Pirelli con­cerns

Motor Sport News - - Have Your Say -

Hav­ing en­joyed rallying from both in­side the car and or­gan­i­sa­tion, I have now just la­belled my­self as a mar­shal (and I have the li­cence and tabard to prove it) and also a se­ri­ous spec­ta­tor.

This year the Bri­tish Cham­pi­onship is where I am hon­ing my spec­ta­tor skills, which un­for­tu­nately started late in Ire­land.

The Cir­cuit was great, with many op­tions to spec­tate, nearby vil­lages serv­ing great cof­fee and snacks and we even found a house that opened up their gar­den for us to spec­tate in full view and in safety.

The Pirelli, how­ever, was a dif­fer­ent story. Be­cause of the com­pact na­ture of the event, the spec­ta­tor ar­eas were few on each day. Hav­ing said that, we did man­age two on day one and one on Sun­day, both days al­low­ing us to go back into Carlisle for ser­vice.

The safety mea­sures the MSA have in­flicted upon the or­gan­is­ers is very good, if not at times a bit over the top. What seems to be for­got­ten is once the spec­ta­tors get into the spec­ta­tor ar­eas, you are then faced with very bad ac­cess to the ar­eas you are told you can watch in safety.

Over the few stages we watched, on-the-foot ac­cess was a to­tal non-starter if you were elderly or with any form of dis­abil­ity. In fact, for the nor­mally able, ev­ery­where car­ried high risk of slip­ping into water-filled ditches or trip­ping over tree roots.

Hav­ing seen fam­i­lies out on Sun­day with moth­ers and their small ones, some­times with the fam­ily dog strug­gling on this very un­even ter­ri­tory, I felt the safety of the rally, the ac­cess to the for­est was then considered, but with no thought at all for the peo­ple they were try­ing to at­tract.

I did not see many spec­ta­tors at all in Carlisle and on the stages there was room for more, but in the fu­ture pro­vide safer ar­eas to get to and stand, and then grade your ar­eas from good to bad, sup­ply toi­lets and cater­ing where you ex­pect the masses. Dave Whittock Via email

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