Snowman Rally cancelled due to “unsafe conditions”

Garry Pearson / Paula Swinscoe Ford Fiesta R5

Opening round of Scottish Rally Championship has been called off (Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography)

The opening round of the 2019 Scottish Rally Championship has been cancelled tomorrow due to “unsafe conditions.”

The Snowman Rally in Inverness is traditionally the first Scottish rally of the season, with 76 crews entered to contest the 42-mile gravel event this year.

However rally organisers took the decision to cancel the event due to the recent snowfall in the Highlands.

Clerk of the Course Graham Provest said: “Further to an extensive review of the stages all week, we have had to take the decision to cancel the Snowman Rally.

“We have tried everything in our power to keep the event running but to no avail.

“The decision is due to extremely unsafe conditions – all the stages have a thick covering of ice over them and it would be irresponsible to take such a risk with with people’s safety.

“We are aware many will be disappointed with this decision and we can only apologise for you having to cancel your plans for a weekend’s sport.”

Gordon Adam, the Chairman of the Scottish Rally Championship, added: “The Scottish Rally Championship is fully behind the organisers of the Coogie Urquhart Snowman Rally and their decision to cancel the event.

“Of course we were all looking forward to what is always an exciting start to the year, but safety is paramount for our competitors, marshals, safety crews and spectators and we have a duty to ensure the risk to them is managed properly.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the organising team who have made a crucial decision in time to ensure minimal disruption to competitors and officials.”

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Garry Pearson backs the decision to cancel the event (Credit: Lindsay Photo Sport)

Garry Pearson, one of the frontrunners in the Scottish Championship, admits he’s “gutted” not to be competing tomorrow but respects the event’s decision.

“Of course I was gutted when I heard that we won’t be heading to Inverness this weekend but I respect the event’s decision wholeheartedly,” he said.

“Safety is everyone’s priority and we have to make sure the spectators and organisers are just as looked after as we are in the car.

“The Snowman is always a challenge that’s for sure and if it was just snow then we may have been able to go but ice is another matter and so very unpredictable.”

EN4 News says..

What are the implications of this decision for those involved? Well, there don’t appear to be any winners, but the decision has been made to ensure there are no major losers.

Check out the video below for more detail.

 

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