South Africa closing on WRC slot

David Evans

South Africa is believed to be leading the fight for a place on next year's World Rally Championship calendar.

AUTOSPORT understands there will be one slot on the 2013 calendar for a new event, and South Africa and Brazil are vying for that position. South Africa's bid is an event centred in Durban, while there are still three options in Brazil.

"South Africa is looking more and more likely," a source told AUTOSPORT. "The infrastructure is in place, but there are still a few things to get sorted. Brazil, however, has a lot of work to do. We still don't know whether the event will be in Curitiba, Rio [de Janeiro] or Sao Paulo."

Former World Rally champion co-driver and Rally Finland clerk of the course Seppo Harjanne has worked on the route for the South African event.

WRC manager Michele Mouton was in Brazil this week to consider the potential for the nation's first WRC round since 1982, a rally the French lady won in her Audi Quattro.

Rally Argentina clerk of the course David Eli has also been in contact with his fellow South Americans and says he is prepared to help.

"I think it would be good to have another event in this part of the world," he said. "And, if the Rio de Janeiro event is the one which comes, then we will be helping them. The one thing we are not interested in is a rotation programme with them, we want Rally Argentina on the calendar every year."

The 2013 calendar will be discussed at the WRC Commission meeting on May 9, with the schedule ratified by the World Motor Sport Council next month.

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