Organisers of this year’s NCS Border Counties Rally regret to announce that due to the extreme conditions currently prevailing in the South of Scotland and Tweed Valley forests, they are unable to guarantee the safety of competitors, marshals, volunteers and officials, leaving no option but to postpone the event which was scheduled for the 10th March in Jedburgh.
The executive committee of the Hawick and Border Car Club and Whickham and District Motor Club organised event held an emergency meeting today (Friday 2nd March) to discuss the situation in the stages which have been subject to the unprecedented snowfall and ice which has covered the region in the past few days.
The current conditions have led to all local forestry operations being suspended and any snow plough access to the forests used would not be possible until the early part of next week.
With the set-up process usually commencing the weekend before the event, consisting of thousands of stakes, notices and tape being erected well in advance, organisers would also be unable to ensure the event meets the required safety standards.
Coupled with a significant number of local roads still closed, continuing drifting snow with a strong East wind and further snow forecast for Sunday (4th March), organisers could simply not guarantee the safety and welfare of set-up crews, let alone event participants and marshals, leaving no other option but to postpone the event.
Clerk of the Course Clayton Lackenby has not taken the decision lightly.
"The entire team have been working flat out to come up with a plan and numerous solutions to overcome the conditions in the area and quite simply this course of action to postpone is down to the safety of everyone involved in the event as this can never be compromised"
"We are of course disappointed to have to make this decision but we felt it only fair to give everyone as much notice as possible due to the significant distances competitors and volunteers have to travel.
We would like to thank our sponsors NCS, local and regional councils and of course the championships for their ongoing support at this time".
The Hawick and Border Car Club and Whickham and District Motor Club organised event was due to be the opening round of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship. All entrants will be contacted shortly regarding refunds of fees already paid.
Organisers will be in talks with the championships, sponsors and stakeholders to seek an alternative date for the event to run in 2018.
The Prestone MSA British Rally Championship supports the decision of the NCS Border Counties Rally team with the safety of the competitors, marshals, officials, spectators and everyone associated with the event of paramount importance.
Regulations will be available for the Pirelli International Rally taking place on the 28 April 2018 tomorrow.
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