The Jim Clark Reivers Rally will return to its roots in 2015 after organisers confirmed they will revive the original format from 1970 of racing on Forestry Commission roads rather than the usual closed Public Roads of recent years.
The Special Stage Rally will be held on Sunday the 31st of May 2015, and will be based in Kelso, where competitors will drive over the border to stages being held in the Kielder Forest.
Colin Smith, the Clerk of the Course, said the Forestry Commission option was the only way the event could return in 2015, and praised the Commission for all the assistance they have provided to get the event up and running.
“We wanted to maintain the continuity of an annual motor sports event in the Borders and following Scottish Borders Council’s decision to withdraw permission for a Closed Road event, this was our only option,” said Smith. “The Forestry Commission have been very helpful and we are looking at a route with around 45 miles of forest road tests.”
Plans for the 2016 Jim Clark Rally are well underway, with Russel Blood, the Clerk of the course for this event happy about how they are materialising.
“Over the past few months the team had been continuing with preparations for a two day Closed Road rally event this year, but that is not going to happen so we will now concentrate our efforts on the 2016 event,” said Blood. “Current plans are that this will comprise a two-day Jim Clark Rally (Friday/Saturday) followed by the one-day (Sunday) Jim Clark Reivers Rally.”
The MSA British Rally Championship is not happening during 2015, with the Motor Sports Association currently re-organising Britain’s top rally championship series ahead of its reintroduction in 2016, and the Jim Clark Rally playing a big part in its line-up.
Jim Clark Rally Chairman Dan Wright said there were many people offering encouragement to the rally for when it returns, with both the national Scottish Rally Championship and Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship supporting the Jim Clark Rally and Reivers organising teams.
“It’s not only the competitors, clubs, championships and rally fans who are offering encouragement,” said Wright, “but local businesses and local people have rallied round to support the continuation of this major sporting event.
We have also received tremendous support from both Mr John Lamont MSP (member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) and Michael Moore MP (member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk). Having such support allows us to plan ahead with growing confidence.”