Jersey Rally could be UK’s leading light

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Organisers of the annual event are pushing on with plans to stage this year’s edition on 9-10 October and will open the entry process on Friday 24 July. An influx of drivers is expected for what could be the only rally event of the season anywhere in Britain, following decisions by officials in Covid-free regions not to stage rallies this year. The Isle of Man and Isle of Mull have both called off their scheduled events in September and October, respectively.

‘Motorsport UK have said that we could be swamped with entries from people sitting in the UK with rally cars, not being able to turn a wheel,’ said JMC & LCC rally chairman Mick Cotillard. ‘Every rally in the UK seems to be cancelled and I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. I can’t think of any that are going ahead.

‘The Isle of Man has cancelled theirs. They’re not opening up [their borders] which means they can’t get safety delegates in from the UK and without them you don’t get a permit. Around £60million of insurance comes with that and you can’t run an event without insurance. The Isle of Mull rally, which was due to be on the same weekend as ours, has also been pulled and I don’t think they’ve had a single [Covid] case there.’

Discussing how current Government of Jersey estimates and guidelines could make the Jersey Rally possible, Cotillard said: ‘If we had a two-week quarantine on arrival nobody would come but they’re talking about 12 hours for tests by August. If we are going to get a 12-hour turnaround [for test results] people will come to participate in the Jersey Rally and it could be huge. All the motorsport press in the UK who have nothing to write about … it will be absolutely massive for Jersey if we manage to pull it off.’

However, Cotillard added that there will be no hesitation in cancelling the event if the current wave of Covid cases continues to rise, saying that a decision will be made by Friday 21 August.

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