The RSAC Scottish Rally will make a welcome return to the British rallying calendar on Saturday (24 July) as the popular motorsport event marks its 75th anniversary.As one of the longest running motorsport events in the country, the Dumfries and Galloway based gravel rally will take place for the first time since 2019, having been forced to cancel due to COVID-19 restrictions last year. Its return will see a bumper list of entries from some of the most highly-regarded rally championships in the UK, head for the event to enjoy its biggest entry since 1977.
Backed by Dumfries & Galloway Council and part of the Council’s seven ‘signature events’, which cover everything from Burns Suppers to arts festivals and World Championship Ice Hockey, the rally has attracted around 140 crews who will tackle 44 miles of classic forest stages in the region.
The event is proud to be a round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship, MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series and Mixed Surface Challenge and event organisers RSAC Motorsport have been working tirelessly to ensure the event can safely go ahead, carrying out a wealth of additional measures to overcome the challenges presented by the current pandemic.
And whilst the competitors are able to compete in some of the finest special tests in the country, sadly rally fans will have to enjoy the action from home as due to current restrictions imposed by the authorities, spectators will not be able to attend the event.
Clerk of the Course, Jonathan Lord explains; “The organising team have been working very hard behind the scenes alongside the local authorities, regulatory bodies and governments to ensure the event can go ahead.”
“We have the perfect backdrop for yet another sensational motorsport event which our competitors can enjoy but sadly we cannot permit spectators to attend this year. We are extremely lucky to be able to host the rally, but the current guidance from Sport Scotland, landowners, Motorsport UK and the Scottish Government means we simply could not go ahead with the rally if we allow fans to attend. Restrictions are more relaxed for gated events which of course forests are not as they can be accessed from a variety of locations.“
“We are of course as disappointed as they must be and we hope they can still enjoy the action online across our social media feeds. If they ensure they abide by this requirement, we are confident we can return to a more traditional Scottish Rally in 2022.”
The action from the stages will be broadcast live on social media thanks to the Scottish Rally Championship and whilst spectators are not permitted, the cars will traverse the road section through the town of Moffett, the planned host of the start and finish ceremonies, twice during the day (approx.11:15AM to 1:30PM and 4:30PM to 6:30PM).
With previous winners of the event including World Rally Championship legends such Colin McRae, Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist, the battle on the stages are set to be scintillating as six-time event winner David Bogie leads the field away in his John Cooper Works MINI WRC with co-driver John Rowan.
For the twenty-fourth time, the rally will be supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council. It’s understood to be the longest-running partnership between a rally and a local authority anywhere in Britain, with the Council supporting nearly one-third of all the Scottish Rallies run since the first in 1932.
Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion expresses the Authorities support for the event.
“The high number of entries for the Rally show the esteem in which it is held and the drivers and their crews desire to get back to the sport they love” he said.
“Dumfries and Galloway is the perfect stage for world class motorsports – our forests and wonderful environment really lend themselves to high quality Rallies. It is hugely disappointing that spectators cannot take in the action this year but the foundations have clearly been laid for a fantastic Scottish Rally for 2021 and 2022.”