West Cork Rally postponed two days before start

No alternative date yet for shared BRC and Irish Tarmac Rally Championship round

Tom Cave / James Morgan Hyundai i20 R5

The second round of both the Britsh Rally and Irish Tarmac Rally Championships, the West Cork Rally, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Event organizer the Cork Motor Club has been liaising with the Health Service Executive and government agencies for the past 10 days but after “careful consideration” took the decision to postpone this weekend’s event.

DirtFish understands that all competitors were called into a meeting early on Thursday afternoon and were informed of the organizer’s decision.

“Following the announcement earlier today by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar [Irish prime minister], that all indoor gatherings of over 100 people and all outdoor gatherings of over 500 people should not proceed, the CMC team have made the assessment that our event must be postponed in order to protect public health,” read a statement from clerk of the course Steve Davis.

“The West Cork Rally and Cork Motor Club will always put safety and the well being of the public first and while it is unfortunate that we have had to make this decision at such a late stage, the CMC team believe it the right thing to do.

“We wish to express our sincere apologies and thanks to our sponsor, The Clonakilty Park Hotel, all our associated sponsors, the dozens of competitors who have entered the event, those who have already travelled long distances, those who were set to travel, all our volunteers and those who had so many plans in place for what was set to be a fantastic weekend of rallying in West Cork.”

The rally organiser has already been in discussion with Irish motorsport’s governing body, Motorsport Ireland, which ‘fully supports’ the decision.

“We will work with the MI team over the coming weeks in the hope of finding a solution which may see the 2020 Clonakilty Park Hotel West Cork rally run on an alternative date in 2020,” Davis concluded.

The West Cork Rally had attracted a stellar entry of R5 cars, including Hyundai driver Craig Breen and BRC frontrunners Matt Edwards and Tom Cave.

Alastair Fisher had already withdrawn from the event but for personal reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 outbreak.