By Paul Evans
With no sign of the arbitrary 30 person maximum gathering rule taking into account the vast open spaces rallying takes place in, the somewhat inevitable news about the Cambrian Rally will raise a very serious question.
Just when will rallying be allowed to return in Wales?
Rallying is back up and running in other countries of course, and not just at world championship level, where Elfyn Evans leads the way.
Matt Edwards, who won the Cambrian Rally last year, has contested several events in Portugal recently, and is currently preparing for Rally Barbados.
It’s ironic that the double British champion can take part on a rally on a Caribbean island, but he cannot compete in the likes of Gwydir, Elsi and Penmachno forests, which are 20 or so miles outside his hometown of Llandudno.
With rallies requiring many months of planning and thousands of pounds of financial commitment to be paid up front, the Cambrian Rally – which was to have been the opening round of the British, BTRDA and Welsh Forest Rally Championships – is sadly likely to be the first in a long line of early 2021 events that will be forced to postpone.
In a statement, the event organising North Wales Car Club said:
‘Over the past few months the organising team of the Cambrian Rally have been working tirelessly in planning to put the event on in February 2021, while at the same time ensuring it would be Covid compliant, with organisers, competitors, marshals, and residents en route being kept as safe as possible.
‘In this, we have been ably supported by Conwy Borough Council, the Welsh Government, Motorsport UK, and Natural Resources Wales, and we thank them all. Our thanks also go to Coleg Llandrillo for the promised use of their premises.
‘We have had tremendous support from all the championships that the Cambrian is a round of in 2021 and we are very grateful for this. The route has been completed and would have offered a tremendous challenge to all competitors who we hope will support the rescheduled date.
‘The event will still remain a round of the British Rally Championship, the British Trials and Rally Drivers’ Championship, the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs, ANWCC, and IPS Paint Rally Challenge championships, and as in previous years will be based in Llandudno with all the stages located in Conwy county.’