New-look Argyll Rally on the starting line

Kicking up Glenbranter dust in their Peogeot 106 during the 2018 Argyll Rally were Lochgilphead team Duncan MacLean and Ian Parker.

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Planning is well advanced for the 2021 Dunoon Presents Argyll Rally over June 25/26.

In a shift of format, the previously all-gravel round of the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship switches to a closed-road sealed surface event for the first time and organisers are hopeful the event can go ahead as planned this summer.

Promoted and organised by Mull Car Club, also behind the Mull Rally, the event will be held across closed public roads on the Cowal peninsula.

‘Mull Car Club is delighted to be able to offer an exciting new closed-road stage rally in Argyll and we have been working hard behind the scenes over the last few months to progress with planning of the rally whilst abiding by the local government restrictions,’ said clerk of the course Chris Woodcock.

He continued: ‘We are working on the premise that certain restrictions will ease so that we can carry out the remainder of the work required. We have the approval of all stakeholders, local government and Motorsport UK to go ahead.

‘Scottish Government Covid regulations do not allow two people in a car from mixed households, which is holding us back from fully confirming the event will run.’

The Argyll Rally returned to the British rallying calendar in 2017 after a 13-year sabbatical.

First known as the Burmah Rally, the event originated in the early 1970s. After being excluded from the Scottish Rally Championship in 2004 the event failed to run. With the rejuvenation of the championship, the Argyll Rally was reborn in 2017 by Mull Car Club.

But with falling entry numbers and limited forest availability, an alternative solution was sought.

‘We have devised a fantastic route which will certainly challenge even the best drivers in the country across classic Argyll roads,’ added Chris.

The rally will comprise 62 miles of competitive driving. Friday evening will see two stages in Dunoon, with three more out in the countryside. Saturday sees four tests, run twice.

Regulations for the event are available, with entries opening on May 8.