Top club event, the Nicky Grist Stages, will return to the classic mid-Wales forestry stages on Saturday 10 July 2021, following the cancellation of this year’s event.
Quinton Motor Club had originally planned to run the event – which is a five time winner of the BTRDA ‘Rally of the Year’ award – on Saturday 11 July, but owing to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the event was postponed until Saturday 28 November.
However, with continued uncertainty and restrictions still in place at a time when event planning for November needed to move into its next phase, it was felt that the current available information and guidelines did not make organising and running the Nicky Grist Stages in 2020 a realistic option.
With the continued support from Powys County Council and Builth Wells Town Council, the event will instead return to the centre of Builth Wells next summer – with rally headquarters at the magnificent Strand Hall, the start and finish in Groe Park, the service area on the Builth Wells rugby club pitch and North Road Garage providing a superb scrutineering venue.
All this merely heightens the anticipation of a challenging new route next year, with stages run over the famous smooth gravel roads of Natural Resources Wales and Landmarc Military Of Defence land in and around the Epynt ranges.
This year’s event was to have hosted a round of the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, Pirelli Motorsport UK Welsh Forest Rally Championship, MRF Tyres BTRDA Mixed Surface Championship, ANWCC Forest Rally Championship, MRF Tyres Fiesta ST Trophy and the IPS Paint Rally Challenge – and the Nicky Grist Stages looks forward to welcoming all these competitors back in 2021.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said, “We are bitterly disappointed to have to cancel this year’s Nicky Grist Stages, but the reality is that there are still too many variables to allow us to move on to the next phase of our event planning.
“With many Covid-related restrictions still in place, and so much uncertainty about what the situation could be like in the winter, we feel that trying to run our event in these unprecedented times could do more harm than good. The event enjoys tremendous support from the rally community, Powys County Council, Builth Wells Town Council and many other companies and individuals – not least from Nicky Grist himself, who has been the event’s title sponsor, mentor and advisor for over ten years – and we look forward to working with everything to bring a top class Nicky Grist Stages back in 2021.”
Nicky Grist added, “As time goes by there are less and less opportunities for rallies in the UK this year, which is a shame for everyone involved in this great sport. But that just makes us more determined to get back out next year, when we’ll plan for another first class Nicky Grist Stages in July 2021.”