Organisers of a major rally say it will return to Builth Wells next year after this year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nicky Grist Stages is set to return to the classic mid Wales forestry stages on July 10, 2021.

With the continued support from Powys County Council and Builth Wells Town Council, the event will instead return to the centre of Builth Wells next summer – with rally headquarters at the Strand Hall, the start and finish in the Groe, the service area on the Builth Wells rugby club pitch and North Road Garage providing a scrutineering venue.

Neil Cross, clerk of the course, said: “We were bitterly disappointed to have to cancel this year’s Nicky Grist Stages, but the reality is that there are still too many variables to allow us to move on to the next phase of our event planning.

“With many restrictions still in place, and so much uncertainty about what the situation could be like in the winter, we feel that trying to run our event in these unprecedented times could do more harm than good.

“The event enjoys tremendous support from the rally community, Powys County Council, Builth Wells Town Council and other companies and individuals – not least from Nicky Grist himself, who has been the event’s title sponsor, mentor and advisor for over 10 years.”

Quinton Motor Club had originally planned to run the event – which is a five time winner of the BTRDA ‘Rally of the Year’ award – on July 11 but owing to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the event was postponed until November.28.

However, with continued restrictions still in place, organisers felt that the current available information and guidelines did not make organising the Nicky Grist Stages in 2020 a realistic option.

Nicky Grist said: “We did everything possible to put on this year’s Nicky Grist Stages but felt that it was impossible to proceed any further with our plans for 2020.

“But that just makes us more determined to get back out next year, when we’ll plan for another first class event in July 2021.”