The Cambrian Rally in Wales – the opening round of the British Rally Championship for the previous two seasons – has already been rescheduled for 2021, four months in advance of the event’s first proposed date.
Event organizers had confirmed a February 20 date for 2021 back in July, but that has now been pushed back to October 30 in light of ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and government response.
Wales is set to enter a two-week lockdown period as of Friday October 23 and no rallying events have occurred in the country since this year’s Cambrian Rally in February, but a new deal was signed in September between Motorsport UK, Natural Resources Wales and Rally4Wales – who regrade forest roads after rallies have used them – to allow rallies to use government-owned forests until at least 2023.
A petition had been launched by a competitor to try and persuade legislation makers of rallying’s case to restart, but it failed to reach the 5000 signatories needed to get the matter debated in the parliamentary chambers.
A collaborative effort between four motor clubs in north Wales is being worked on however to hold a small, single-venue event – similar to the M-Sport Return to Rally Stages that ran back in August – so that rally organizers can grow accustomed with how to run a rally during a pandemic.
The timescale was becoming too tight to commit to hosting the Cambrian Rally in four months though, resulting in the event being postponed.
A statement from organizer North Wales Car Club read: “Over the past few months the organizing 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-19 compliant, with organizers, competitors, marshalls, 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.”
Despite no official news on a calendar as of yet, the Cambrian Rally organizers confirmed the event will again be included in the British Rally Championship next year. It was supposed to be the opening round, but will now run towards the tail-end of the season because of its new date.
DirtFish understands that official confirmation of the 2021 British Rally Championship calendar is expected in the next few weeks.
The Cambrian Rally will also continue to be part of the national BTRDA series as well as the Welsh Rally Championship in 2021.
“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 organizers added.
“The route has been completed and would have offered a tremendous challenge to all competitors who we hope will support the rescheduled date.”
The 2020 iteration of the Cambrian was the only round of this year’s BRC to be held before the coronavirus pandemic took hold and canceled the rest of the championship.
It was won by double BRC champion and defending rally winner Matt Edwards.
Next year’s event will continue to be based in Llandudno – the town that hosted Rally GB’s service park in 2019. All the stages will be held in the Conwy county area of Wales with Conwy council remaining an integral partner to the event.
Rally GB’s future meanwhile is going to be away from Wales, with an intention to relocate to Northern Ireland for 2021.