MORE GRAVEL MILES FOR BRC
Events will feature over 80 miles as BRC begins changes for second season
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.