Duggan’s BRC prize could be safe in JWRC
DMACK is expected to announce heavy involvement in the Junior World Rally Championship this week, safeguarding Rob Duggan’s prize subsidy in its series.
Duggan – Junior British Rally champion – won £60,000 towards a year in the Drive DMACK Trophy with his title win, but the DDFT isn’t expected to run in the format it used this year due to a potential JWRC merge with M-sport.
More news on the outcome of the Junior World Rally Championship is expected this week. While M-sport won the tender and ran the cars for the Drive DMACK Trophy last year, it is expected the DDFT will merge into the JWRC depending on the outcome of talks with the FIA.
“Rob’s prize was half of the budget for the DDFT so to take advantage of this huge opportunity he needs to speak with his sponsors and raise the remaining funds,” said Glenn Patterson of DMACK.
“Rob’s had a great season in the BRC and this is a fantastic opportunity to take the next step and push himself even further.”
Duggan confirmed that a DMACKbacked JWRC would be his first option, but that securing the sponsorship he needed was difficult at this point due to a lack of details to take to prospective backers.
“We’re trying to do the DMACK and use the £60,000 that we won,” said Duggan. “We’re trying to get the money together but to do that we need to know the regulations, how many rounds there are and things like that. Hopefully we’ll hear more in the next week or so and we can put proper support together.”
Following the trial and adoption of new rally spectator safety controls during 2015 in Scotland, this year has been the first full season to implement the final version of the MSA’S new rules introduced at the start of the year.
While the new format has frustrated spectators and media personnel alike, and added to the cost and workload for rally organisers, competitors have been largely unaffected, and that is as it should be.
When motorsport was first invented few realised the compulsive attraction it would exert. That introduced additional problems and challenges.
Over the past two seasons, the Scottish forest rally championship has tested the new procedures and bore the brunt of new requirements with good grace and hard work. Along the way the national series lost the Jim Clark Forest Rally, the Mcrae Stages and the Granite City, but there was good news too. A new event was introduced, the Grampian Stages, with another due to appear next year featuring a return to the Argyll peninsula.
It’s 40 years since the hillsides around Dunoon echoed to the Twin Cams and BDAS of Vatanen, Clark, Pond, Sclater, Cowan, Gallacher and Heggie, and 20 years since they last featured in the national series.
There are more challenges ahead. Forestry charges are set to increase over the next three years, while the choice of forests and routes is forever being restricted due to other pursuits requiring access, but there is hope that closed public roads will again become a reality for the sport.
This is vital for the future. Currently, the venues used by the Scottish Tarmack Championship can’t accommodate any more entries, so an alternative to forests has to be found.
The recent decision by the Lord Advocate in Scotland [to take no legal action against Jim Clark or Snowman Rally organisers, MN Dec 7] has provided relief and hope, but there is much to be done.
There was even more drama on the stages this year. Garry Pearson was on course to win his first national title until the penultimate stage of the very last round when fate intervened. No one was more surprised than Jock Armstrong, who snatched victory and his second title.
There was no justice either for Mike Faulkner. He finished third this year, again. In the previous eight years he was championship runner-up four times and was third twice. So close, and yet so far away.
Most improved driver of the year was Donnie Macdonald. A win on the opening round promised much, but mechanical failure on the final two events ruined his hopes. And there’s more, with the likes of Mark Mcculloch, Alasdair S Graham, Greg Mcknight and Iain Wilson in the wings, not to mention Shaun Sinclair’s talent masked by unreliability and also John Wink, who shows potential, while Michael Binnie will be worth keeping an eye on.
Next year’s championships face big challenges, but none more so than the drivers and co-drivers.