DAVID EVANS

GROUP RAL­LY­ING EDITOR

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Let me in­tro­duce you to Flo­rian Ruth. He’s noth­ing spe­cial. Only the man who’s go­ing to change our world.

You might re­mem­ber me bang­ing on about cool Red Bull films like The Art of Flight and The Crash Reel; films that took a hu­man an­gle on peo­ple skid­ding down a moun­tain on one or two pieces of wood and made them into emo­tion-packed cin­e­mato­graphic art.

And then we had the cov­er­age of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship that was, the­o­ret­i­cally, out of the same Red Bull Me­dia House op­er­a­tion.

Ex­cept the WRC telly was, well, let’s be hon­est here, it was pony by com­par­i­son.

Now be­fore WRC Pro­moter types get all up­pity again, I’m more than happy to ac­cept that the nightly 30-minute re­port is a race against time that has no room for art.

The same can­not and should not be said for the hour-long re­view pro­gramme screened the week af­ter the event. Old ground. Back to our new best friend, Ruth. Ruth’s from the heart of Red Bull’s cool cuts. Not much of a rally man, but a real movie-maker. Just what we need. And, he’s 100 per cent WRC, his fo­cus is firmly on mak­ing more watch­able and more en­ter­tain­ing shows.

Un­der­stand­ably, we’ll re­serve judge­ment on the pro­gramme un­til we’ve seen a few. Let’s let him get his skate­board parked and his feet out front of the bean bag be­fore we start crit­i­cis­ing – if there’s any­thing to crit­i­cise.

Ei­ther way, good on WRC Pro­moter for putting Flo­rian in the po­si­tion to make a change. An­other change is the em­ploy­ment of a full-time drone squad into the pro­duc­tion out­fit; that’s an­other six peo­ple work­ing on mak­ing the prod­uct event bet­ter.

And while we’re com­pli­ment­ing the pro­moter – some­thing we’re not al­ways ter­ri­bly quick to do – we should say con­grat­u­la­tions for land­ing a very en­cour­ag­ing tele­vi­sion deal in Bri­tain. You can stop scan­ning the list­ings pages from the depths of frus­tra­tion try­ing to work out when our sport will be shown on ITV4.

It’s sim­ple: ev­ery Mon­day af­ter a WRC round head to Chan­nel 5 at 1900hrs and sit down for an hour of muddy fever. When putting to­gether this story, I asked WRC me­dia ex­pert Mark Wil­ford to put to­gether an es­ti­mate of how many hours the cham­pi­onship would be shown across Chan­nel 5, BT Sport and S4C. He shot passed 100 hours in no time – and that’s with­out con­sid­er­ing any re­peats or ar­chive pro­grammes. The real fig­ure is prob­a­bly dou­ble that.

It’s been a long time since the Wrc-fol­low­ing Brit has had so much ac­tion com­ing into his or her home with­out hav­ing to fork out to a satel­lite sta­tion for it.

And, as I said at the top of this col­umn, this year’s cov­er­age should be more watch­able than ever. It’s not just about the cars and the cor­ners. There’s a real hu­man as­pect to the WRC and I look for­ward to see­ing that come across in 2016.

“The man who is go­ing to change our world”

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