- Tobermory-based event cancelled due to COVID-19 uncertainty
- Organisers committed to returning with a bigger and – even – better 2021 event
- News brings disappointment to crews, competitors and officials around the world
Mishnish Lochs will stay silent in October. There’ll be no Group 4 roar up the Glen and the Long One… well, it’ll be shorter than normal this time around.
The Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally – planned for October 8-11 – has been cancelled.
Clerk of the Course Andy Jardine admitted the decision was dictated by ongoing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. While preparations for the iconic Scottish island rally had been moving forward, with the team behind the sell-out event closely monitoring the Scottish Government’s ‘route out of lockdown,’ the organisers are unwilling to proceed given the possible risk of spreading the virus.
Jardine said: “It was looking good for a while. October seemed so far off and things were opening up again, but now the end of July is looming and we just can’t commit to running the rally not knowing how the situation will develop. It’s tough for the team as we put a lot of effort into developing different ways to work with the coronavirus restrictions, but it isn’t practical to cover all the eventualities and keep everybody safe.
“This year’s been unprecedented in the way we’ve seen our sport simply stopped in its tracks by this pandemic. But we have to remember that an awful lot of people have been – and continue to be – affected in the most tragic way by coronavirus.”
Mull Car Club Chairman, Fred Maclean added: “While some of the island is preparing for some sort of tourist season in the weeks ahead, there remains uncertainty and many places are not opening. Mull has remained apparently COVID-free throughout the lockdown period and there is a nervousness about what might happen when visitors return.
“This is the right decision for Mull and to ensure the rally is welcomed back in, hopefully, happier times in 2021.”
Demand for Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally remains exceptional, with competitors from across the world keeping in regular contact with the organisers in the hope of securing a place, were the 2020 event to run. Jardine’s keen, however, this enforced break is used to take a look at ways to make a great rally even better.
Jardine said: “After the event missed a couple of years due to the insurance issue, we got the overwhelming message that the Mull Rally was still a competitors’ favourite when we broke the internet as entries opened in 2019.
“This has energised the team to use this break to take a step back and think about a review of the format of the event and we’ll be getting our heads together in the next couple of months to see what can be done to freshen it up a bit.
“It goes without saying, none of our Octobers will be the same this year. We’ll all spend a bit longer watching Peter Taylor’s run through Gribun on YouTube! But the key thing – the only thing – is to stay healthy, keep the island healthy and be back, bigger and better next time.”