Belgian plan hit by local COVID-19 restrictions. Event cancelled London-based Kerry crews

London-based Kerry crews who had hoped to contest this weekend’s Rally von Wervik have been left disappointed following a decision to cancel the rally.

The Belgian motorsport authorities had given the green light for the June 12 event and several Kerry drivers and navigators, including Mick Smith, Ray Hilliard and Shane Buckley were assured an entry and were seeded by event organisers.

However, over the course of the weekend the organising club learned that the COVID-19 procedures they had in place did not satisfy government agencies.

The event could have gone head but every driver, co-driver, mechanic, marshal and anyone else involved in the event would have to have a COVID-19 test and the club would have had to pay for that – something they simply could not afford.

Killarney man and London Irish Motor Club chairman Mick Smith had placed an entry for this event in his historic-spec Chrysler Avenger.

He was joined on the entry list by fellow LIMC member rally Hilliard. The Listowel man hoped to make his Belgian debut last season but a last-minute change in event regulations meant that overseas crews were not allowed start the Monteberg Rally in August. It looks like history is repeating itself for the Ford Escort Mk1 driver.

Co-driver Shane Buckley was due compete alongside Anthony O’Brien in a Mitsubishi Lancer E10.

There is still no word on the future of the Monteberg Rally at the end of the month. All three Kerry competitors are on the entry list for that event too, although Buckley is committed to an event in Scotland that same weekend.

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