50th Barum Czech Rally Zlin** - DATE TBA 2021
**Postponed to 2021
UPDATE 1 July 2020
Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s eagerly anticipated 50th anniversary celebrations from 28-30 August have been postponed until 2021. Although organisers had managed to make up a financial shortfall following a fund-raising appeal thanks to the incredible generosity of a number of fans, a recent rise in COVID-19 infections in Czech Republic left the event heads with no alternative other than to postpone the 50th anniversary event to 2021 for health and safety reasons as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Miloslav Regner, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín Clerk of the Course, said in statement: “Unfortunately the coronavirus threat has once again emerged as the number of infected people has rapidly grown up in recent days. Especially during the last weekend, the situation has become alarming. At this moment the infection is being spread mainly in the northern region of Karviná, but newly established restrictions of a maximum 100 people present at sporting events in that region is a strong warning for us.
“Over the years the Barum Rally has grown into an event which is annually evaluated as the second most important motorsport event in our country, just behind the MotoGP race in Brno. This year the motorcycle grand prix will be run again, but without any public. We were always proud that Zlín was year by year visited by more than 50,000 unique spectators and it was you, enthusiastic rally fans, who were creating that famous and unique atmosphere on the stages. So, we couldn’t imagine running the rally without you, especially now, when many of you showed your support to the Barum Rally in the collection of money.
“It has been just a week when we thought the problems with the COVID-19 were history and we ‘only’ had to settle that budget issue. Unfortunately, the problem is back and so we came to the conclusion that the health protection is the priority. Despite many of you, our rally fans, have supported the rally, in view of unpredictable situation with the epidemic development and possible restrictions, the necessary and right solution is to cancel the Barum Czech Rally Zlín in 2020 and postpone it until next year.
“After seeing the successful collection this result is truly disappointing for us. However, the health of everyone is the most important thing. We must thank again to all supporters and donators who helped us during the previous week and at the same time we declare that all contributions collected at the Barum Rally’s transparent account will be refunded back to donators’ accounts within days. For the traditional cooperation we want to thank to our general partner Continental Barum, Zlín city and Zlín region authorities, to the Ministry for Regional Development, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, to the National Sporting Agency, to the CzechTourism agency and of course to all of our long-term partners, local citizens and everyone involved in the Barum Rally.”
The full statement from Miloslav Regner, the Barum Czech Rally Zlín Clerk of the Course, is available by clicking here.
The rally in 100 words: Ever-present on the ERC schedule since the championship’s streamlining in 2004, Barum Czech Rally Zlín is based in the South Moravian university city, 300 kilometres south of the Czech capital Prague. It is a Tarmac test like no other due to the bumpy and sometimes broken nature of the road surface. To add to the challenge, several stages feature high-speed blasts through forests and intermittent showers are always possible. While the weather might be hard to predict, huge numbers of fans follow the action, especially on the opening night-time Zlín superspecial stage. The long-term ERC rally turns 50 in 2021.
2019: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5 Evo)
2018: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2017: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2016: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
2015: Jan Kopecký/Pavel Dresler (ŠKODA Fabia R5)
1: Zlín’s rise from small town to big city is credited to Tomáš Bat’a, who founded a shoe factory there in 1894. His old office – located in a moving elevator – is preserved in the Regional Authority Building 21, which is home to the Barum Czech Rally Zlín’s headquarters.
2: Now established as a bustling university city, Zlín’s south-eastern Moravia setting is 300 kilometres from the Czech capital Prague and 220 kilometres from the Austrian capital Vienna.
3: Zlín became Gottwaldov from 1949-1990 after the first Czech communist president, Klement Gottwald.
4: Barum Czech Rally Zlín ran for the first time in 1971 and turns 50 in 2020. Jan Halmažna took the inaugural honours in a ŠKODA 1100 MB.
5: Event sponsor Continental Barum’s giant tyre factory and distribution centre in nearby Otrokovice hosts the rally’s permanent service park.