The New England Forest Rally, which was scheduled to be the next round of the truncated 2020 American Rally Association national series, has been canceled.
The decision to scrap the event, scheduled for July 31-August 1, comes as a result of safety guidelines put in place by the state of Maine because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Due to the concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus and considering the safety guidelines established by the State of Maine, the New England Forest Rally [NEFR] has decided to cancel the running of their event scheduled for July 31 and August 1, 2020,” the event organizer said in a statement.
“As one of the many national events in the ARA Championship that has had to postpone or cancel their events, we understand the impact this will have upon the NEFR community.
“The organizers did not come to this decision lightly. Out of respect for the local area and because of the many volunteers, competitors, service teams, and fans we felt it most important to make sure we did not negatively impact the health of those people and the communities in which our event runs.
While circuit racing is resuming in the US – with NASCAR already racing again behind closed doors and IndyCar planning to in a fortnight – restarting rallying is proving harder.
This latest cancellation means that the ARA series will not resume until August 28-29, the current scheduled date for the Ojibwe Forests Rally, at the earliest.
The NEFR’s cancellation has led to the creation of the ‘Rally For A Cause’ donation portal, a financial initiative aimed at supporting the communities that the event usually takes place in.
“The absence of the rally has opened a new opportunity,” the statement continued. “NEFR is creating the Rally For A Cause donation portal and with other ARA events will be raising money for the communities in which we each race.
“Our events help to support the local economies and we want to make an impact in our rally areas. We hope you will join us! The Rally For A Cause event donation portals will be announced in the coming days.”