Sibiu Rally Romania will not go ahead as a winter event after its postponement under force majeure due to exceptional heavy snowfall and forecasts of more severe weather around the competitive route leading to fears that safety would be compromised.
The event was scheduled as round three of the FIA European Rally Championship from 27 February-1 March. However, following the completion of an extensive safety and risk analysis report prepared by the event promoter and endorsed by Romania’s ASN, ERC promoter Eurosport Events has agreed to the rally’s cancellation as a winter event. Every effort is now being made to maintain Romania’s presence in the ERC, albeit at a later date and in a different format but still using the famous Transfăgărășan highway.
With 75 per cent of the special stages in the South Carpathian mountains taking place at an altitude of 1600 metres and the proposed Transfăgărășan stage peaking at 2400 metres, in light of Romania’s Institute of Meteorology forecasting extremely heavy snowfall in February, it was determined that the safety of competitors, spectators and the general public would be compromised if the rally went ahead as planned. This particularly concerns access roads no longer being passable and the resources of emergency and rescue services becoming overstretched.
The local promoter has now proposed an alternative format and date to Eurosport Events with an all-asphalt route of 220km – including a stage on part of the Transfăgărășan highway – from 9 – 11 October. Providing this proposal meets Eurosport Events’ criteria to ensure a successful round of the ERC, then Eurosport Events will consider potentially submitting the new format and date to the FIA Rally Commission for its approval when it meets on 12 March.