Organisers of the 2018 Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally have confirmed the event will definitely go ahead on 23rd June despite not reaching the minimum number required to make the event financially viable.
Supported by Dunoon Presents, local businesses and residents, Mull Car Club has reinforced the message that the rally will run, in the hope of encouraging further entries to the region.
The event is the fourth round of the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship and is also a qualifying round of the Ecosse Challenge, the SD34 MSG Stage Rally Championship, the ANWCC Stage Rally Championship, the SG Petch ANECCC Stage Rally Championship and the SD34 MSG Inter Club League.
The Dunoon based rally returned for the first time in 13 years in 2017 and continues to utilise forest stages which echo back to its extensive heritage. Eight tests will form the 45-mile route, taking in classic forest stages such as Glenbranter and Beinn Lagan, similar to those used back in the 1970’s when it was part of the British Championship. They will be complemented by some brand new stages as part of the route.
This year, competitors in two-wheel drive cars will be able to take advantage of some of the best road conditions, thanks to being able to run at the front of the field. The event will make history as the first in the UK to run all two-wheel drive cars at the head of the pack in a single field format since it was outlawed several years ago.
Despite adopting new stages, a cost-effective format and high-quality roads for 2018, the event has seen entries slow in the past few weeks and Clerk of the Course Chris Woodcock is eager to ensure competitors can be confident the event will be going ahead.
“We have listened to all the feedback from last years competitors and have done all we can to address those comments this year,” he says.
“Everything is lined up for a fantastic rally and the stages look amazing. We are disappointed with the level of entries, but we are totally committed to run the rally and ensure the competitors in the Scottish Rally Championship and other series can enjoy what we have to offer here in Argyll. I`d also like to extend our thanks to Dunoon Presents and the community for its continued support and we look forward to seeing everyone on 23rd June”.
ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship Chairman Gordon Adam is encouraged by the decision.
“It’s a real shame that more crews haven’t entered the Argyll Rally so far as they have a great event lined up, but we (the Championship) are delighted that Chris and the team are pressing ahead regardless and they have our full support,” he says.
“It’s a very difficult time for event organisers across the UK and entry levels are not just a focus of concern in Scotland. Mull Car Club have looked at that and worked hard to bring the two wheel drive’s to the front in a bid to encourage entries but it’s still been a very slow take-up.
We would encourage anyone who was thinking of entering to support the event and get in touch with the organisers. The championship is shaping up to be a fantastic battle with just a handful of points separating the top five so we are excited to see what happens in Dunoon.”
Online entry is now available alongside event regulations on the website: www.argyllrally.co.uk
Image: Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography