2020 Wales Rally GB cancelled due to Covid-19 crisis
It was due to run from 29 October to 1 November
This year’s 76th staging of the motor sport event, due to run from 29 October to 1 November as the penultimate round on the 2020 WRC schedule, was additionally the concluding round of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship. Wales Rally GB typically attracts numerous top-class entries from around the globe and 100,000 spectators to competitive speed tests set in the spectacular forests of mid and north Wales.
However, with continuing concerns over the evolution of Covid-19 and the safety restrictions it has imposed on large-scale gatherings and international travel, the Wales Rally GB organisation has made the decision to cancel the event for 2020.
“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly but, in close consultation with our chief funding partner the Welsh Government, it is sadly one we are obliged to make in light of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic,” explained David Richards CBE, Chairman of Motorsport UK, governing body of UK motorsport and organiser of Wales Rally GB.
“Our overriding responsibility and absolute priority is always the safety of all involved whether they be competitors, officials, spectators or the many thousands of volunteers who share our passion for this sport, and we thank them all for their ongoing support and enthusiasm in these difficult times. While significant progress is being made to combat the virus, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding mass gatherings, social distancing and travel restrictions, plus the possibility of a resurgence of viral transmission later in the year.”
“We have been closely monitoring the guidance issued by Government and it is becoming increasingly clear that it is impossible to make plans with any certainty for such major events in the autumn. We therefore have to accept, with an incredibly heavy heart, that cancelling this year’s event is the only responsible and prudent option,” he concluded.
Wales Rally GB organisers will strive to deliver an ‘even bigger and better’ Wales Rally GB in 2021*.
First run in 1932, Rally GB is one of just two rounds to have been a permanent fixture in the annual FIA World Rally Championship since the series’ inauguration back in 1973. Before the advent of the WRC, the UK’s premier rally had only been stopped by World War 2 in 1940, the Suez Crisis and resultant petrol rationing in 1957 and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in 1967. The event has been set in Wales since 2000; initially based in the south of the country, it moved to a new home in the north in 2013.