The asphalt event on 4 – 6 December is based at the famous Monza race circuit near Milan and known as The Temple of Speed, in the north of the country.
The itinerary will adopt the FIA WRC’s short format schedule, featuring about 220km of special stages, with the majority of the first and last day action at the circuit.
Saturday’s middle leg speed tests will comprise demanding closed public roads in the Lombardy region close to Monza.
The rally has been held since 1978 and will be the second Italian counter of an FIA WRC season severely affected by Covid-19. It will follow Novembers Renties Ypres Rally Belgium where Welshman Elfyn Evans (above) is going leading this year’s WRC title chase after his fourth place finish in his Toyota Yaris WRC in Sardinia at the weekend.
The season features nine European events and three outside Europe. It has been strategically designed to allow for a continued Covid-19 impact on international sport by scheduling the majority of rounds from June onwards. Those marked with * are subject to confirmation.
The calendar was approved by the FIA, world motorsport’s governing body, and WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said it would appeal to both competitors and WRC fans alike.
“The inclusion of Croatia to the WRC for the first time is an exciting new challenge to our fixture list and brings huge anticipation,” he added.
“Estonia’s championship debut a few weeks ago proved a massive success, even more so given the short time available to the organisers to prepare the rally. It fully deserves to retain its slot for 2021.”
What was forecast as light rain turned into a day-long downpour making roads very wet and mud soaked and he slid off on the fourth stage and into retirement on his first event since February in the The Scan Station-backed VW Polo GTi R5.