Thirty-eight R5s. I conservatively estimate that at a value of around £7.5million. And that’s before upgrades, parts, servicing, man power, trailers, travel costs…you get the picture.
It’s a monster of an undertaking, but what an excellent job by the three championships to bring this many R5 cars to the Circuit in what will be the best entry for any rally anywhere this year.
However, the seeding issue has become a concern for crews. For anyone thinking far enough ahead, this has been an issue since the three series announced calendars for the year and we knew the BRC and Irish Tarmac was arriving.
It’s written in the regulations. That’s why I find it strange so many teams/drivers seem to have made a fuss at such a late stage. Surely these people at least have a working knowledge of the regs? Had forward thinking been implemented, the issue could have been foreseen and lobbied out in the open. Maybe a solution could have been found. Who knows? You can understand the stance of the relative championships trying to sort out such a vast problem a week or so before the event. Impossible.
Moving on, the lead battle was going to be the most intriguing part of the rally. Evans? Cronin? Now Breen? But now I’ve seen Mellors move to enter the national there’s more interest. Whether it’s a calculated move or an effort to save cash, you can’t argue that it provides a really interesting slant.
All it takes is one drying stage for the frontrunners of the national class for Mellors to take 20s. Of course it can work the other way, but that’s rallying. Rarely do we see tactical efforts with such creative thinking. You’d have to go back to the mid-1990s or even Group B to see that on a regular basis. But I like what Mellors has done. Underpowered S2000, mix things up.