2020 Wales Rally GB cancelled

09th June 2020
Seán Ward

Nope, this isn’t a postponement: the 2020 Wales Rally GB has been cancelled. Even though the UK coronavirus lockdown has eased slightly in recent weeks, “continuing concerns” have led the organisers to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s WRC favourite.


The 76th staging of the event, 100,000 fans and, of course, WRC teams and drivers, and the teams and drivers of the WRC-supporting categories, were due to flood the forest of North Wales from 29th October to the 1st November 2020. According to the organisers, however: “with continuing concerns over the evolution of COVID-19 and the safety restrictions it has imposed on large-scale gatherings and international travel, there are too many unknown factors to make the organisation of such a sizeable sporting fixture a realistic, or sensible, option in these uncertain times.”

Chairman of Motorsport UK David Richards CBE said: “As the governing body of UK motorsport, our overriding responsibility and absolute priority is always the safety of all involved whether they be competitors, officials, spectators or the many thousands of volunteers who share our passion for this sport, and we thank them all for their ongoing support and enthusiasm in these difficult times. While significant progress is being made to combat the virus, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding mass gatherings, social distancing and travel restrictions, plus the possibility of a resurgence of viral transmission later in the year.

“We have been closely monitoring the guidance issued by Government and it is becoming increasingly clear that it is impossible to make plans with any certainty for such major events in the autumn. We therefore have to accept, with an incredibly heavy heart, that cancelling this year’s event is the only responsible and prudent option. We will instead start focusing our attentions on creating an even bigger and better world-class showcase for 2021.”


It's more than just Wales Rally GB, however, as the remainder of the 2020 British Rally Championship has been cancelled, too. Wales Rally GB was due to host the final two rounds of the British Rally Championship, but its cancellation has led BRC organisers to look at the championship as a whole and make the decision to end the season early. Just the opening round, the gravel Cambrian Rally in Llandudno, Wales, went ahead in February.

BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell said: “The team behind the British Rally Championship have worked tirelessly with organisers to conclude the 2020 BRC season. Unfortunately, now Wales Rally GB is not going ahead, it is not possible to continue with sufficient events to have a full and meaningful championship.

“The situation that the UK has found itself in since mid-March with the COVID-19 pandemic has been a constantly moving and fluid situation regarding the movement of people, hosting events and social distancing. It has all happened over quite a short period and it was hoped that restrictions could be lifted in the coming months to give us confidence and to have sufficient rounds to have a proper competition. With the loss of our reserve event – which accounts for two rounds, we have taken the decision to not continue the championship.”


Exactly how the rest of the 2020 WRC season will pan out remains unknown at this point. Rally New Zealand, due to be held on 3rd-6th September was cancelled last week, as was Rally Finland, due to take place from 6th-9th August. As it stands, Toyota’s Sébastien Ogier leads fellow Toyota driver Elfyn Evans and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville in the drivers’ standings, with 62, 54 and 42 points respectively.

Images courtesy of Motorsport Images.

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