Motorsport UK and Natural Resources Wales have come to an agreement which will allow rallying to continue in Wales until at least 2023.
For decades, the Welsh forests have played host to various motorsport championships from grassroots events to the iconic Wales Rally GB.
Motorsport UK CEO Hugh Chambers said: “Rallying is an important discipline for Motorsport UK, and Wales offers the perfect environment for our events, held on some of the most revered stages in the world of rallying.
“Not only is it important for competitors, but these events are vital contributors to the infrastructure around them, including local hospitality sectors, as well as subsidiary businesses related to the sport who rely heavily on forestry rallying.
“We will be working with NRW to optimise the number of events, working effectively with our local communities to ensure affordability to our competitors through a sustainable strategy. Through this, we can preserve the sport and forests for generations to come.”
The ongoing pandemic has posed lots of economic challenges for the UK’s motorsport industry including the cancellation of the British Rally Championship this year. This agreement is good news for national rallying championships in the UK which will look to get back on track in 2021.
Dominic Driver, Natural Resources Wales’ Head of Land Stewardship added: “The forests NRW manages in Wales are the heartlands of rallying in the UK and present a unique challenge to drivers.
“Rallying makes an important contribution to our rural economy and many community benefits derive from these events. The impact of COVID-19 has seen more and more people retuning to visit our nation’s forests and has placed a greater focus on the need to respect our natural environment.
“In reaching this agreement, NRW is considering fully the impact of everything we do on the places people love. This includes the commitment to working with Motorsport UK on the journey towards becoming a greener, more sustainable sport in the future.
“This ambition will remain at the heart of our discussions as we work with the rally event organisers on the programme of events for 2021 and beyond.”