THE Westlodge Hotel Fastnet Rally, the final event of the Cork rally trilogy has been cancelled akin to the Clonakilty Park West Cork Rally and the CBtoolhire.com Cork “20” International Rally because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made by the Skibbereen and District Car Club organisers late last week.
A joint statement issued by club chairman Cal McCarthy and clerk of the course, James Kingston said, “Following a detailed analysis of all aspects of the event, there was unanimous agreement that the event should be cancelled.
"It was agreed to advise the various stakeholders of the event that provides a welcome financial boost to the local economy during the shoulder end of the tourism season.
“The major reasons for determining the outcome (cancellation) surrounded the continuation of the goodwill the Skibbereen and District Car Club receive from the residents along the rally route; the difficulties posed in engaging with the residents (PR) prior to the event without placing any person at risk and the safety of residents, competitors, marshals, officials and spectators.”
Indeed, safety of all and the fear of damaging the goodwill factor with local residents was also the theme at the heartbeat of the decision of the Cork Motor Club and the Munster Car Club to call a halt to their events.
The Skibbereen club were not the only club to cancel a rally last week as the Donegal Motor Club took the decision not to go ahead with their Harvest Rally on October 10th next.
Meanwhile, further to a meeting in Athlone on Saturday last Motorsport Ireland has published an updated calendar of events until the year end.
From a rally context, there are just three events - the Volkswagen Wexford Rally (September 5/6), the Carrick on Suir Rally (October 11) and the Killarney Historic Rally (November 28).
Of the three, the Carrick on Suir Motor Club event is totally new. Originally, the club had intended to host a rallysprint on November 1st but this was changed to a rally event that, during the course of Saturday’s meeting, was upgraded to a multi-stage event.
A new four round rallysprint championship within the confines of Mondello Park will take place on August 16, October 18, November 1 and December 6.
Organisers of the Wexford event have set aside a budget of €10,000 to deal with additional costs such as extra security, a second service park, toilet facilities and PPE equipment.
However, such costs will not be passed on to competitors as the entry fee for the two day event remains at €1,095 - identical to last year.
Based in Enniscorthy, there are six stages (2x3) on both days involving some 100 marshals per day.