The WRC has today announced that the Baltic nation’s Tet Rally Liepaja event, which has featured in the European Rally Championship, will be promoted to WRC status from next year.
Tet Rally Latvia takes place on gravel roads and has a reputation for being one of the most challenging rallies in Europe.
The rally will cover a widespread area of Latvia, stretching from the cities of Riga and Liepaja to the regions of Talsi, Tukums, Kuldiga, Dienvidkurzeme.
It is unclear where Rally Latvia will fit into the 2024 schedule, and if a current event will be replaced to accommodate its arrival. The exact date for the rally is also yet to be confirmed.
«It has always been our goal to keep at least one slot in the WRC calendar available to enable an event to rotate from the ERC to the WRC,» said Peter Thul, Senior Director of Sport for WRC Promoter.
«Tet Rally Latvia becoming the first to be granted this slot is a clear recognition of its sporting and promotional excellence, and the commitment of the Latvian Government to rallying.
«This decision highlights the strategic importance of the Baltic regions for WRC.
«We have a longstanding relationship with broadcast partner TV3 and look forward to expanded collaboration with them for the 2024 event.
«This, as well as our ever-increasing network of over 50 broadcasters in more than 150 countries, makes WRC one of the most widely viewed motorsport championships on the planet.»
Craig Breen, James Fulton, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1
Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
Latvia’s inclusion on the WRC schedule is the result of years of work conducted by Tet Rally Liepaja organisers.
«This is a dream come true moment. Our work that started many years ago, has finally concluded with a clear pathway for Latvia to host a WRC event in 2024,» added Tet Rally Latvia director Raimonds Strokss.
«For RA Events as an event organiser, this is a tremendous milestone that carries huge responsibility with it. But we have such reliable partners in the Latvian Government, our rally city Liepaja, our capital city Riga, and our general sponsor Tet — plus many more.
«Behind them there is an even broader team of enthusiastic people, with whom we can pull this off and are ready to tackle all the challenges that lay ahead of us.»
Confirmation of Latvia joining the 2024 calendar comes after the WRC announced a two-year extension for the Acropolis Rally this week, which will see the Greek classic on the schedule until 2025 at least.
The WRC is also looking to add a round in Saudi Arabia and the USA for next year, while the UK is a contender to join the schedule, should funding be secured by April this year.