The build-up to 44th edition of Rally Islas Canarias, round five of the 2020 FIA European Rally Championship, is officially underway following the event launch inside the Gran Canaria Arena yesterday (Monday).
With the full support of the island authorities, Rally Islas Canarias is scheduled to run from November 26-28 and also count for multiple Spanish championships, plus the Canary Islands Asphalt Championship.
An incredible 100 entries have been received across the various events with 40 crews participating in top-of-the-range Rally2 cars.
The choice of the Gran Canaria Arena for the first time was particularly appropriate as it’s located close to the Estadio de Gran Canaria, the new home to the rally’s service park.
A number of dignitaries were in attendance at the launch and spoke to the assembled media, who were seated socially-distant from one another. Ángel Víctor Torres, President of the Government of the Canary Islands, said that Rally Islas Canarias would take place "on an island that is on a green traffic light and that is a window to the world of sports and also tourism, of the economic generation and of the joy of those who love this world of motoring.”
Antonio Morales, President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, an institution that continues its long-standing commitment to Rally Islas Canarias, said that it is "a tremendous joy” to be able to celebrate the running of the event, adding: “we are showing the world, millions of people, the ability of a territory to organise an event of these characteristics with the complexities that exist.”
Augusto Hidalgo, Mayor of the municipality that hosts this event, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, said Rally Islas Canarias is "the most important sporting event held on the island of Gran Canaria and in the Canary Islands, the one with the most media impact internationally.”
Manuel Aviñó, President of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation, delivered a message via video. In it he said that Rally Islas Canarias is going to be “one of the best remembered in history from the point of view of the high participation, its quality and the fact that all the championships come into play.”
He also had a message for the fans: “I have to ask them to be sensitive to the current circumstances. We have all shown together that sport has been responsible, protocols have been created, superhuman efforts have been made to move the championship forward, but we have to do our part. That the fans collaborate with the organisation and do their bit so that it can get ahead with all the guarantees.”
Germán Morales, President of the Organising Committee of the Rally Islas Canarias, thanked one by one the public and private entities that are supporting this year’s event and highlighted the official poster of the event, which, as a novelty, features the Opel Corsa e-Rally.
Like RFEDA President Aviñó, Jean-Baptiste Ley, sent a video message in order to respect COVID-19 protocols concerning the limiting of travel. He said that the 44th edition of Rally Islas Canarias is only possible “due to the hard work done by its organising committee during the last six months under the health protocols provided by the FIA and national authorities.”