The organisers of the Legend Fires North West Stages have decided not to reschedule the rally for later in 2020, but instead concentrate on running the event in March 2021.
Originally scheduled to be the opening round of the Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship, taking place this weekend, the Lancashire-based event was firstly postponed, owing to the coronavirus outbreak. The organisers gave serious thought to finding a date later in the year, and despite a very congested calendar they found what appeared to be one possible option in mid-October. However, they do not feel that the huge logistics of organising an event in that timescale makes it a tenable proposition, and so the 2020 Legend Fires North West Stages is now cancelled.
A statement by the event organisers, Motorsport North West, reads:
‘As organisers we are not only required to follow the legal closed road application timetable, but we would also need to be re-starting the resident consultation process in the next month which would not follow the current social distancing guidelines and we should be attending council meetings which we assume will be suspended for the foreseeable future. Also, and most significantly, if we ran an event in October 2020, we would not have the time or resource to run another event in March 2021 and so would risk losing our anniversary date.
We also had to consider the re-scheduling of other rallies for the rest of the year. No one knows how long these restrictions will go on for, which events will still run and whether championships will continue for 2020, hence the final decision to abandon thoughts of running the event in 2020.
We understand that this will be a disappointment to some of the organising team, competitors, sponsors and spectators, but we have to be pragmatic and look at the long-term future of our event.
When organisation of the 2020 event started, no one could have predicted the dire situation we find ourselves in and the knock-on effect that this virus is having on all parts of our lives, including all sporting events.
In order to protect the event financially we made the tough decision to postpone in advance of any Government or Motorsport UK directive. It is now clear that it was absolutely the right decision.
The last couple of weeks have been a challenging time for the organising team and we would like to thank the many people who have supported the difficult decisions we have had to make.’