The 55th Azores Rallye has received official authorisation that it can take place as planned from the organisation monitoring the fight against COVID-19 on the stunning archipelago.
Scheduled as the opening event of the 2021 FIA European Rally Championship season from May 6-8, the development is a pivotal moment in the planning of the spectacular gravel-based contest.

Rui Moniz, Chairman of Grupo Desportivo Comercial, the Azores Rallye organiser (pictured left), began a recent press conference held in partnership with CEALCPC, the Special Commission for Monitoring the Fight Against the COVID-19 Pandemic, by “thanking and highlighting the availability, stance and interest of the commission in creating the conditions that allow the Azores Rallye to be held”, in what is a reinforcement of the alliance between the Government of the Azores and with the organisations directly involved in the running of the event.

Gustavo Tato Borges, President of CEALCPC (pictured centre), began by explaining the role that has been performed by the Special Commission, as well as by the Government of the Azores, in resuming normal activity on the islands, which he stressed was not an instant process.

The President underlined the importance of the Azores Rallye and, therefore, “the commitment of its entire team, in a work that has lasted for a long time in partnership with Grupo Desportivo Comercial, to carry out the event with the presence of spectators and in safe conditions, instead of stating that it would have to take place without an audience, which is a true illusion.”

He also stressed that he is convinced "that it will be possible to carry out the Azores Rallye and other iconic events for the Azoreans and for the economy of the archipelago" as well as "the importance of the pandemic situation at the time of its realisation, which will be decisive, especially if the current trend is maintained, which it will be healthy.”

Rui Moniz, explained that the work involving CEALCPC and the COVID-19 team of the Azores Rallye continues, including joint visits to the event route.

“The event will not be the same as in previous editions,” Moniz said. “The usual excellent collaboration of all stakeholders, from competitors to spectators, is fundamental to success. A multimedia campaign will be launched shortly, informing the details regarding the presence of the spectators, who will play the main role in this new normal. Live streaming TV, radio and internet coverage is in the final stages of planning, to allow everyone to follow the event step-by-step also from their home or place of work.”

Moniz also believes that "in sporting terms, we will have a very high-level event, with a fantastic entry list and the absolute debut of the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT and the opening of the ERC-MICHELIN Talent Factory.

Jean-Baptiste Ley, ERC Co-ordinator, Eurosport Events, said: “Confirmation that the 55th Azores Rallye has been authorised to take place, as scheduled, from May 6-8, is really good news, and with spectator access also. We thank all the various authorities for their diligence and support. While we make no secret of our huge enthusiasm for this spectacular event and the stunning images it delivers to TV viewers around the world, we will continue to work closely with the organising team to ensure all the requirements set out in the COVID-19 protocols are fully respected by the ERC community attending the event as our number one priority remains the health and safety of all."
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