Rallye de France returns to Corsica, for good or just for goodbyes?

Ambiance during the 2014 European Rally Championship ERC Tour de Corse, from November 6 to 8th, at Porto Vecchio and Ajaccio, Corsica, France. Photo Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI

If all the news, or should we call them threats guesses instead, are true, one of the European events will soon face a grim death, only to be replaced by another event, located elsewhere. Even though no official names were issued yet, we have heard plenty about Wales Rally GB being forced out of the calendar, to make room for a round in China. But British event is not the only one facing this threat. Even though French motor sport association was able to secure a last minute plan to save Rallye de France this year, future still remains very uncertain for this particular event. After spending years in Rally Deutschland’s neighborhood, French round is finally back to its roots in Corsica for the 2015 edition. The infamously famous Tour de Corse, with it’s supertwisty tarmac roads, does bring a very unique flavour to the championship, but will it endure the culling? Will it be enough? As you can imagine, no amount of uniqueness and flavour can compare with cold, hard cash – if organizers cannot secure financial support for 2016 and beyond, well, at least we can say goodbye to Rallye de France in Corsica instead of in superboring Alsace.

Yet, questions still remain. If calendar cannot be pushed beyond 13 events and if China must happen no matter what, then one of the existing rounds will have to be shot in the head, mildly speaking. Will it be France, or maybe Wales? But the biggest question of them all is the one about the actual expenses – what are they and who is unable to afford them, hence preventing calendar expansion? No idea.

In the meantime, 2015 Tour de Corse will take place according to organizers’ schedule. Long ass stages and no service breaks are also quite unusual these days, although we’ve seen similar “endurance” attempts and experiments by other organizers as well. No matter if the length of the stages was inspired by “endurance” or if it simply means it’s easier to organize a handful of long stages as opposed to numerous shorter ones, top rally crews will once again storm the beautiful Corsica. Could be for the last time or until they meet again, but this year, at least, WRC and Corsica will rekindle their love affair.

French Motor Sports Federation (FFSA) announced today that they’re accepting entries for this year’s event. The entry window remains open until August 31 for the WRC and National categories and the event itself is scheduled to run between 1st and 4th of October. Tour de Corse will also be open to French national rally championship competitors, two amateur categories (Michelin Trophy and GT2i trophy) and even to complete amateurs and entusiasts thanks to the 10000 curves regulatory event, which will enable anyone to tackle the same roads as the best WRC crews.