This year’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally which was scheduled to be run on Sunday, June 5, will not now take place.
The organisers of the annual event, which commemorated the life and achievements of Scotland’s first Formula 1 Motor Racing Champion, Jim Clark, made the very reluctant decision at a special meeting on Tuesday evening.
Club chairman Dan Wright said: “We had received insufficient entries by the closing deadline to make the event financially viable. This is an amateur club and we are all volunteers, we simply cannot afford to run the event at a loss. We do have limited funds in the bank but these are being held in reserve for next year’s event when the Jim Clark Rally will return to a closed road format.
“It was a very difficult decision to take, and yet it was relatively easy. We had no choice. To carry on and run this year’s event at a loss would jeopardise next year’s return to the event’s traditional format.”
Dan paid tribute to the team which had spent the last 12 months working on the event, especially in light of three major re-routes which had been forced upon them in recent days.
He said: “First we had to change the route to avoid a pair of nesting goshawks in Wauchope Forest, then another pair was found close by another stretch of road forcing another major re-route. And a final re-think was underway to accommodate another rally event in three weeks time in the same area.”
Faced with all of these difficulties and the lack of entries, the organisers had little choice.
First run as a closed public road event in 1997, the Jim Clark Rally can trace its roots back to 1970. That first event used a variety of farm, forest and military roads before becoming one of the UK’s premier forest stage rallies in the 1980s.
The event reverted to a forest rally format following the tragic events in 2014 and the subsequent investigation. An accident claimed the lives of two media personnel and a guest travelling with them.
A ruling from the Lord Advocate was expected earlier this year but he is still awaiting one final report. The organisers are confident once this has been completed that the event can revert to its more traditional format.
The club is grateful for the many messages of support received not just from rally fans but from the Borders folk themselves who have supported this event since it started.
All competitors who have entered this year’s event will receive a full refund as the club greatly appreciates their support.
The organisers of the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship have also expressed their disappointment at the cancellation of the rally.
They released the following statement: “The organisers of the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship are very disappointed to receive notification that the 2016 Jim Clark Reivers Forest Rally has been cancelled by the organising Jim Clark Memorial Motor Club.
“The Championship organisers have made every effort to support the club, and explored all avenues within our power to try and ensure the event could take place, including a loan of a five figure sum from the Scottish Rally Championship.”
Duns driver Garry Pearson, current leader of the Scottish Championship said: “As all are, we are disappointed to hear the news of the Jim Clark Reivers Rally being cancelled. However, we have every confidence that the organising committee did their utmost to make the event run and realised that to maintain survival in future years they had to cancel this years running of the event.
“Thanks must go to the Jim Clark Rally organising committee for the work they have put in over the past year and to all who have supported the event. We now look forward to the Scottish Rally, the next round of the ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship.”