Events will fea­ture over 80 miles as BRC be­gins changes for sec­ond sea­son

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Jack Benyon Photo: Rallysport Me­dia Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey

The Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship will fea­ture in­creased stage mileage on gravel in 2017, with an 80-mile min­i­mum on loose-sur­face events in the off­ing.

One of the sug­ges­tions of teams and driv­ers af­ter the series re­turned in 2016 was in­creased mileage, al­though as­phalt rounds will re­main un­changed.

Some teams, in­clud­ing DMACK, CA1 Sport and Spencer Sport did more mileage in pre-event tests than in the events them­selves.

BRC cham­pi­onship man­ager Iain Camp­bell said: “Gen­er­ally the events have been rel­a­tively short this year.

“The com­peti­tors have asked for more mileage. The as­phalt mileage isn’t a prob­lem, but the com­peti­tors in gen­eral want more from the gravel rounds.”

With more mileage comes an ex­tra cost in en­try fees, but Camp­bell is will­ing to re­ward the com­peti­tors with more miles.

“There’s an is­sue with that. As soon as you put ad­di­tional mileage in, there’s an ex­tra cost,” he added. “We’ve been fore­warn­ing com­peti­tors what to ex­pect of en­try fees next year. No­body likes pay­ing more money but if the value is there, they will do so.”

BRC fron­trun­ner Tom Cave be­lieves the change is a pos­i­tive one that makes the BRC even more at­trac­tive mov­ing for­wards.

“To ex­tend any event in gen­eral is good. As a driver you get more en­joy­ment out of hav­ing more mileage,” he said. “Some of the events last year were quite short, the Scot­tish Rally for ex­am­ple was only around 55-miles, al­though I know a few of the stages there were can­celled. I think it’s the right way for­ward. I’d like to see more longer stages in the cham­pi­onship, more of a chal­lenge.”

Na­tional Rally Cup com­peti­tor Don­nie Macdon­ald also backed the change, stat­ing that as long as the value is there, com­peti­tors will back the in­crease in costs to im­prove mileage.

“I think it’s a good thing, a chal­lenge for driver and ma­chin­ery,” said the Scots­man. “I thought the BRC was bril­liant this year but this would make it even more spe­cial. Peo­ple want miles and value per mile.”

Macdon­ald (l) likes more mileage for driv­ers BRC 2016 run­ner-up Cave is back­ing the change

Mark Christo­pher and Peter Lit­tle­field topped a class of one as the Gwynnespeed Rally Chal­lenge win­ners on the Wyedean Rally. Christo­pher came into the event off the back of a strong run on Wales Rally GB, and used his dou­ble points joker to take 50 points from the event. He’s un­likely to fight for the ti­tle though, as the For­est of Dean-based event was his first in the cham­pi­onship this year.

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