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British Rally authorities still hoping to rescue series

 

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Alastair Fisher

Alastair Fisher

Alastair Fisher

British Rally Championship authorities are still clinging to the hope they can resurrect the series later in the year despite confirmation the Ypres Rally, scheduled for June, has been postponed.

However, unlike the Ulster Rally which was cancelled last week, Belgian officials are adamant their Ypres event will go ahead later in the year.

Only one BRC round has taken place so far, the Cambrian Rally in Wales back in February, but if the Ypres Rally can go ahead, BRC officials are planning a five-round championship which would include the Galloway Hills Rally in Scotland in September plus Britain's round of the World Championship, Wales Rally GB at the end of October, which would be split into two rounds.

There is no certainty any of these events will be allowed to take place while social distancing remains, but in contrast to the organisers of the Irish Tarmac Championship who have shelved the series until next year, Motorsport UK continues to put off a decision.

"Potentially we still have five scoring rounds for 2020 so we very much have a championship at this point," insisted BRC manager Ian Campbell.

And while drivers like reigning Tarmac champion Craig Breen and the man who was leading this year's aborted series, Alastair Fisher, fully support the Irish decision, British champion Matt Edwards is urging the BRC officials to pursue every avenue to get rallies up and running again.

Edwards, who won the Ulster Rally in 2018, says: "There's a whole industry that needs people out rallying. It is not just the competitors, there are thousands of people that depend on it in some shape or form for a living."

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But fellow Welshman and title rival Tom Cave feels the championship, should it go ahead, would be devalued.

"Speaking from a hypothetical sense, if we went on to win the championship I don't think you'd get the credit you'd fully deserve if it was a full six round series," said Cave. "I think it should be knocked on the head."

But Fisher, who won in Galway, the only Irish round to take place, fully supports the Tarmac committee's decision.

"The priority right now is protecting our families and the wider public from this virus. We also have to look at the safety of officials, mechanics, fans, drivers and co-drivers. As a sport we have a responsibility," he said.

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