Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally cancelled

  • 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.”

2020 Rally Update

Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally update

  • Planning going ahead for the October 8-11 event
  • Organising Permit in place from Motorsport UK
  • Team pays tribute to the extraordinary efforts of key workers
  • Priority is to look after the population, businesses and island life
  • Mull Rally regulations to be released in July

The organisers of the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally will continue with the planning for this year’s Tobermory-based event.

While the current COVID-19 pandemic has put everyday life on hold, Mull Rally clerk of the course Andy Jardine remains focused on installing the foundations for the October 8-11 rally.

Jardine said: “Before we talk about rallying, I think it’s more important we put this into the context of the wider world and what’s going on right now. I’m sure everybody involved in the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally would join me in sending our heartfelt thanks, appreciation and admiration to all key workers in our communities.

“We extend our concern and sympathies to those affected by COVID-19.

“Nobody knows conclusively when the current situation will change, which is why the team will continue in its usual preparations for the rally. Right now we’re fortunate in that we can prepare the event from our desks and that’s what we’re doing.

“It is absolutely vital – and we cannot stress this enough – nobody: no prospective competitors, media, marshals, nobody travels to Mull until we have clear and precise government guidance to say we are permitted to do so.”

Deputy clerk of the course Duncan Brown has been working tirelessly through all the processes for the new closed road legislation and we recently received the Organising Permit from Motorsport UK in addition to our application being made for a Motor Race Order from Argyll & Bute Council.

Jardine continued: “We maintain a watching brief on the movement from Westminster, the Scottish Government, Argyll & Bute Council and Motorsport UK. As well as that, through the Guardians, we’re in regular contact with both the communities and the businesses on the Isle of Mull – those people remain very much at the heart of decisions taken moving forward.

“We understand the economic benefit the Mull Rally brings to the island, but we also understand the current financial situation those vital to the event – including the amazing volunteer marshals and officials, the sponsors and, of course, the competitors themselves – find themselves in or moving towards as the pandemic continues. We will, of course, remain entirely mindful of this as the weeks and months unfold.

“Our intention is to bring the best rally in the world to the world’s best island in October. But our priority is to do the right thing for the people of Mull.”

Jardine and his team continue to work to the pre-planned event timetable, with regulations for October’s Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally coming in July.

Jardine concluded: “We’ve had support from all over the world, urging us to continue with the event and the planning for the event. That’s what we’re doing. We’re going about the usual processes, but working respectfully with all relevant government agencies and councils.

“We’ll get our heads together – virtually speaking, of course – and put the rally together. In the meantime, let’s all do our bit to bring this thing to the speediest possible conclusion by staying home, staying healthy and watching Peter Taylor’s run through Gribun on YouTube. Again.”

Extra Ferries

Calmac have made the following announcement regarding extra ferries:

Due to the Mull Rally, the following additional sailings will operate on Sunday 13th October.

Depart Oban – 07:30
Arrive Craignure – 08:20

Depart Craignure – 08:40
Arrive Oban – 09:30

Mull Full

Less than one hour after the Beatson’s Mull Rally opened for entries, the list was full.

In fact, it only took 53 minutes to register an unprecedented 174 entries.

So overwhelming was the demand for places on Scotland’s only closed-road rally this year, the event’s website crashed.

The first 140 crews to register now have five days (that’s four and a bit now – the clock started ticking on Saturday morning) to pay the entry fee into the event’s very own account in Tobermory’s Clydesdale Bank.

Beatson’s Mull Rally clerk of the course Andy Jardine said: “I’m not sure what to say. Fifty-three minutes! We do all the work, get everything ready, but then at the end of the day – a couple of minutes before entries go live on the website – you inevitably think: “I wonder if anybody’ll come…”

They did. They came in their droves.

Deputy clerk of the course Iain Campbell added: “Has Coldplay ever been a sell-out in 53 minutes? Actually, if they only had 150 tickets to sell Chris [Martin] and the gang probably have.”

“But I’m not sure even Kim Kardashian has broken her website with new material as quickly as we did! It’s amazing.”

While the list of reserves for the event is already building, Jardine pointed out there’s still a chance of a run.

He added: “We’ve seen down the years that not everybody who gets an entry when they go live actually takes it up,” he said. “There will be some entries lost to broken engines, broken wallets, marriages… If the money’s not received from all 140 entries before close of play Tuesday, then we will start going down through the reserves and asking folk to join us in their place.

“This is a fantastic way for us to start the build-up for the golden anniversary of this event. We hoped we might be able to fill the entry – it took a day to fill the last one in 2016 – but this is so much more than we expected. Even though we haven’t run since 2016, it’s nice to see people haven’t forgotten us.”

*The Coldplay data might be wide of the mark

Entries Open

Entries open for Beatson’s Mull Rally

  • 150 – Mull’s new magic number
  • Entries are go. What are you waiting for?
  • 148 of the world’s finest miles on offer between October 11-13
  • is where you should be right now

What does 150 mean to you?

It’s the number of squares on a Professor’s Cube (think Rubik’s Cube only more maddening…).

Or the number of Power Stars in Super Mario 64 DS.

And, don’t forget, it’s the bus route that goes from Bathgate to Harthill.

More important than all of that, it’s how many lucky, lucky folk will get to sit on the start line of Mishnish Lochs – just after seven on the evening of Friday October 11 – and drive as fast as they dare in the direction of Dervaig.

The only 150 that matters today are the first 150 people who get their name down for the Beatson’s Mull Rally.

The race to the rally starts right here.

Back for the first time since 2016, entries open for Beatson’s Mull Rally 2019 at 1930 today, tonight. Er… now! And they’re only are available from the website

There’s no postage this time, the only road in is the superhighway – so you’d better be quick.

And this is going to be a special Beatson’s Mull Rally to enter. Not only are we back for the first time in three years, but this October we’ll remember the history made 50 Octobers ago when George Hill steered his Mini Cooper S away from the Mishnish Hotel on the road to a maiden victory on the inaugural Tour of Mull.

There’s a golden hue to Mull and its rally this year and we’ll pay special thanks to Brian Molyneux – the man whose brilliant foresight brought us to where we are today.

When, on that Molyneux family holiday in 1968, Brian thought about a rally around these roads, he couldn’t have known what the Beatson’s Mull Rally would grow into. Anybody doubting the popularity should drop the Mish’ a line and ask for a room in the second week in October…

Event Scotland support – along with title sponsor Beatson’s Building Supplies – is broadening the appeal of this beautiful Hebridean island and Scotland’s biggest motorsport event which sits astride it every autumn.

The entry fee is £730 for a 333-mile route, 148 of which are competitive across 17 stages and three legs.

The first 140 entries received – with the fee tucked away in the Clydesdale Bank on Tob’s Main Street within five days of a competitor registering the entry – are all guaranteed. The other 10 are at the behest of the organisers.

Entries close at 1600 on Friday October 11.

To view the route, click here.

Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally Media Office
Sandra Evans
T: +44 7887 693993

To land yourself one of 150 places to do this, choose “Entries” from the Competitors menu tonight!