Motor Sports Association chairman David Richards believes clubmen-style events like the Neil Howard Stages need to be celebrated more than top events in order to keep motorsport alive.
The Prodrive boss and 1981 World Rally champion co-driver competed on his first stage rally in 10 years on last weekend’s Oulton Park event, having been invited by the Motorsport News Circuit Rally Championship.
“It’s so good to see the club events like this doing well, and you look at the enthusiasm of everyone involved and taking part,” said Richards, who has highlighted stimulating the grassroots of UK motorsport as a key target of his reign at the sport’s UK governing body.
“That’s what it should be – it should be stimulating. They’ve looked after me well and it’s a really well organised event.
“We should celebrate this sort of event, rather than focus on the professional higher events that we’re used to. We would lose motorsport otherwise.”
Richards co-drove Graham Coffey’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC and the pairing took seventh overall. Coffey added: “We’ve enjoyed it. But, there’d have been a spotlight on me if I’d have crashed it with David Richards alongside you!”