Planning continues ahead of 2020 Mull Rally

Paul MacKinnon drove a stellar event to win by almost two minutes at last year's rally. Photograph: LindsayPhotoSport.

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The organisers of the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally will continue with the planning for this year’s Tobermory-based event.

While the current COVID-19 pandemic has put everyday life on hold, Mull Rally clerk of the course Andy Jardine remains focused on installing the foundations for the October 8-11 rally.

‘Before we talk about rallying, I think it’s more important we put this into the context of the wider world and what’s going on right now,’ he said.

‘I’m sure everybody involved in the Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally would join me in sending our heartfelt thanks, appreciation and admiration to all key workers in our communities.

‘We extend our concern and sympathies to those affected by COVID-19.

‘Nobody knows conclusively when the current situation will change, which is why the team will continue in its usual preparations for the rally. Right now we’re fortunate in that we can prepare the event from our desks and that’s what we’re doing.

‘It is absolutely vital – and we cannot stress this enough – nobody: no prospective competitors, media, marshals, nobody travels to Mull until we have clear and precise government guidance to say we are permitted to do so.’

Deputy clerk of the course Duncan Brown has been working tirelessly through all the processes for the new closed road legislation and the Mull group recently received the Organising Permit from Motorsport UK in addition to making their application for a Motor Race Order from Argyll and Bute Council.

Jardine continued: ‘We maintain a watching brief on the movement from Westminster, the Scottish Government, Argyll and Bute Council and Motorsport UK. As well as that, through the Guardians, we’re in regular contact with both the communities and the businesses on the Isle of Mull – those people remain very much at the heart of decisions taken moving forward.

‘We understand the economic benefit the Mull Rally brings to the island, but we also understand the current financial situation those vital to the event – including the amazing volunteer marshals and officials, the sponsors and, of course, the competitors themselves – find themselves in or moving towards as the pandemic continues. We will, of course, remain entirely mindful of this as the weeks and months unfold.

‘Our intention is to bring the best rally in the world to the world’s best island in October. But our priority is to do the right thing for the people of Mull.’

Jardine and his team continue to work to the pre-planned event timetable, with regulations for October’s Beatson’s Building Supplies Mull Rally coming in July.

Jardine concluded: ‘We’ve had support from all over the world, urging us to continue with the event and the planning for the event. That’s what we’re doing. We’re going about the usual processes, but working respectfully with all relevant government agencies and councils.

‘We’ll get our heads together – virtually speaking, of course – and put the rally together. In the meantime, let’s all do our bit to bring this thing to the speediest possible conclusion by staying home, staying healthy and watching Peter Taylor’s run through Gribun on YouTube. Again.’