Next month's Isle of Man International Rally has been canceled due to what organizers call "a series of major blows."
The rally had been shifted from its traditional September date at the behest of the Isle of Man government, the rally's primary backer. The increased cost of traveling to the island in October had caused concern among British Rally Championship competitors and the event had already been left out of the BRC for next season.
The decision to cancel the event came after last-minute objections were raised to the traditional spectator stage around Castletow, a test which has been part of the event for 25 years.
The Manx, as the event is more commonly known, has been run since 1963 and only previously canceled once, when Foot and Mouth disease hit the UK in 2001. Some of rallying's greatest names, including Ari Vatanen, Henri Toivonen, Colin McRae and Richard Burns have won on the world-famous lanes.
Chairman of the organizing committee, Brian Walton said: "It is a desperately disappointing decision that we have had to make, and certainly not one that we make without earnest consideration. Having looked at all the issues and available options we feel, however, that we have made the right move for our event. We have been placed in a difficult position, mainly by circumstances and decisions over which we had little control.
"We have established a reputation down the years for running a world-class event, a true test of man and machine on some of the best rally roads anywhere. We do not want to run an event unless it can be to the highest standards, and would reflect well on the Isle of Man. We regret any inconvenience caused to those who had made plans to attend the rally, and thank all those who have supported us to this stage."
The upshot of the decision is that Saturday's International Rally Yorkshire becomes the final round of the series, with David Bogie a red-hot title favorite in his Mitsubishi Lancer.