The Hills Ford Three Shires Stages will return on Sunday 5 September 2021, after the organisers announced that it had taken the unavoidable decision to cancel this year’s event.
The rally was originally scheduled to host the penultimate round of the 2020 Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship on closed road stages in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire on 6 September.
Having explored all available options, Cheltenham Motor Club released the following statement:
‘Following Government advice issued yesterday evening, Cheltenham Motor Club has regrettably taken the decision to cancel the 2020 Hills Ford Three Shires Stages on Sunday 6th September due to the on-going Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Unfortunately, due to government restrictions within the country, the Resident Liaison Team are not able to carry out effective PR work with the residents living on the 2020 route.
This decision has not been taken lightly and we have done everything possible to avoid making this decision but the health of the public and residents is the most important factor in this decision. The Motor Club have discussed every possibility including postponing the event until a later date but unfortunately this is not possible due to a tightly packed calendar and the requirement to follow the closed road application timescale set out in the Road Traffic Act.
We appreciate that this will be a huge disappointment to everyone involved, the competitors, spectators, local residents, marshals, championships and sponsors but we feel that this is the right thing to do given the current national and global situation. By making this decision at this point in the process means that we are also protecting ourselves financially and can therefore continue to hold events in future years.
However, we are pleased to confirm that the event will make a return in 2021 on the weekend of Sunday 5th September. A provisional route has already been submitted to Motorsport UK and we are working with the local authorities to create an incredible event for everyone in 2021.
We are also pleased to announce that to supplement this year’s event we will be hosting an Esports competition on Dirt Rally 2.0 which will be open for anyone to enter. More information on this will be announced in the next few days.
We would also like to thank all NHS staff and frontline personnel for their incredible hard work in leading the fight against this virus.
We urge everyone to keep following government advice and please stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.’