Organisers of the popular Builth Wells- based Rallynuts Stages Rally have taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event.
Previously postponed from its April 18 date due to the developing Covid-19 situation, the rally, which attracted an almost capacity entry in 2019 and is a round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Rally Championship, had attempted to run on August 8.
However, following the latest advice from the Welsh and UK Government and Motorsport UK, the sport’s governing body, Midland Manor Motor Club has elected to cancel the 2020 event, meaning the 47th running of the rally will take place in April 2021.
In March, Motorsport UK suspended all motorsport activity due to the potential increased risk to competitors, officials, spectators, and communities which was later extended until the end of June as the country entered the lockdown phase.
Despite being in the advanced stages of planning the 2020 event, organisers were faced with Welsh restrictions on access to forests used on the rally, as well as uncertainty over availability of accommodation, meaning the possibility of cancelling the event at a later date was significantly increased.
After lobbying competitors who had originally entered the April date, around a third said they would not enter in August and coupled with the uncertainty of any restrictions, the event would carry the burden of significant financial risk, as well as inconvenience to competitors, officials and businesses in the area.
With rallying also posing a challenge when adhering to social distancing guidelines, and after consultation with each of the event’s five championships and Motorsport UK, the organising committee voted to concentrate on running the event in 2021.
Joint clerks of the course, Chris and Keith Ashley, said: “Despite our best efforts to run the Rallynuts Stages Rally in 2020, we have no choice but to cancel the event this year. Of course, we are disappointed not to be able to bring our loyal competitors another classic event in the Mid Wales forests, but at this time, the health and wellbeing of everyone on the event and in the local area around Builth Wales must be a priority.
“The Welsh Government currently has many restrictions in place, including the ban on travel, unlike here in England, as well as a restriction on the hospitality sector until September 26.
“As an English motor club organising an event in Wales, we would certainly want to protect the local community and alleviate any additional risk to the region, so if we can reduce any impact then, of course, we will do so.
“Our efforts will now be concentrated on producing another quality event next April and we would like to thank our sponsors Rallynuts Motorsport and championships for their unrivalled support.”
The event was also due to be a round of The West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters Rally Challenge, the Brian Dennis Motorsport/Marsh Commercial Welsh Historic Rally Championship and the IPS Rally Challenge.