Connacht Motor Club have abandoned plans to try and reschedule the Sligo Stages Rally to a later date on the rally calendar, as the heatwave continues across the country.
The event was due to take place this weekend, but was cancelled due to fears over the effect of the event on the roads in the extreme heat.
A statement from Connacht Motor Club PRO Padraic Boylan read: “Unfortunately, the original concerns remain and this has led us to the decision to cancel the 2018 Sligo Stages Rally.
“Our decision was influenced by the exceptional weather conditions and associated risks, we have continued to monitor and review the position closely this week to see if our genuine concerns could be mitigated. We have received tremendous support from everyone since our original decision – this includes Motorsport Ireland, Local Authorities, Gardai, Sponsors, Competitors, Media personnel, Residents on the rally route, Sligo Retail Park, Union Road Business Park Collooney, Murray Ambulance Service, fellow Motor Clubs and especially everyone committed to helping with the running of the event.
“It is gratifying to know that the event is important in different ways to so many people, however, we have concluded that the risks remain such that our efforts could still be in vain by next weekend and rather than prolong a further period of uncertainty particularly during the peak tourism season, the sensible option is to abandon our efforts for the 2018 event.
“The event has been a feature of the Irish Motorsport calendar since 1980 and there has been only 2 other occasions when factors beyond our control meant that the event didn’t happen – these include 1990 (Insurance crisis) and 2001 (Foot & Mouth) and the last thing we expected to pose a problem for 2018 was an overdue period of good weather conditions!
“This has been a difficult decision for us, however we would rather look forward to 2019 with optimism, rather than look back on 2018 with regret should the circumstances have caused difficulty – we will now give the team a well-deserved break and regroup for the 2019 season in due course.
“Sincere thanks to everyone involved for your support, understanding and patience in this matter and apologies to all for any inconvenience arising from the uncertainty relating to the event.”