Crisis at the pinnacle of rallying in Britain with the news that the opening round of the MSA British Rally Championship has been cancelled.
The organisers of next month’s Rally North Wales the opening round of the series is off due to insufficient entries and the consequential loss of more than £10,000.
When the entry list officially closed late on Friday evening less than 80 paid entries had been received.
They event needed 106 entries just to break-even this year and with less than 80 entries the organising club was facing a potential loss of in excess of £10,000, which they simply could not afford.
Last year’s rally was also cancelled and cost the organising club a similar amount and wiped out any contingency funding for this year.
The event would have been the first of seven rounds in the 2014 MSA British Rally Championship and a qualifying round of the MSA Mintex British Historic and the MSA Pirelli Welsh Stage Championships.
BRC Manager Mark Taylor.
“I feel for the organising team who have done all they can under the circumstances, committing many months of tireless work to run what was shaping up to be a first class rally.
“The forests are apparently in first class condition; arguably the best in Europe and it is a real shame that the rally has a significant gap in the finances to make it viable.
“It would seem that alongside current uncertainties and lack of available sponsorship, motorsport seems to be lagging behind in the economic recovery, taking its toll on stage rallying.”
The first round of the Championship will now be the Pirelli Carlisle RB Foundation Rally on 3/4 May.
The Championship regulations provide for the loss of a qualifying round, which now means that the BRC will be decided over six qualifying events and seven rounds, with competitors discounting their two single worst scores.
The Ulster Rally is a round of the MSA British Rally Championship and as a rule attracts the largest entry.