South East England’s Premier Rally
We are sorry to have to announce the cancellation of the Barretts Rally of Kent. Insufficient entries had been received by the closing date to give the organisers any confidence that the event would be able to cover the enormous fixed costs associated with running even a low budget multi-venue forest rally like ours.
To those who did enter the event in time, thank you for your support. A list of those entries are here…
For those who cleverly held back their entries to see whether the event would run – you only have yourselves to blame!
As you may know the charge for using the Forestry Commission roads is based on a flat rate so that all events irrespective of the size of the entry pay much the same. To give you an idea of these costs, it takes over 45 entries simply to pay for the use of the forests.
We have, through our Regional Association, been lobbying the MSA to try to persuade them of a need for a change in the charging regime so that the amount an event has to pay more fairly reflects the size of the entry and therefore the amount the roads are used. Many of you may be surprised that this does not happen already.
Sadly, after an initial very positive reaction from the MSA’s Executive, certain of its hierarchy, notably Ian Davis of the Rallies and Trials Executive and John Richardson, Chairman of the Rallies Committee, have been steadfast in their refusal to contemplate any change that would introduce an element of fairness into the forest charging regime.
Had there been the slightest positive response from the MSA, we would have run the event, even at a significant loss, in order to be in a position to take advantage of a new regime in the future. With no prospect of that our decision was made for us.
Unless there is a radical change of mind at the MSA there will be no more Rallies of Kent, as the way finances are at present there is no prospect of a forest event which is not in a major championship being financially viable.
This is particularly sad as the demise of the Rally of Kent marks the near total extinction of rallying, whether road or stage, in the South East. To those of you who were looking forward to doing the Rally of Kent for the first time – sorry, but fate has decreed otherwise.
All the organisers would like to take this opportunity to thank all competitors for their support of the event (many of you over several years). In accordance with our policy of fairness to the competitor we shall be making no administration charge and no cheques will be banked. They will be destroyed on Friday 9th March unless you advise the Entries Secretary, Jakki Fisher, otherwise.
Our particular thanks go to our title sponsors for the last ten years, Barretts of Canterbury, and especially to their Managing Director, Paul Barrett, who has given wonderful support both financially and through his great enthusiasm for the sport and the event. It is true to say that without him the event would have died several years ago as the costs of running it mounted inexorably.
Also sincere thanks to our support sponsors, Kent Cams, AWS and Quaife for their help.
Finally we would like to pay tribute to all those who have worked on the event over the years – the officials who devoted large amounts of their time free of charge; the safety, medical and radio crews who gave their expertise in ensuring that the event ran safely, and the many marshals who stood out in the forests unpaid and uncomplaining (well, mostly!) through all extremes of conditions from thick mud to choking dust.