23 Mar: BRC, Round 1 Cancelled

… Rally North Wales cancelled …

Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Car Club Ltd have been forced to cancel next month’s Welshpool-based Rally North Wales (April 5th) due to insufficient entries and the consequential potential loss of more than £10,000.

The event would have been the first of seven rounds in the MSA British Rally Championship and a qualifying round of the MSA Mintex British Historic championship and the MSA Pirelli Welsh Stage Championship.

When the Entry List officially closed at 21.00 hours on Friday 21st March less than 80 paid entries had been received.

“We needed 106 entries just to break-even this year. With less than 80 entries the Club was facing a potential loss of in excess of £10k, which we simply cannot afford. Cancelling last year’s rally cost the Club a similar amount and wiped out any contingency funding for this year” said Guy Weaver, Chairman of W&SSCC Ltd.

He continued by saying: “I wish to put on record the Clubs thanks to Clerk of the Course, Kevin Witton, and his organising team for their hard work over the last year in producing what we believe would have been an excellent event but the Club cannot sustain this level of loss for a second consecutive year. All entry fees received will be returned in full.”

BRC Manager Mark Taylor added: “I feel for the organising team who have done all they can under the circumstances, committing many months of tireless work to run what was shaping up to be a first class rally. The forests are apparently in first class condition, arguably the best in Europe and it is a real shame that the rally has a significant gap in the finances to make it viable. It would seem that alongside current uncertainties and lack of available sponsorship, motorsport seem to be lagging behind in the economic recovery, taking its toll on stage rallying.”

The first round of the Championship will now be the Pirelli Carlisle RB Foundation Rally on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th May. The Championship regulations provide for the loss of a qualifying round which now means that the BRC will be decided over six qualifying events and seven rounds, with competitors discounting their two single worst scores.

The Motor Sports Association added their regrets that Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Car Club has been forced to cancel their event with Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive commenting: “We are naturally disappointed for all those involved with this event. Like everyone that organises motor sport events, they have put in many long hours of their own free time simply to get it ready for the competitors and spectators. It is a bitter blow for the team to have to cancel the event at such a late stage, but they cannot of course ignore the financial realities which they faced.”

“We have been working closely with the event organisers to assist them over the past few weeks, and must now identify with them the issues which led to this situation. Stage rallying is a critical part of the fabric of British motor sport and the MSA has to be prepared to consider radical changes which is why the current tender for the BRC invites free ranging initiatives from prospective promoters.”

After the Carlisle event, the British Championship heads slightly further north for the Jim Clark Rally at Kelso on 30/31 May then the RSAC Scottish Rally on 27/28 June before heading across the water to Ulster for the Todds Leap Ulster Rally on 15/16 August.