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Press Statement :

Issued by the Jim Clark Memorial Motor Club

( Wednesday 23rd November )
 
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.

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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.

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Issued on Wednesday 23rd November, on behalf of the organising team by:
Jim Clark Rally Press Officer, John Fife - Tel: 01698 833949
E: johnfife@blueyonder.co.uk

Ref: JCPR03a

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JCR Statement
NEWS  RELEASE

No Jim Clark Reivers Rally in 2016

The Jim Clark Reivers Rally which was scheduled to be run in Kelso and the Scottish Borders on the 5th of June will not now take place. The organisers of the annual event, which commemorated the life and achievements of Scotland's first Formula 1 Motor Racing Champion, Jim Clark, made the very reluctant decision at a special meeting convened this evening (24th May).

Entries for this event closed officially at 5pm yesterday (23rd May).

"We had received insufficient entries by the closing deadline to make the event financially viable," said Club Chairman Dan Wright, "this is an amateur club and we are all volunteers, we simply cannot afford to run the event at a loss. We do have limited funds in the bank but these are being held in reserve for next year's event when the Jim Clark Rally will return to a closed road format."

“It was a very difficult decision to take," said Dan, "and yet it was relatively easy. We had no choice. To carry on and run this year's event at a loss would jeopardise next year's return to the event's traditional format.”

Dan paid tribute to the team which had spent the last 12 months working on the event, especially in light of three major re-routes which had been forced upon them in recent days. "First we had to change the route to avoid a pair of nesting goshawks in Wauchope Forest," said Dan, "then another pair was found close by another stretch of road forcing another major re-route. And a final re-think was underway to accommodate another rally event in three weeks time in the same area."

Faced with all of these difficulties and the lack of entries, the organisers had little choice.

First run as a  closed public road event in 1997, the Jim Clark Rally can trace its roots back to 1970. That first event used a variety of farm, forest and military roads before becoming one of the UK’s premier forest stage rallies in the 1980s.  

The event reverted to a forest rally format following the tragic events in 2014 and the subsequent investigation. An accident claimed the lives of two media personnel and a guest travelling with them.

A ruling from the Lord Advocate was expected earlier this year but he is still awaiting one final report. The organisers are confident once this has been completed that the event can revert to its more traditional format.

The club is grateful for the many messages of support received not just from rally fans but from the Borders folk themselves who have supported this event since it started.

Note: All competitors who have entered this year's event will receive a full refund as the club greatly appreciates their support.
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Ref: JCRPR16-02
Issued by John Fife, Jim Clark Reivers Rally Press Officer
NEWS  RELEASE
Got to be in it ... to win it ... Jim Clark Reivers Rally, 5th June
With entries closing on Sunday the 22nd, would-be competitors in this year's Jim Clark Reivers Rally, supported by East Kilbride based Heliex Power, have only a few days to complete the formalities ahead of this fourth round of the 2016 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship.
This year's event marks the midway point of the 7 round national series and with three different winners on each of the three rounds so far, predicting the victors will be like picking a winner in a Blackpool beach donkey derby.
Already entered for this year's event are the three individual round winners so far with Duns driver Garry Pearson currently holding a 7 point championship lead following his previous round victory on  the Speyside Stages Rally.
Reigning Scottish Champion, and Border Counties Rally winner, Jock Armstrong from Castle Douglas is lying second in the championship title chase with Snowman Rally winner Donnie MacDonald a further six points behind, but the Culloden driver is keen to make up lost ground.
Competitors count only their best 6 scores from the 7 round series, so a good run from Donnie would pitch him right back into contention with Pearson and Armstrong.
There is just one wee snag. Winner of this event last year, Jock Armstrong is under a bit more pressure than the other two following a practice run last week. But this was no ordinary practice run, he was training for last weekend's Galloway Hillbillies Duathlon event in Kirroughtree Forest, when he crashed on his mountain bike preparing for the 10k run and 16k bicycle ride competition.
“It was one of the biggest and scariest accidents I’ve ever had," said Jock, "I haven’t broken anything, but my shoulder is very bruised and swollen and there are fears that I might have torn a muscle which could hinder the healing process.”
He added: "You know what? I think this mountain biking might be more dangerous than rallying!"
On that basis he will get a chance to 'relax' on the 5th of June when he heads to Kelso for the Reivers.
This year's event will again be based at Springwood Park in Kelso before heading south to the northern edge of Kielder Forest where the day's six Special Stages will be contested.
Hopefully this will be the last time that the rally organisers will have to use forest stages as plans are currently underway to return to the use of 'closed public roads' next year.
In fact, the organisers of this year's Jim Clark Rally are making a very tempting offer to this year's Reivers runners – competitors in this year's event will be guaranteed an entry next year! That's not an offer to be sniffed at considering the excitement and anticipation that will build up ahead of a return to the tar.

MAY NEWS
Entries are open for the next round of the ARR CRAIB Scottish Rally Championship, S.G PETCH ANECC Stage Rally Championship, Border Rally Championship and the Ecosse Challenge - the Jim Clark Reivers Forest Rally on the 5th June 2016.

Running on the traditional Reivers Sunday this event takes in the classic Wauchope and Hyndlee forests with some new combinations and a split stage to add to the excitement and keep the co-drivers on their toes! One central HQ and service park in Kelso means that mileage is kept to a minimum and runs through some of the most scenic areas of the Borders.

We are hoping to be back on Tarmac next year if all goes well but meantime please support this historic event and have a great days motorsport in the classic stages of The Border.

Many thanks
Graham Provest
COC - Jim Clark Reivers Forest Rally

Jim Clark Rally  Returns to Forests
The organisers of  the annual Jim Clark Rally have announced that they will again run a forest  based Special Stage Rally, provisionally on the weekend of 4-5th June  2016.
Hopes that this  annual event could revert to a closed public road format have been delayed due  to continuing investigations, with a ruling from the Lord Advocate’s office not  expected until sometime in 2016. That time frame leaves the organisers with no  choice but to delay plans for a resumption of their closed public road event  until 2017.
It takes fully 12  months to organise a one or two day special stage rally in Scotland whether in  the forests or on closed public roads. And whilst some events can be organised  in a shorter timescale, due to long established partnerships with Local and  National Authorities, a six month timescale for next year’s event simply is not  viable.
The organisers  reluctantly took this decision at their most recent meeting. First run as a  closed public road event in 1997, the Jim Clark Rally can trace its roots back  to 1970. That first event used a variety of farm, forest and military roads before becoming one of the UK’s premier forest stage rallies in the 1980s.  
For 2016, the  organising team will build on the successful format created earlier in 2015  and are already planning to introduce some additional new stages to test the  UK’s top amateur rally drivers again next June.
The Jim Clark Rally  will again be part of the national Scottish Rally Championship which itself is  undergoing a revamp for next year with 7 rounds in place of 8 and the six best  scores to count.
Further information  will be issued as and when available.
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SACC Logo
The November SACC newsletter is now out. Click here. Be sure to read page 16 and Maureen Horsburgh's account of her classic car day-out which she won in the Jim Clark Reivers Rally Marshals prize draw.

06 Jun: Reivers News & Gossip  -  Written by jaggybunnet on June 5, 2015. Click here.

The New MSA Rally Safety Requirements

With the primary intention of improving spectator safety in rallying and following the review carried-out by the Scottish Government following the 2014 Jim Clark Rally, the Motor Sports Association published on the 24th April the Multi-Venue Stage Rally Safety Requirements.
The safety requirements are very wide ranging and can be viewed either via the MSA website or by following this direct link to a downloadable pdf.
The MSA have committed themselves to implementing the twenty-nine recommendations of the Motorsport Event Safety Review (MESR) over the next two years.

25th April 2015

NEWS  RELEASE
25 May 2015
 
Reivers at the Ready
 
 
This weekend’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally marks the halfway point in the 8 round ARR Craib National Scottish Rally Championship.
 
First run in 1970 this year’s event will return to its roots. Tree roots, that is. Having run as a ‘Closed Public Road’ rally since 1997, using stretches of public road closed by Act of Parliament within Berwickshire, this year’s event will revert to forestry road Special Stages just over the Border in Northumberland.
 
The event will start and finish in Kelso at the Showground on Sunday 31st May, but the competitive element will all be contained within the massive Kielder Forest complex.
 
Heading the entry list is five times Scottish Rally Champion and former British Champion, David Bogie with two of his main rivals for the 2015 title right behind him, Jock Armstrong and Mike Faulkner. The number four seed is Newcastle’s Peter Taylor, but he’s no stranger to this area as the family holiday business is based in Jedburgh.
 
The number five seed, Bruce McCombie, is actually the current leader of the Scottish Rally Championship after three rounds. Consistency, with one second place and two fourths has given McCombie a healthy lead at this early stage of the national series, but Bogie is only 20 points behind.
 
An added attraction for the 2015 Jim Clark Reivers Rally features the return of the Forces’ Land Rovers. The Armed Forces have long supported the ‘Closed Road’ Jim Clark Rally in previous years as the event provides excellent training in teamwork, navigation, time-keeping and fast driving.
 
Throughout the year, in their own night-navigation exercises, drivers from all three armed forces compete to win the chance to contest a small number of motor rallies throughout the UK. Not for them Subaru Imprezas or Ford Escorts, they compete in Land Rover Wolf diesel powered 4x4 utility vehicles.
 
Specially adapted to compete on special stage motor rallies, these great lolloping and lumbering beasts are surprisingly agile in the hands of their experienced ‘pilots’ and provide a treat for spectators as they bring up the tail end of the field. Often regarded as the golden retrievers amongst a field of greyhounds, the Land Rover squadron is well worth watching.
 
The Rally will start from Springwood Park in Kelso at 08.00 Hrs on Sunday morning the 31st of May with the first car returning there for the ceremonial finish around 15.00 Hrs.
 
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To view the complete News Release, including spectator information and full entry list, click here.

For UP-DATE by John Fife on the top junior driver free entry to Wales Rally GB - click here

Celtic Connection

One of the biggest prizes in British rallying is up for grabs on the Jim Clark Reivers Rally which is scheduled to run on Sunday 31st May. The top Junior Rally Driver (under 25) at the finish of the rally next month will win a FREE entry to Rally Wales GB in November.

This generous prize* worth around £700 was made available to the rally organisers through the ‘Road to Wales’ scheme which is run annually by Britain’s counter in the FIA World Rally Championship series.

However, rather than simply present this superb prize to the outright rally winner, the organisers of the Reivers have chosen to make the award to the top Junior thereby giving the lucky winner a chance to experience one of the world’s top international rallies.

Commenting on the prize, Jim Clark Reivers Rally Clerk of the Course, Colin Smith said: “This is a prize young drivers can only dream of as it gives them a chance to compete on the ‘world stage’ alongside some of the biggest names in world rallying. Although they won’t be competing directly against the world stars, they will get the chance to drive through some of the same stages – and be able to compare their times!”

All that remains now is for competitors to get ready for the Jim Clark Reivers event on the 31st May. The organisers have now opened the entry list and full details are on this website.

This year’s event will comprise a one-day forest rally with the Start and Finish festivities in Kelso and all six competitive stages being run through the massive Kielder Forest complex just over the border in Northumberland.

Colin Smith added: “The stages are in tip top condition. Parts of the stages were actually used on the RAC Historic rally at the tail end of last year although it is really hard to tell, such are the good conditions. There will be a ceremonial Rally Start at Springwood Park in front of the Main Building on the Sunday morning where there will also be a Champagne finish later that afternoon.”

Smith concluded: “This year’s event offers a quite different format to past years of closed public road rallying, but the challenge will be no less demanding. There is a sting in the tale too - the final stage is 12.5 miles long.”

This year’s event will count towards the 2015 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship, the northern England based SG Petch ANECCC Stage Rally Championship, the HRCR Motoscope Northern Historic Rally Championship and the Border Challenge Rally Championship.

Safety Review – act now!

… John Cleland (President of the SACC) and John Fife (Press) were invited to a meeting on the 11th March at the Scottish Government’s offices in Leith. It was enlightening, positive and upbeat. It was also decidedly scary!

… Be fearful, be very fearful … 

The sport of rallying in the UK is not just under scrutiny, it is under serious threat. If anyone thinks this is just another tabloid inspired stooshie which will dissipate when the next big sporting tragedy or scandal comes around, they’d best think again.

Click here to read the full article, Written by jaggybunnet on March 12, 2015
FREE Entry
To 2015 Wales Rally GB

That’s the prize on offer to the top registered Junior Rally Driver on the 2015 Jim Clark Reivers Rally which is scheduled to run on Sunday 31st May.

In association with the 2015 ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship, the organisers of the Reivers are pitching this top prize at all Junior (under 25 yr old) drivers who are registered in the 2015 national Scottish Championship.

There is just one stipulation, they must have competed on at least two Scottish Championship rounds prior to the Reivers. That means having competed on the (past) Snowman or on the forthcoming Border Counties (21st March) and/or Coltel Granite City (2nd May).

This generous prize worth around £700 was made available to the organisers through the ‘Road to Wales’ scheme which is run annually by Britain’s counter in the World Rally Championship. In the past, free entries were made to the winners of each of the main home nations championships, but with no British Rally Championship this year the offer has been extended to previous constituent rounds.

In Scotland’s case that means both the Jim Clark and the RSAC Scottish Rally (in June) events will have a free entry in the National section of Rally Wales GB as a top prize.

However, rather than simply award this superb prize to the outright rally winner, the organisers of the Reivers have chosen to make the award to the top Junior thereby giving the lucky winner a chance to appear on the world stage.

The organisers are also hoping to work with the ARR Craib Scottish series team to enhance the prize by offering additional commercial support to whoever wins this free entry, making the prize even more valuable and attractive.

This additional prize for the top Junior will be in addition to whoever wins the ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship title outright thereby increasing Scottish representation in Wales in November.

“The Road to Wales has proved to be a huge success and we had no hesitation in continuing the initiative in 2015,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “Wales Rally GB needs to be not only the climax of the WRC but also a fantastic end-of-season festival to celebrate the very best of British rallying and the Road to Wales makes sure that some of this country’s best will be on the stages in November.”

On last year’s (2014) National Rally Wales GB, there was a clean sweep of Scottish crews on the podium with Mike Faulkner and Peter Foy finishing 30 seconds ahead of Andrew Gallacher and Jane Nicol with Barry Groundwater and Neil Shanks in third place.

That glorious run last year followed Euan Thorburn and Paul Beaton’s victory in 2013 so whoever wins the Junior prize this year will have tough wheeltracks to follow.

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Issued, Tuesday, 10 March, 2015

NEWS RELEASE  01 March 2015

Kielder Call to the Reivers
This year’s Jim Clark Rally will return to its roots. For the past seventeen years, the rally has been contested over closed public roads within the county of Berwickshire, but in a change to the format, this year’s event on Sunday 31st May will run on private Forestry Commission gravel roads.

Previously a three day motor sporting extravaganza, this year’s rally will revert to a one day competition ahead of a more ambitious programme for 2016.

Clerk of the Course, Colin Smith confirmed the new route: “The ‘Reivers’ part of the annual Jim Clark Rally is traditionally a separate National event run on the Sunday after the International part of the rally on Friday/Saturday, so we are sticking with the Sunday run, ahead of a return to the usual format next year.”
He added: “We are planning to have five Special Stages in Kielder Forest. The rally will start from Kelso in the morning before heading south over the Border into Northumberland, then returning there later in the afternoon for the rally finish, back in Kelso.”

This will ensure the continuity of a sporting event which can trace its roots back to 1970. As International Clerk of the Course, Russel Blood, said: “The organising team is split into two groups, one manages the two-day Jim Clark Rally event, while the other is responsible for the one-day Jim Clark Reivers Rally. Naturally both teams work closely together.”

He confirmed: “We are currently planning a return to the traditional three-day event next year, and work is well underway, but there will be changes to the timetable and format.”

The title of the Jim Clark ‘Reivers’ Rally is therefore quite fitting in this sporting context. It refers back to the unsettled times of the late middle ages when the Border Reivers roamed back and forth across the Scottish/English border. Bands of raiders swept across these troubled lands as far as Biggar in the north and Richmond in the south in the search for food and riches.

Fast forward 400 years and the ‘reivers’ had swapped their horses for horsepower and their ‘loot’ for sporting trophies. And perhaps it was fitting that an English driver and a Scottish driver fought for outright honours on the first Jim Clark Reivers Rally way back in 1970. On that 4th of July date, it was Russell Close, from Lanchester near Consett, who scored victory from Scotland’s James Rae from Perth. However, the Scots were not too downhearted, as Cupar’s Donald Heggie was third and Girvan’s Drew Gallacher 4th.

Today that rivalry continues, and the rally continues to attract competitors from both sides of the border.

This year’s event will be the fourth round (of 8) of the 2015 ARR Craib Scottish Rally Championship. The entry list will open in early April. Regulations and Entry Forms will be published shortly.

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NEWS RELEASE January 11th 2015.

New Look for 2015 Jim Clark Rally

The organisers of the annual Jim Clark Rally have confirmed that they will run a Special Stage Rally on Sunday the 31st of May 2015.

However, this year’s Jim Clark Reivers Rally will be rather different from recent events. It will not take place over Closed Public Roads in Berwickshire, as has been the case for the past 15 years. This year’s event will revert to the format first run in 1970 when the organisers used private Forestry Commission roads.

The route has yet to be confirmed, although the rally will be based in Kelso from where competitors will drive over the Border to contest a number of Special Stages in the giant Kielder Forest.

Clerk of the Course, Colin Smith said: “We wanted to maintain the continuity of an annual motor sports event in the Borders and following Scottish Borders Council’s decision to withdraw permission for a Closed Road event, this was our only option. The Forestry Commission have been very helpful and we are looking at a route with around 45 miles of forest road tests.”

Meanwhile, plans are well underway for the 2016 Jim Clark Rally. Clerk of the Course for this two day Closed Road event, Russel Blood said: “Over the past few months the team had been continuing with preparations for a two day Closed Road rally event this year, but that is not going to happen so we will now concentrate our efforts on the 2016 event. Current plans are that this will comprise a two-day Jim Clark Rally (Friday/Saturday) followed by the one-day (Sunday) Jim Clark Reivers Rally.”

This new plan has already received the backing of many of the UK’s top rally championships. There will be no official ‘MSA British Rally Championship’ this year as the Motor Sports Association, motor sport’s governing body, are in the throes of a major re-organisation of Britain’s top rally championship series and is planning to launch a completely new premier British rally championship competition in 2016. The two day Jim Clark Rally will play an integral role in this.
Both the national Scottish Rally Championship and Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship are supporting the Jim Clark Rally and Reivers organising teams as is the British Asphalt Rally Championship plus local national and regional championship competitions.

“It’s not only the competitors, clubs, championships and rally fans who are offering encouragement,” said Jim Clark Rally Chairman Dan Wright, “but local businesses and local people have rallied round to support the continuation of this major sporting event. We have also received tremendous support from both Mr John Lamont MSP (member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) and Michael Moore MP (member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk). Having such support allows us to plan ahead with growing confidence.”


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Ref: JCRPR15-001


 
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