ABU DHABI // Jean Todt, the FIA president, revealed last night that Abu Dhabi will not be on the 2011 World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar but is under consideration for inclusion in 2012. "I can confirm that we are looking at significant changes to WRC events and their selection and that Abu Dhabi, with its proven capability for hosting major events, will be seriously considered for 2012," said Todt in a statement given exclusively to The National.
Earlier this week, multiple sources had claimed that Abu Dhabi had been included on a provisional 14-event schedule for 2011 that WRC promoters, North One Sport, presented to the World Motor Sport Council for ratification. In revealing that Jordan was set to replace Abu Dhabi as next year's Middle East fixture, the sources also claimed that as the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) chairman - a position gained via his FIA presidency - Todt not only held veto power, but had ordered a new draft of North One's initial schedule when the body met in Bahrain last month.
The WMSC voted via fax on the amended calendar on Monday. In his statement, Todt denied claims he had veto power within the WMSC and added that the 2011 calendar had not been decided in Bahrain. "The World Motor Sport Council did not take a decision on the WRC Calendar for the 2011 in Bahrain," he said. Todt did, however, acknowledge that Abu Dhabi remains in contention to host its own round in 2012.
"Abu Dhabi has an impressive record of staging major motorsports events including international rally and Formula One and I will continue to work with officials and our World Council member from the UAE, Mohammed ben Sulayem, to assist in the development of future motorsport activities." email@example.com