Funding row threatens Rally GB

Wales Rally GB is under threat after the Welsh Assembly Government served notice of its funding agreement with International Motor Sports Limited, even though the deal runs until 2011.

IMS, the World Rally Championship promoter, has consequently started proceedings for breach of contract, while many in Wales have spoken out about the decision.

Jenny Randerson, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister, said: “If Wales Rally GB is right in its assertion that [there is] a legal contract until 2011, then it is truly astonishing that the government has taken this sudden decision to cut funding without any discussion. This event creates jobs and investment at a time when recession is biting hard.”

The Welsh Assembly Government argued: “Wales Rally GB was intended to have WRC-qualifying status every year. But as a result of an FIA decision, this is no longer the position. The 2010 event will not have qualifying status and, as such, is not the type of event it was agreed we would sponsor.”