Deal struck to give Nicky Grist Stages route go-ahead
The Motor Sports Association and Natural Resources Wales have reached a one-off agreement for the Nicky Grist Stages to utilise NRW land for the July event.
The MSA and NRW are currently negotiating a new master agreement to allow rallying to use NRW land.
The Nicky Grist Stages had planned to use the full 5.92 miles of Crychan – which is all NRW land – and the first 2.45 miles of Halfway.
The MSA has been working to secure the NRW mileage for the next round of the British and BTRDA championships since it was clear an agreement wouldn’t be reached by the June 1 deadline of the previous deal.
A statement from the MSA read: “Against the background of continuing detailed discussions between the MSA and NRW, and in the spirit of those discussions, an accommodation has been reached allowing the 2016 Nicky Grist Stages to run as planned.”
British Rally Championship competitor Tom Cave knows the stages well.
“They are good stages used on Rally GB for many years. They’re very fast and the surface is abrasive so it does eat tyres if it’s dry. But they’re very good stages. Crychan is a bit more technical, Halfway more open and faster. There’s one part where you’re flat for a kilometre down a hill.”
Event clerk of the course Neill Cross added: “Now we have agreement from NRW to run our original route we are pleased the uncertainty is over. It has been a testing few weeks but our plans can now be realised 100 per cent. We are grateful to both the NRW and the MSA for facilitating this agreement.”
“The intention is to use the one we have just now to test against the current Junior 1000 cars. The plan is to run an erally Junior Championship, and after that look at building a more powerful four-wheel-drive machine. We’d also like to take the erally Junior Championship into Europe as well.
“Hopefully when we’ve sold some of the cars we can run them alongside the current juniors just to allow people to see what they can do.”
The development car will go through testing before erally expect to begin selling and hiring cars in January 2017.
Data from testing of the car will be fed back to the MSA to help create a fair set of regulations for the championship.