Changes announced for Jim Clark Rally

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The Jim Clark Rally organisers have announced details of this year’s rally to be held over June 1-3.

In a change from the format of the last few years Scotland’s counter in the British Rally Championship sees reduced activity on Friday and the International Rally route extended through until Sunday. In a break with what has become traditional, the Lammermuir Hills stages have been dropped on Friday evening with activity instead being limited to the spectacular stage through the streets of Duns.

The town which lies at the heart of Berwickshire, the ancient county to which the rally’s closure order is restricted and the street stage, a huge effort to put together, have over the last few years’ formed the event’s start. Large numbers of the townsfolk and spectators gather in the centre for the spectacle.

The rally which always runs on the late spring bank holiday weekend will take place from June 1-3. With the only competition being in Duns on Friday evening most of the action will be held over the following two days.

Rally manager Colin Pagan said. “We appreciate that some people don’t like change but for various reasons we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce the number of road closures for this year. We are always mindful of the rally’s effect on local life and activity and are trying to keep this within acceptable parameters.

“Also as the dates coincide with the double bank holiday Queens Jubilee weekend, this has had an unexpected knock on effect on the overall planning of the weekend’s rallying. On the upside we have looked at the whole schedule and by allowing recce on Friday, it does offer an opportunity for those particularly in the National Rally to reduce their stay time.

“There has been a fair bit of juggling around but all in all the guys have worked very hard to put things together. They are producing a very demanding event with an excellent route over the beautiful closed roads of the Scottish Borders.’

The route while not yet published with stage names, as PR work is still underway, does contain the usual classics such as Abbey St Bathans which will now be run on the Saturday. This stage will be one of four long stages (to be run twice) which have been chosen for the Saturday leg.

The Reivers Rally, a counter in the Scottish Championship retains its Duns base and while it shares the stage venues with the Sunday leg of the International Rally it is longer has its own separate itinerary and route.

Further information is available on the rally website at www.jimclarkrally.com.