DAVID EVANS H
“You have no excuses to not watch Rally GB”
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.