The opening round of the 2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, the Legend Fires North West Stages (Saturday 20 March), has been postponed, owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
A statement, issued by the event organisers Motorsport North West, says:
‘The organisers of the 2020 Legend Fires North West Stages Rally have had to make the very difficult decision to postpone next week’s event in view of the worsening situation with the Coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the commercial consideration that every day closer to the event leaves us exposed to significantly more financial risk, most importantly we have taken into account the fact that the event attracts competitors, press, support crews and spectators from all over the country and we feel that to continue with the event would not be responsible or in the best interests of the community.
Although tonight’s government statement is not as bad as anticipated, it is clear than the virus will continue to escalate over the coming days. Today we had to make financial commitments to numerous organisations that would have meant any subsequent cancellation next week would have bankrupted the organising club.
Although cancelling this week will result in heavy losses it does mean that we should be able to survive to see the event run in the future.
We wish to thank everyone who committed to the event, especially the many people who have given up hundreds of hours of their time in organising. We do not intend that to be wasted and will be seeking ways of selecting a new date for the event.
To the competitors, we understand your disappointment, but can assure you it’s not a fraction of the disappointment felt by the organising team.
It was important that we let people know this decision as soon as possible but please be patient with us, we will clarify more detail in the days to come.’