“You have no ex­cuses to not watch Rally GB”

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

ow many rounds of the World Rally Cham­pi­onship have there have been? Any ideas? Let me tell you. It’s 554. Talk about tim­ing: it’s the 555th rally in the series’ his­tory and we’re go­ing back to Ch­ester. There’s a sym­me­try to that, don’t you think? That’s it now though, I won’t go on about that city, 1995 (or 1994), Colin, Derek, a Subaru and a saltire any­more. But I like this num­ber.

What I’m tempted to go on about is Tur­key and the WRC’S in­sis­tence to go some­where which, as far as I can see, re­mains in the grip of po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity. And that’s putting it both mildly and kindly. Rarely has the com­mer­cial as­pect of our sport been laid so bare as Tur­key flashes the cash, while Greece gets largely ig­nored. The Acrop­o­lis was one of the cor­ner­stones on which the WRC was built and the roads em­a­nat­ing from Athens among the great­est lev­el­ers of man and ma­chine.

Ad­mit­tedly, there’s talk of un­paid bills, but all I can go on is what I’m told from Athens and that is that they’re good to go.

Hang on, I wasn’t go­ing to get into Tur­key and pol­i­tics. How did that hap­pen? Let’s go to Wales. I know it’s a bit early, but that could well be a bless­ing when it comes to the weather. Re­mem­ber last year? I’m all in favour of a proper au­tumn, but that rain sim­ply wasn’t right and see­ing the ser­vice park blow­ing away pre-dawn on Sun­day was even more in­sane.

Let’s hope the ex­tra fort­night brings some me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal respite, es­pe­cially for the bril­liant Bri­tish mar­shals who will, once again, brave what­ever ele­ments come their way to de­liver our round of the world cham­pi­onship.

There was def­i­nitely a mo­ment last year, when I thought it might be nice to be watch­ing the whole thing on telly. Chuck­ing an­other log on the fire and con­tem­plat­ing a sixth tea­cake.

I think that mo­ment came when my fancy Gore-tex coat gave up and the rain started run­ning down my back. Or maybe it was the first an­kle-deep shoe-filling pud­dle I waded through. Ei­ther way, an arm­chair was an at­trac­tive op­tion. And it’s even more at­trac­tive this time around. WRC Pro­moter has to be ap­plauded for this one. Both Chan­nel 5 and BT Sport will be broad­cast­ing more cov­er­age than ever be­fore. And any­body with any plans for Sun­day morn­ing needs to resched­ule. Even the big man up­stairs might have to be put on hold.

It’s wall-to-wall ral­ly­ing on TV with BT Sport run­ning cov­er­age of the first Brenig stage from 0900 and stay­ing on air un­til around 1330. And for those with­out a dish or ca­ble, Chan­nel 5’s run­ning ex­tended cov­er­age of the pow­er­stage.

You have no ex­cuses. If you’re not in Wales, watch it. And that’s an or­der. We need more ral­ly­ing on telly, but that’s only go­ing to hap­pen if we watch (and watch in big num­bers) what we’re given.

Live or live from the sofa, en­joy it.

with and get it out there,” said Mauger, who took time out from his role in the team to win the Jer­sey Rally ear­lier this month. “We’ve had dis­cus­sions with Vaux­hall and it is keen on the idea. It is in­ter­ested in the con­cept.”

The series in Ger­many is one of the most com­pet­i­tive and well-backed ju­nior cham­pi­onships in Europe, while the newer French series is also prov­ing pop­u­lar.

Mauger is in con­tact with Opel as well as Vaux­hall, among other ma­jor sup­pli­ers, to push the deal over the line. The prize fund and achiev­ing an ob­tain­able bud­get are key to mak­ing the series vi­able ac­cord­ing to Mauger.

“We are go­ing to make it hap­pen but we want to make sure it’s an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for young driv­ers,” added Mauger. “We’ve got to come up with a prize and hope­fully prizes per rally. I think the BRC is cry­ing out for a one-make cham­pi­onship to bridge that gap from BTRDA ral­ly­ing and club ral­ly­ing to the Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship.”

MN un­der­stands that Mauger is tar­get­ing a prize drive in an R2 car in the Ju­nior cham­pi­onship for the Cup win­ner, but that is still yet to be fi­nalised. In­ter­est in the cham­pi­onship re­mains high but Mauger un­der­stands the price needs to be af­ford­able.

“We have a lot of in­ter­ested driv­ers, I think peo­ple see that it’s needed. The bud­get needs to be right, and we’ll do our best to make it hap­pen. It needs to be vi­able.”

The Adam Cup car and R2 car only have sub­tle dif­fer­ences. The Adam has around 40bhp less than the R2, fixed dampers, 100kgs ex­tra in weight and a dif­fer­ent en­gine man­age­ment sys­tem among oth­ers.

The car is not ho­molo­gated, but BRC bosses are be­lieved to be work­ing on a class that can in­clude the cars and give the driv­ers the chance to recce. Un­der 2016 reg­u­la­tions the cars would have to com­pete in the Na­tional Rally Cup, deny­ing them a chance to recce, a key part of the learn­ing process.

Birkett Six Hour Re­lay Hand­i­cap

1 Car­bon 8 Coupe Cup B: Alex Curs­ley, Will Tayl­forth, Si­mon Miles (Hyundai Coupes) 159 laps (128+31 credit); 2 Red Ras­cals: Kevin Den­gate, Jamie In­gram, Kenny Cole­man, David Kidd, Chris Lovett, Reece Jones (BMW E46 M3s) 158 (141+17); 3 DHD Mo­tor­sport: Danny Cas­sar, Nigel Ainge (Honda In­te­gras); Steve Cas­sar, Garry Bar­low (Honda Civics), Daniel Adams (Pro­ton Sa­tria) 158 (137+21); 4 Car­bon 8 Coupe Cup A: Gary Miller, Matthew Plumb, Jeff Alden (Hyundai Coupes) 158 (125+33); 5 Routec Rac­ing’s Com­pact Tri­ers: Martin, Si­mon and Neil Roche (BMW Com­pacts) 158 (132+26); 6 Tegiwa M3 Cup: Luke Sedzikowski, Craig & Adam Shepherd, Ju­lian Mcbride, Carl Shield, John Brown (BMW E46 M3s) 157 (140+17). CW Red Ras­cals; Fab­u­lous Fiat For­mula Cars: An­drew Lake (Darvi 91D), Bill Rut­ter (Bat­ten 3), Mark Glover, Ian Bar­ley, Oliver Col­lett, Martin Kemp (Racek­its Fal­cons) 157 (131+26); All­sorts: Craig Wilkins (Porsche Boxster), Neil Hin­son (Cater­ham C400), Carl Wood­wiss (Cater­ham R300) 156 (143+13). Scratch re­sult: 1 We Don’t Like Se­cond: Aaron Bai­ley (Rad­i­cal SR3RX), Si­mon Garm­ston, Brian Murphy (Rad­i­cal SR3S), Doug Carter (Rad­i­cal PR6) 152 laps; 2 Track­time So­lu­tions: Phil Knibb, Charles Gra­ham, Neil Prim­rose, Ben Sharich (Rad­i­cal SR3S), An­drew Rath, An­drew Hig­gin­bot­tom (Lo­tus Ex­ige) 148; 3 Rgb’argy: Doug Lague (Spire GT3), Tim Hoverd, Adrian Moore (Sabre T2A Hoverd­craft), Colin Chap­man (BDN S3 LDV) 147; 4 JPR Mo­tor­sport: Paul Rose, Steve Har­ris, Mark Bur­ton (Saker Rapx S1s) 146; 5 Rock ‘N’ Roll Centres: Rory Hinde, Piers Reid, Neville An­der­son, Owen Fitzger­ald (BMW E36 M3s) 143; 6 All­sorts 143. CW Rgb’argy; Rock ‘N’ Roll Centres; Grad­sports: Alex Gurr, Tris­tan Judge, Zoltan Cs­abai, Ja­son Gale, Scott Lawrence, Lee Bris­tow (Cater­ham 7 Su­per­sports) 141. FL Rose 2m05.80s (104.15mph). P Bai­ley. S 70.

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