JACK BENYON

NA­TIONAL RAL­LY­ING EDITOR “A Cam­brian mir­a­cle is on track”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Rally or­gan­is­ers have been in the lime­light in this coun­try ever since the MSA Safety Reg­u­la­tions came in last year. There’s no doubt that it is harder than ever for or­gan­is­ers to make an event vi­able fi­nan­cially and for it to run to and ad­here to the cor­rect reg­u­la­tions. I for one wouldn’t be rais­ing my hand too quickly to take on the job of clerk of the course, for ex­am­ple.

The re­cent loss of the Tem­pest was when this was re­ally ham­mered home to me, one of the only (if not the only) ma­jor for­est ral­lies in the south, one many look for­ward too. I re­mem­ber speak­ing to the 2015 win­ner Rob Swann, and lis­ten­ing to the pain in his voice that a rally such as the Tem­pest had per­ished.

With all that in mind, read the story to your left and tell me that the Cam­brian or­gan­is­ers don’t de­serve some sort of ac­knowl­edge­ment.

First of all, let me dis­pel a few of you who will say that the Cam­brian gets more fund­ing, bet­ter back­ing and a larger or­gan­is­ing team. A few of those things may or may not be true, but ap­ply that to the scale at which they are work­ing and it be­comes ir­rel­e­vant any­way.

The team spent months or­gan­is­ing last year’s Oc­to­ber rally in Llan­dudno – the event’s 60th an­niver­sary. De­spite a large num­ber of road miles and a rel­a­tively spread out route and se­vice for a BTRDA event, it was still in the top three in terms of or­gan­i­sa­tion of the events I at­tended.

Once the 60th was out of the way (be­lieve me Cam­brian or­gan­is­ers, MN knows how sav­age 60ths can be) most of the team then set about or­gan­is­ing Rally GB, the fi­nal round of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship. Let’s not for­get about the mag­ni­tude of that task.

Then af­ter GB, full steam ahead with the Cam­brian for Fe­bru­ary. And here’s the big­gest part for me. Over Christ­mas and New Year, many of the team were out in the forests get­ting things pre­pared. Th­ese are mostly vol­un­teers giv­ing up per­haps the one time of year we all come to­gether and spend time with our fam­i­lies in mod­ern so­ci­ety. And yet there they were in the likes of Dol­gel­lau, get­ting muddy while I was sip­ping a nice Sin­gle malt and watch­ing The Grinch.

So – or­gan­is­ers of the Cam­brian – bravo. I do ac­knowl­edge that we are suf­fer­ing in terms of rally or­gan­i­sa­tion, but in a time of strug­gle it’s al­ways nice to look up and see some­one do­ing it suc­cess­fully. Al­though the event doesn’t go ahead un­til Fe­bru­ary, I have com­plete con­fi­dence in the or­gan­is­ers and the great job they have done so far.

Now we need young and bud­ding vol­un­teers to look at what the Cam­brian has done, and fol­low the lead. Step for­ward, the fu­ture is de­pend­ing on you.

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