Cam­brian in­ter­est…

Motor Sport News - - Sporting Scene -

Re­turn­ing to the Cam­brian Rally af­ter 25 years I was look­ing for­ward to a run through some clas­sic North Wales stages, not to men­tion the Great Orme.

My start po­si­tion when run­ning the rare Austin Mon­tego last time was up near the front, so the seed­ing in my RF1.4 down the field due to few starts in the in­ter­ven­ing years was a mi­nor con­cern.

The or­gan­is­ing team and mar­shals were, as usual for BTRDA events, out­stand­ing, friendly and very ef­fi­cient. Stages four and five were ex­cel­lent, clas­sic, fast and flow­ing Welsh stages and were great fun.

How­ever, what on earth pos­sessed the team to think that stages one and two were ac­cept­able to run over 120 cars through is be­yond me? They were com­pletely churned up on the first run through and then had to be re­peated as stages six and seven.

The stages were so churned up that there were huge mounds of earth built up with ex­posed bedrock, mean­ing that the sump­guard came in for some se­ri­ous bat­ter­ing, not to men­tion the var­i­ous ve­hi­cle sys­tems. There were cars off all over the place, some due to ac­ci­dents though many due to se­ri­ous me­chan­i­cal dam­age. We sadly suc­cumbed to this on stage seven.

Much of this car­nage to­day is due to the greater num­ber of four-wheel-drive cars run­ning but even they get ham­mered on the se­cond run through a stage.

The scru­ti­neers were fo­cus­ing on in-date seats and belts (let’s not get into that daft de­bate) and HANS devices, but the big­ger dan­ger is run­ning stages that ir­repara­bly dam­age cars and cause ac­ci­dents.

Well done to the or­gan­is­ing team for their ef­forts. As an in­dus­try and group of com­peti­tors we have to find a way of work­ing with the MSA and the forestry com­mis­sion to make th­ese events and the whole as­so­ci­ated costs fun and rea­son­able.

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