With a lockdown in Northumbria and other northern areas on the COVID-19 watch list along the route of the RAC Rally of the Tests 2020, HERO-ERA are respectfully and responsibly adhering to government and Motorsport guidelines by postponing the event until 2021.
Working in full consultation with Motorsport UK, the governing body of the sport in the UK, just as they have in organising three safe and successful events in the last six weeks, HERO-ERA acted quickly to postpone the event for the safety and well being of the local population, local motor clubs, competitors and officials.
The organisers and route designers led by Competition Director Guy Woodcock had already re-routed sections of the RAC Rally of the Tests to avoid the event motoring into any COVID hot spots. However, in the final competition cross functional analysis it was also felt that the rally would not be able to run to the consistent high standards associated with HERO-ERA events, especially the RAC RoTT with its reputation as the most competitive event of the year.
Instead, competitors who are still keen to finish the year with an adrenalin burst are urged to consider joining current Le Jog entrants, also invited to switch, to an exciting Le Jog derivative named ‘PER ARDUA AD INFINITUM’ Reliability Trial. The translation of the Latin words, already an established HERO-ERA motto is interpreted, ‘Through Endless Adversity!’
Although currently in the planning stage in order to avoid the Scottish lockdown, the prospective rally yet to be revealed, will use the first three English legs of Le Jog already finalised. With a finish to be decided along this side of Hadrian’s wall, the Scots rather than the Romans will be using the wall to good effect this time.
The event will run to the same successful Le Jog format, colour coded black like any of the toughest ski runs. HERO-ERA expect the endurance element to factor strongly whilst the competitive challenge for crews will remain at its highest level.
At the same time, safety plans to cover stringent COVID-19 regulations are being put into place, including variations on mobile hospitality to keep teams refreshed but safe along the route. Entrants can expect that HERO-ERA will enforce the tightest regulations in terms of temperature checks, track and trace, distancing and masking. As ever, the hospitality team are working closely with venues to ensure that their joint policies are adhered to.
Chairman Tomas de Vargas Machuca explained the decision: “Whilst we are clearly disappointed for all our participating members in having to postpone the RAC Rally of the Tests, I’m sure everyone understands the overriding issue is the health of the nation, particularly in those areas affected which were to be visited. We hope everyone will remain safe and in so doing contribute to beating the pandemic.
“Even though professional sport continues in its various forms around the UK we have acted responsibly and quickly in postponing the rally due to local lockdowns along parts of our route.
“We have demonstrated our safety first COVID practices over three HERO-ERA events since August and will do so again for the HERO Challenge Three and with our new exciting ‘PER ARDUA AD INFINITUM’ Reliability Trail which will take place on the same traditional date as Le Jog 5th & 6th December. This is an ideal opportunity for competitors to enjoy a final rally blast of the year in the great traditional Le Jog format. Please look out for the announcement on our news platforms as all will be revealed soon.”
Operations Director Brian Whyte explained the options for the current RAC RoTT and Le Jog entrants together with prospective competitors on the ‘PER ARDUA AD INFINITUM’ Reliability Trial.
“ All fully paid up crews of this years RoTT and LeJog will be automatically rolled over into next year’s event. We have already contacted everyone and have guaranteed them a place at this year’s entry fee.
Alternatively, crews can allocate their funds to any other event of their choice. They do not have to make the decision now; we will hold their funds on their account until they are ready.
If this does not work for anyone then there is the option of a full refund.
We will be opening entries on the two-day, three leg PER ARDUA AD INFINITUM Reliability Trial to our Membership shortly then, if there are spaces left, to the general public. It is also important to add that events are subject to change.”
Photos by Blue Passion