The Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship will visit the Isle of Man this year for a Manx Auto Sport organised event – but it will be for the PokerStars Rally on 1-2 October 2021 instead of the Manx National Rally (14-15 May) which has been cancelled owing to the on-going Covid-19 situation.
With the Manx National Rally attracting around 1,000 visitors to the island, the primary consideration has to be safeguarding island residents, landowners, spectators, volunteers and competitors. Given the current lockdown legislation, and assessing what the implications of running a large-scale event in less than four months time might be, Manx Auto Sport had reached a critical stage in its planning and had no option but the cancel the 2021 event.
The Manx National Rally will next run on 13-14 May 2022.
“Manx Auto Sport regrets to announce that the 2021 Manx National Rally will not go ahead,” confirmed Mark Quayle, Clerk of the Course.
“Much like last year, this has not been an easy decision for the organising team who have been working hard behind the scenes to deliver another memorable rally on the island.
“But with so many uncertainties with restrictions and the large number of officials, competitors, support teams and volunteers that we draw in from the UK and even further afield, it would be impossible to predict the situation in May.
“We have left our decision as late as possible, but we have reached a critical stage in our planning and it is not possible to guarantee that an event of such a large scale could go ahead.
“We are of course disappointed that we cannot welcome the huge contingent that comes over from the UK to the rally, but we want to make sure the local crews have something to look forward to. You can be assured that the team will be back stronger than ever. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Manx National Rally in the future.
“I’d also like to stress that the PokerStars Rally, scheduled to run on 1-2 October, will go ahead as normal should the current restrictions be lifted, and I’d like to thank our members, supporters and championships for their backing in this tough period for us all.”
“Whilst we are obviously very disappointed in the cancellation, we do understand the reasons for this and the difficulty in proceeding with such a commitment with the levels of uncertainty still in place,” added Laurence Skelly MHK, the Isle of Man Minister for Enterprise.
“We have every confidence that the organisers will be able to bring back the event with a strong return, and as a department we look forward to welcoming visitors once again to our wonderful island when the time is right.”