CAMBRIAN READY FOR FEBRUARY DATE
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.”