IAN MILLS

“Road ral­ly­ing still prov­ing to be strong”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

I

f road ral­ly­ing has had an off sea­son I failed to spot it. My last event of 2015 was the Roamer­lite Novices on De­cem­ber 13 and the first of 2016 was VCRR’S Win­ter Clas­sic on Jan­uary 2. There were not even three weeks off for me and no doubt there were 12 cars and scat­ters run­ning over the Christ­mas pe­riod as well.

How­ever, with all the cham­pi­onships work­ing to the cal­en­dar year, this would seem to be a good point at which to look at what we might have ahead of us in 2016.

It’s timely, as this week­end we have the Rali Mike Darowen Bro Ddyfi. Not only is it a counter for the Welsh, West Mid­lands and North Western Cham­pi­onships but it’s also a con­tender for the long­est rally ti­tle of the year award, as the small Dovey Val­ley club mar­shal their re­sources and com­bine their two reg­u­lar road ral­lies into one man­age­able chunk.

The Welsh Cham­pi­onship has ex­panded from 11 to 13 rounds, with eight to score. All last year’s events re­main in the se­ries; the only al­ter­ation be­ing that Welsh Bor­der CC has nom­i­nated the Bor­der 100 in place of its Brei­d­den Rally. The two new rounds will be Car­marthen’s Au­tumn and Teifi Val­ley’s Cil­wen­deg, both ex­cel­lent events run by strong teams. The first half of the sea­son has roughly one rally a month. How­ever, in Septem­ber, things get busy with four ral­lies in five week­ends. This should be a de­ci­sive time for the desti­na­tion of this year’s ti­tles. Once again, sup­port for the cham­pi­onship comes from The Ba­sic Roamer Com­pany.

A new cham­pi­onship has re­cently been an­nounced, the North Wales Road Rally Chal­lenge. It’s sup­ported by Sbar­dun Parts and Ac­ces­sories of Pwll­heli. This is be­ing run un­der the aus­pices of the ANWCC and con­sists of 12 rounds, ba­si­cally all the Na­tional B road ral­lies be­ing run in North Wales. It’s an ex­cel­lent idea and hope­fully will see a good take up of com­peti­tors. It should do as it has some fine ral­lies on the list, all within quite a small ge­o­graph­i­cal area. It’s no­tice­able that many crews don’t want to ven­ture far from home; this will give them the op­por­tu­nity to tackle a se­ri­ous cham­pi­onship with­out hav­ing to travel too far.

Else­where, targa ral­lies seem to be in the as­cen­dant. Tav­ern MC’S Ex­moor event last Oc­to­ber was one of the best ral­lies of the year, but was prob­a­bly at the top end of the scale of what can be done with the for­mat. Th­ese ral­lies, apart from his­toric events, are all that keeps road ral­ly­ing alive in much of south­ern Eng­land. Here, sin­gle venue tar­gas at­tract large en­tries. It now seems likely that we shall have more targa ral­lies in Wales.

The death of road ral­ly­ing has been pre­dicted for over 50 years, but it’s still go­ing and prov­ing quite healthy in many ar­eas, so let’s get out there and en­joy an­other year. Do you re­ally want to sit at home and watch the rub­bish that is Satur­day night telly?

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