Organisers are delighted to announce that planning for a new-look Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally is at an advanced stage for the 25/26 June motorsport weekend.
In a dramatic shift in format, the previously all-gravel round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship switches to a closed-road sealed surface event for the first time in 2021 and despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event is hoping to go ahead as planned this summer.
Promoted and organised by Mull Car Club, the driving force behind the iconic Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally, the event will be held across closed public roads in the Argyll and Bute peninsula, surrounding the now traditional Dunoon rally base.
Along with backing from Dunoon Presents and local businesses, the radical plans have also received support from local and regional Councils, Police forces and authorities with organisers feeling confident that the brand-new motorsport event will go ahead.
“Mull Car Club is delighted to be able to offer an exciting new closed-road stage rally in Argyll and Bute and we have been working hard behind the scenes over the last few months to progress with planning of the rally whilst abiding by the local government restrictions,” said Clerk of the Course Chris Woodcock.
“We are working on the premise that certain restrictions will ease so that we can carry out the remainder of the work required. We have the approval of all stakeholders, local governments, and the governing body Motorsport UK to go ahead. However, at present time, the Scottish Government are not allowing two people in a car from mixed households which is holding us back to fully confirm the event will run one hundred percent However, we understand that this will change by the date of the rally so are confident it will happen”.
The Argyll Rally made a return to the British rallying calendar in 2017 after a thirteen-year sabbatical. First known as the Burmah Rally, the event originated from the early 1970s where the British Rally Championship assembled in the region and saw classic battles in the local forests with names such as Roger Clark and Jimmy McRae at the front of the field.
Latterly, it was run by Lanarkshire Car Club but after not being included in the Scottish Rally Championship in 2004, the event failed to run. With the rejuvenation of the SRC, the Argyll rally was reborn in 2017 by Mull Car Club and saw exciting battles for supremacy in the nearby forests.
However, with falling entry numbers and limited forests available, an alternative solution was sought.
“It was becoming harder and harder to put together an event that was worthy of a Scottish Championship round in the forests” continued Woodcock.
“We had been thinking about the alternatives for some time and we are simply responding to the need for change that we believe has been highlighted recently by competitors and the Scottish Championship”.
Closed road motorsport has been made possible by the passing of parliamentary law in 2017 which enables the use of public highways for timed events. Sanctioned and governed by Motorsport UK, the rally will take place over two days.
“We have devised a fantastic route which will certainly challenge even the best drivers in the country across classic Argyll roads,” says Woodcock.
“There will be 62 miles of competitive driving for crews. Friday evening will host two stages in Dunoon town centre with three more out in the countryside. Saturday sees four tests, run twice and we know that the proposals have been very well received across the UK and believe that we could very well see a full entry.
“This will be fantastic for the community, local area and tourism in Dunoon as they have certainly been hit hard by the pandemic. It will be a great boost for them to kick-start their season with this exciting new event”.
Regulations for the event will be released on the 1st May with entries opening on the 8th May.