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McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages Rally set to return to Scottish Rally Championship calendar after two-year Covid-19 absence


By Craig Christie

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TOP-LEVEL rally action is set for a return to Moray and Aberdeenshire next year with plans in place to hold the McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages Rally.

Sandy and Ian Arbuthnott in their Ford Focus at the last McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages Rally in 2019. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Sandy and Ian Arbuthnott in their Ford Focus at the last McDonald and Munro Speyside Stages Rally in 2019. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

Dates have been set by the management committee of the Scottish Rally Championship for all eight events with the Speyside Stages aiming to take place on Saturday April 23.

Subject to ratification from Motorsport UK, the championships will begin on March 5 with the Snowman Rally from Inverness.

Seven weeks later the second round is scheduled to start and finish in Elgin with the Speyside Stages, which last took place in 2019.

Organisers 63 Car Club in Elgin took the early decision to cancel the 2021 rally last January with Covid cases increasing in the area.

A club spokesperson said at the time: "The club have decided that cancellation, and not postponement is the most responsible course of action, and we will focus our efforts on the 2022 event, however far away that seems now.

"We look forward to meeting everyone again next year with a renewed sense of vigour, thinking about how much we have missed over the course of the Covid pandemic, and looking forward to the day we can enjoy the sport which unites us again."

The popular Cooper Park stages of the Speyside Stages Rally could return next year. .Picture: Eric Cormack.
The popular Cooper Park stages of the Speyside Stages Rally could return next year. .Picture: Eric Cormack.

The Snowman Rally was also cancelled last year although some subsequent rounds of the SRC did take place.

An SRC spokesperson said: "After two years of disruption and uncertainty, a full season of eight events is planned, starting in March with the return of the traditional season opener, the Snowman Rally in Inverness, the only event to run in 2020.

"The highly popular Speyside Stages based in Elgin will be the second round in April, back for the first time in three years as a result of the global pandemic.

"Two closed road rallies then follow, in the form of the return of Jim Clark Reivers in May and, after the successful inaugural event which kicked off the curtailed 2021 season, the Argyll Stages in June.

"The second half of the season returns to the woods with the Scottish, Grampian, Galloway Hills and Carlisle Stages running between July and October.

Full planned Scottish Rally Championship 2022 calendar:

March 5 - Snowman Rally (Inverness)

April 23 - McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages (Elgin)

May 29 - Beatson's Building Supplies Jim Clark Reivers Rally (Duns)

June 25 - Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally (Dunoon)

July 23 - RSAC Scottish Rally (Moffat)

August 13 - Grampian Forest Rally (Banchory)

September 10 - The Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (Castle Douglas)

October 22 - Carlisle Stages Rally (Kielder)



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