CAM­BRIAN READY FOR FE­BRU­ARY DATE

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Chris Boyde

The Cam­brian Rally is set to open the BTRDA sea­son for the first time, de­spite or­gan­is­ers hav­ing to deal with a num­ber of fac­tors work­ing against the event.

The Cam­brian opens this year’s BTRDA sea­son in­stead of the Wyedean – which doesn’t form part of the BTRDA this year – but a cal­en­dar change means or­gan­is­ers have had just four months to pre­pare since the last run­ning of the event, which con­cluded the 2015 BTRDA sea­son.

As well as or­gan­is­ing so many ral­lies close to­gether, the Cam­brian also has to com­pete with no­to­ri­ously tough weather in the Welsh forests in Fe­bru­ary, plus many of the or­gan­is­ers in­volved in the event also help to or­gan­ise Wales Rally GB.

Clerk of the course Alyn Ed­wards be­lieves that weather is al­ways a worry when or­gan­is­ing a rally, no mat­ter what time of year.

“The weather is al­ways go­ing to be a con­cern when you run an event in Fe­bru­ary,” he said. “Even if you run an event in Novem­ber, like last year, we were wor­ried be­cause of the threat of the storms.”

To com­bat the threat of the weather, Ed­wards and the team have reshuf­fled the route – which will be com­pletely dif­fer­ent from last year.

“The stages are com­pletely dif­fer­ent apart from the Great Orme, that’s stay­ing the same,” Ed­wards added. “The first stage hasn’t been used on a na­tional rally in about 40 years, Gwydyr. It was used as a night stage on Rally GB in 2013. We’re us­ing a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of Elsi, tak­ing into ac­count the weather and spec­ta­tor ac­cess. Pen­machno is slightly dif­fer­ent again due to the weather. It will be three stages be­fore ser­vice then five af­ter ser­vice so it should be a good test.”

Ed­wards also con­firmed that the new-for-2016 MSA safety reg­u­la­tions wouldn’t af­fect the Cam­brian be­cause most of the pro­ce­dures are al­ready in place.

“All I can say is that it’s been straight­for­ward for us, be­cause we were do­ing 99 per cent of it al­ready. The only thing is we’ve put more into the safety plans and the train­ing of the course car driv­ers.”

De­spite the forests be­ing used so fre­quently in re­cent months, Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales have man­aged to re­grade the forests ready for the event.

Ed­wards said: “The stages have all been done, they’ve [NRW] done a fan­tas­tic job in such a tight turn­around.”

David Bo­gie won the Oc­to­ber Cam­brian

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