2020 Jim Clark Rally cancelled in face of coronavirus spread

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 12:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 12:23 pm

The organisers of the Jim Clark Rally have announced that this year’s event will be cancelled in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The annual historic rally was due to be run over the last weekend in May (29-31) around the Borders but organisers say that health concerns have led them to call it off entirely.

2020 was to be the second running of the rally following a four-year hiatus. Rather than attempt to reschedule it, those behind the event have said they will turn their attention to planning for 2021’s rally.

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In a statement, the organisers said: “The news headlines continue to be dominated by the effects, and indeed the dangers, of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the uncertainty of its duration. In fact the situation is likely to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

“With that in mind, the rally organisers have spoken with Scottish Borders Council, motor sport's governing body Motorsport UK, and the event's sponsors, Beatson's Building Supplies plus other stakeholders and interested parties. The unanimous decision is that the rally should be cancelled for 2020.

“As we know only too well, sporting events attract more than just competitors. They need dozens of officials, marshals, paramedic and recovery crews as well as attracting thousands of spectators. On that basis, the current Government and medical advice is that such events should be cancelled.

“Despite all that, this was an easy decision to take - the public's health comes first.

“Plans for this year's proposed event were already well underway with a new stage being added to the established favourites."

The rally is the latest sporting event to be called off in the face of the outbreak, with football and rugby championships across the country put on hold, the Grand National cancelled and question marks over this summer’s Scottish Open golf competition.