Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

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.

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