With Rally Poland confirmed to be returning to the World Rally Championship next season, did the WRC make the right choice? 

Why Poland Is Returning 

The answer to why Rally Poland is returning to the World Rally Championship is quite simple. They needed another event for the 2024 calendar, but why? There were rumors that Saudi Arabia and the USA were options for the WRC next season. However that changed, as the USA event is still a work in progress, but will likely be on the 2025 calendar. Rally Poland serves as a filler round for the year. As it’s unlikely it will run on the WRC calendar in 2025. Was Poland the right choice of rally for this? 

Why It Was 

Rally Poland is the second oldest rally in history, with Rallye Monte-Carlo being the first. For the WRC in its 51st season history is important. That isn’t necessarily why Rally Poland was chosen, however. It has more to do with the event being ready to go, and in Europe. It also fits the opening in the calendar perfectly. As it will run just one week after Safari Rally Kenya ran this year. With Safari Rally Kenya being run in March for the 2024 season they needed a rally that fit the time frame perfectly. Rally Poland was the event that could do that. It’s also an event both the WRC and FIA have experience with. As Poland has been a mainstay on the European Rally Championship for years now and was a WRC event from 2014-2017. 

Why Rally Poland Wasn’t The Best Choice

Rally Poland suffers from being too similar to other events on the WRC calendar. The event is fast gravel roads, something that Latvia and Finland already provide, so why add another? It doesn’t make sense, especially seeing as the events will be run back-to-back-to-back. If Poland wasn’t so similar to Latvia and Finland or if it was run at a different time point it wouldn’t be much of an issue. But to run three similar events in a row it can get boring for fans. Especially when there are other countries that should get a WRC event. 

What Other Events Should’ve Been Added?

There’s gonna be many different viewpoints to this, as there always are when talking about what events the WRC should add. Personally, I have a few picks. I would’ve liked to have seen the WRC split up the gravel mid-season with a tarmac event, and I’m not even a huge fan of tarmac events. Ypres Rally Belgium would’ve been a good option for the championship that runs in June like Poland will. There are also events like the Tour De Corse, and RACC Rally Catalunya that could’ve been run. Sure they would be run outside of the normal timeframe for those events so they may not have been the best choice. Sticking

with Gravel the WRC also had options there, namely an event in Ireland or the UK. Something that fans have been asking for since the event went off the calendar in 2019. One of those events would have given the WRC calendar a bit of change in between the two fast events. It also likely would’ve brought a lot more eyes to the sport itself.