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Martin Holmes 1940 - 2020

Remarkably, the evergreen Martin Holmes, who died in June at the age of 80 following a long battle with cancer, had been an integral part of the sport in many front-line roles since the 1950s. First and foremost, as a navigator and co-driver, but also as a meticulously accurate Journalist, and Photographer, racking-up his amazing attendance at 500 World Rally Championship events during his successful career.

Starting in the sport as a university student, Holmes became a leading light at the Sutton and Cheam motor club as its newsletter editor and also began sending rally reports to Motoring News and Autosport during the Sixties. As a co-driver, he reached the WRC alongside Andy Dawson, Pentti Airikkala, Ove Andersson and Jean Ragnotti, as part of several front-running works teams.

Holmes published the first of his many books in 1975 and his prodigious literary output was one of his greatest legacies with the Holmes-anchored annual World Rallying yearbooks covering every international and domestic series worldwide in minute depth and detail. This element relied upon his unique network of journalists, event organisers and team members to ensure accuracy.
Martin was a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, winning several prestigious awards for his work and also a longtime member and supporter of the International Rally Drivers Club.

As the numbers at his funeral were severely restricted due to the Coronavirus pandemic, friends were invited to get into their vehicles at 1.00 pm on the 1st of July (the time of his funeral) and rev the engine in his memory. There will be a memorial service when the current crisis controls are relaxed. We send our sincerest condolences to his family and many friends throughout the sport.

27th July, 2020

Wales Rally GB 2020 - and BRC Cancelled

Rally fans, particularly British, have recently had two devastating announcements to cope with!
Following the first which was the cancellation of Wales Rally GB - due to host two rounds of the 2020 British Rally Championship and pull the series back from the brink - Motorsport UK decided on Tuesday 9 June to announce that it will not continue the 2020 BRC season due to the uncertainty created by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Britain's premier rallying series got underway in February with the best drivers in the country representing M-Sport Ford, Hyundai and Proton on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally.

To date, the Cambrian Rally is the only round to take place this season as the Clonakility Park Hotel West Cork Rally, Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton and Today's Ulster Rally have all postponed their events until 2021 due to the virus. We now await the plans for the series going forward into 2021 season.

22nd June, 2020

2020 British Rally Championship Cancelled

Following the cancellation of Wales Rally GB - which this year was due to host two rounds of the British Rally Championship, Motorsport UK made the difficult decision on Tuesday 9 June to announce that it will not continue the 2020 BRC season due to the uncertainty created by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Britain's premier rallying series got underway in February with the best drivers in the country representing M-Sport Ford, Hyundai and Proton on the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally.

To date, the Cambrian Rally is the only round to take place this season as the Clonakility Park Hotel West Cork Rally, Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton and Todays Ulster Rally have all postponed their events until 2021 due to the virus.

12th June, 2020

2020 British Rally Championship Review

So far, just one round of the 2020 British Rally Championship has taken place with reigning champion Matt Edwards claiming the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally victory by 38.4 seconds from Osian Pryce/Noel O'Sullivan in second and Rhys Yates/James Morgan in third. This was the best possible start for double champion Edwards and set him up nicely for a hat-trick season in his latest M-Sport Mk2 Ford Fiesta R5 sponsored by Swift Caravans and new for this season, Yuasa batteries.

Next round of the championship was supposed to be the Clonikilty Park West Cork Rally 14-15th March but this fell exactly the time at which the Coronavirus crisis clicked-up to Severe, and as a result, the event was cancelled at the eleventh hour even though many competitors and fans had already assembled in and around the rally's base in Clonikilty.

Following the formal declaration of Lockdown together with Motorsport UK's withdrawal of all event permits until 30th June, the Tendring & Clacton club's Corbeau Seats rally 25-26th April was also cancelled and at the time of writing, the decision has just been taken to postpone round 3, the Renties Ypres Rally 25-27th June, possibly to later in the year. In the meantime, organizers announced that the Today's Ulster Rally 21-22nd August is postponed until 2021 to protect the health of spectators, competitors, and officials. The final round of the series is the Armstrong Galway Hills Rally 19th September, but no decision has been made regarding the future the 2020 edition yet.

When this all shakes out it means that if the Ypres and Galway Hills rallies run later this year, the championship with have at best three rounds, but there is always the backstop of Wales Rally GB being included as the 2020 series finale. Some have already said that the depleted championship should now be cancelled, as it is devalued by anything less than a 6-round championship, but for many the burning question remains, when is a championship not a championship in order to make it worthwhile to win?

Throughout the years, rallying has overcome all manner of adversities including foot & mouth disease, fuel shortages, wars, and political conflicts but championships won in these circumstances have been valued against the difficulties prevailing. COVID-19 is just the latest of these challenges from which rallying will recover, so as long as there are at least 3 events, why not just run the championship?

2020 BRC Championship Standings after one round
1st - Matt Edwards / Darren Garrod - 25
2nd - Osian Pryce / Noel O'Sullivan - 18
3rd - Rhys Yates / James Morgan - 15
4th - Ollie Mellors / Ian Windress - 14
5th - James Williams / Dai Roberts - 10
6th - Tom Cave / Dale Furniss - 8
7th - Tom Williams / Jamie Edwards - 6
8th - William Creighton / Liam Regan - 4
9th - Finlay Retson / Rhys Stoneman - 2
10th - David Kelly / Darragh Kelly - 1

29th May, 2020

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