Wales Rally GB will become the final round of the British Rally Championship in 2020 following the cancelation of the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton.
Organizers of the Essex-based event met with event shareholders on Monday afternoon and decided to cancel the rally amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
After two successful editions as England’s first modern-day rally to used closed public roads, made possible by a change in law, the rally was awarded BRC status for 2020 and was set to be the only round of the championship held in England after the Pirelli International Rally in Carlisle lost its funding and dropped off the calendar.
Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton would have started with two seafront stages before heading inland for three runs of four special stages on tarmac roads.
It is now replaced on the official calendar by Britain’s World Rally Championship event, Wales Rally GB, on 29 October – 1 November.
A statement from the canceled rally’s event director Tony Clements read: “We’re grateful to our sponsors, competitors, officials, volunteers and local businesses for your fantastic support and commitment to the rally.
“While we‘re all disappointed to arrive at this position, we feel cancellation is the right thing to do and an early decision removes uncertainty. We’ll now look ahead and focus our planning on the weekend of April 24-25 2021 for the third running of the event.”
The BRC season got underway last month with Wales’s Cambrian Rally, with defending champion Matt Edwards starting his title defence with victory. The West Cork Rally, set to be the the second round earlier this month, was postponed days before it began and no alternative date has been found as of yet.
BRC’s championship manager Iain Campbell added: “The BRC fully support the decision from the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton team on the cancelation of the event.
“The event goes into the heart of the community and we cannot put residents, marshals, officials, our team and our competitors at risk. Along with Motorsport UK we are closely monitoring the situation and following the advice set out by the British Government.”
The next round of the British Rally Championship looks set to be the Ypres Rally in Belgium on 25-27 June. There has been no indication as of yet that Ypres will be either canceled or postponed.