The organisers of the Jim Clark Memorial Rally would like to clarify their position regarding statements which were made in various sections of the press and media over the weekend of 19/20th November. They would also like to correct some misleading misinformation which was presented in these reports.
Neither the club or any of its members instigated these latest press headlines. At the present time, the source of this story remains unknown. Nor have the club or any member of the organising team sought to influence the Lord Advocate's deliberations.
The weekend's reports in some news outlets contained 'statements' made by club chairman Dan Wright. He did not actually speak to any reporters, these 'statements' were in fact extracted from written evidence submitted to the Justice Committee in early September and which are a matter of public record.
The club is at a loss as to understand why this matter was raised again now. The Enquiry has been underway for over two years now and the letters to the authorities were sent in a bid to establish when a decision is likely to be made.
Neither the club nor Scottish Borders Council can resume the rally without the Lord Advocate's report being finalised.
The club understands that delays were to be expected following the departure of the previous Lord Advocate who retired from his post before finalising his report, and the newly appointed Lord Advocate who was left to complete it.
Also, some news and sports reporters continue to use the term 'spectators' when referring to the tragic events of 2014. Two of the fatalities were representing a media outlet and had the necessary press and media accreditation. On the day of the tragedy they had two companions travelling with them who were not media personnel. To call them 'spectators' is therefore quite misleading.
Since then, the sport's governing body, the Motor Sports Association, has issued new guidelines regarding the conduct of press and media personnel attending motor sports events.
However, the club members remain hopeful that the matter will be successfully concluded soon in order for them to plan for 2017.
Note: The Jim Clark Memorial Rally was an annual event which since 1997 had run a motor rally on sections of Closed Public Road within the boundary of Berwickshire. The event injected in excess of £3.5m into the local economy over the three days of its duration each year. Organised and run by MSA licensed officials and experienced volunteers, the event enjoys huge support amongst the local business, tourism and agricultural communities and the Borders people.
Issued on Wednesday 23rd November, on behalf of the organising team by:
Jim Clark Rally Press Officer, John Fife - Tel: 01698 833949