Circuit of Ireland Rally is cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Craig Breen at the Ulster Rally
The Circuit of Ireland Rally was to open the new British Championship season

This year's Circuit of Ireland Rally has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event was set to host the opening round of the British Championship over the Easter weekend of 2 and 3 April.

This year's rally was to be the 90th anniversary of the event.

"On one level this was a very difficult decision to make as we had just secured the first round of the Motorsport UK British Rally Championship," said event director Graeme Stewart.

"On another level it was a 'no brainer', safety must always come first and we couldn't justify putting additional pressure on all the hard-working, overstretched NHS staff and other Public Health services to run the event."

Clerk of the course, Nigel Hughes, said. "We can't expect local residents to allow the roads to be closed during this dreadful pandemic which is claiming lives daily.

"2021 was to be the 90th anniversary of the 'Circuit'. With the vaccination programme now in full swing, hopefully 2022 will facilitate the anniversary celebrations and the smooth and safe running of the rally on 15 and 16 April."

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