The organisers of Rallye Dorset, Southern Car Club, have postponed the final round of the 2014 MSA British Rally Championship following the recent decision to cancel the series in 2015.
The event, formerly known as Rallye Sunseeker, is the biggest rally event in the South of England, and has been on the BRC calendar for the past three years – acting as the season opener in 2011 and 2012, before moving to its season ending slot last year.
In a statement issued on their official website, the organisers explained that the decision to axe the BRC for 2015 left the future of the event in doubt, leaving them unable to finalise a crucial title sponsorship deal following the recent withdrawal of long-term backers Sunseeker International.
It is the second event of the 2014 BRC season to be postponed, after the original season opener Rally North Wales didn’t run due to insufficient entries.
The series will now see competitors nominate their best five scores from six qualifying rounds. The Todds Leap Ulster Rally is next up in August, before the double-header Rally Isle of Man now brings the season to a close on September 11-13.
The statement from Southern Car Club reads:
“Following the recent Motor Sports Association (MSA) statement on the future of the British Rally Championship (BRC), in particular the decision to cancel the 2015 series, Southern Car Club (SCC), organiser of Rallye Dorset, has reluctantly decide to postpone this year’s event, planned for 17/18 October.
Under its former title, Rallye Sunseeker, the Club’s blue riband event has been a round of the BRC for the past three years. After the end of a fruitful 15-year partnership with Sunseeker International and the re-brand to Rallye Dorset, negotiations over a new three-year title sponsorship deal were drawing to a successful conclusion when the MSA statement was released.
Unable to confirm the event’s future status, with no BRC in 2015 and no clear idea of what may lay beyond, the Club’s committee has withdrawn from the sponsorship negotiations. This leaves the club with a large potential financial deficit, so postponement is the only option.
We have discussed this in depth with our stakeholders – host town, support sponsors, advertisers and similar bodies – who are as sad as we are that, after 27 years as one of the leading motorsport events in the South of England, we have been forced into this position.
To the BRC, the British Historic Championship, the Armed Forces Rally Team Championship, the Defender Challenge By Bowler and the Association of South Western Motor Clubs, the Association of Eastern Motor Clubs – organisers, competitors and spectators of all those series – Southern Car Club extends a heartfelt apology, this situation is not of our making. To all those who have sent messages of support … Thank You!”