Press Release 5

Organisers of the new Tweed Valley Stages Rally with Clelands have issued an urgent war cry for competitors to book by Friday midnight to ensure the rally goes ahead.

The Selkirk-based event, due to take place on July 23rd, has been backed by leading names such as John Cleland and former British rally champion, Alister McRae.

Organisers have been lauded for reviving some of the best loved stages in British motor sport such as Elibank and Yair, unused since the late nineties.

However, unless a further 20 entrants are booked in by Friday (15th) midnight, the event partners may be forced to pull the plug.

The news comes as a third stage sponsor is about to come on board and organisers are willing to leave it late due to their belief in the event’s future success.

Clerk of the Course, Ian James, said: "The organising clubs are prepared to suffer a loss because we know this event could grow to become something major for the area, Scotland and the UK, as we go forward.

"All the ingredients are there. We have some great forest rallying on offer and the stages, whilst being well remembered in rally history, are also in fantastic condition.

"Nevertheless, if there are no more entries then we cannot run because the loss would be too large. Lots of drivers have expressed an interest and asked for details but many are in the habit of waiting until the last week to enter. If they entered now, there would be no problem. All we need is another 20 entrants by Friday midnight and we can run.

"If there are people who have not booked yet, or if their car is not quite ready, get the entries in now and the inaugural event will take place as planned."

Organising co-partners North Humberside Motor Club Ltd and Glenrothes Motor Sport Club Ltd have made it clear all existing entrants will receive a full refund if the rally doesn't go ahead.

Ian James added: "There is an extra attraction for two wheel drive cars in this rally. These will be running at the front of the field so historics and similar, such as BDA Escorts or Manta 400s, are likely to win the two wheel drive category."

The Tweed Valley Stages Rally with Clelands counts as a round of the Fuchs Titan Race ANCC Stage Rally Championship and the Scottish Borders Rally Championship.

It is also a round of the Competition Car Insurance EMAMC Multi-Venue Championship and competitors will battle it out for a Nation's Cup.

Alister McRae recently recalled competing on some of the stages in his early career, saying: "Elibank and Yair are some of the best stages in Scotland."

With the Abbey Hotel Forestry Stages, County Donegal - due to run on the same day - cancelled due to forest fire damage in the area, organisers hope Irish crews may be temped to head to Scotland instead.

Issued: 13 July 2011