Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    417
    Like
    8
    Liked 205 Times in 118 Posts

    National Championship open question. Britain needs your assistance!

    Hi

    Apologies for starting this thread as a standalone topic outside of the general European National/British Championship ones, however as you may know 2018 is proving to be a bit of a challenge for British rallying so would be grateful if forum members from other parts of Europe could assist me with some background info to help inform my views.

    Let me give you some background.

    The BRC (premier British series) was re-launched 2 years ago amid much fanfare and included the R5 class for the first time which resulted in about 20 such cars competing that year. In 2017 that number dropped off a bit and in 2018 we are looking at about 6 or 7 such machines hoping to start the season. The R2 class is on the up certainly with the revised Peugeot Cup and Junior classes. The first round has just been cancelled mainly due to the weather and no alternative date for. rescheduling being available however the overall entry was not very strong numbers wise. The championship is a mix of gravel on forestry roads and tarmac (not on the mainland). Stage mileage can be from about 85 miles over one day up to about 150 over a couple of days. Drivers are invariably younger.

    Our other main championship which I suppose you could call the premier "national/clubman" championship is open to most machinery and as such regularly attracts entries from 1.6 and 2.0 litre WRC cars as well as R5 and Group N machinery as well as plenty of Britains go-to rally car the MKS Escort! Entries for this championship run normally to around the 100+ number and stage mileage is about 45 miles on gravel only and last day Drivers mainly tend to be older and certainly for the WRC cars are well heeled business men.

    The question I have can be split down into several parts:

    R5 cars. Are these driven by up and coming drivers in your countries or well heeled older business men?

    For those drivers of R5 cars, does their backing come from family companies or sponsorship from other commercial organisations who see rallying as a good return for their marketing spend?

    Is there much in the way of manufacturer/importer involvement in your national championship?

    What is the maximum stage distance/duration of your top level national rallies?

    Does your National Motorsport body back or lend support to any teams in your country?

    I appreciate that this is a lot of information to provide, however unlike a lot of my fellow countryman I think it is important that we look to Europe to help shape or opinion rather than think we know best!

    Thanks in advance

    Chris

  2. Likes: Jarek Z (18th March 2018)
  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Lithuania
    Posts
    359
    Like
    739
    Liked 219 Times in 115 Posts
    Hi. I don't know how it could help you, but ok. About Lithuania's rally scene:

    R5. Here is 3 of them. ProRacing own Škoda Fabia R5 chassis#89, car mostly used in Poland championship by Lithuanian driver Dominykas Butvilas. He is relatively young (29yo), and quite quick; backing from his, and his co-driver's family business. And now some money comes from Poland business.
    Another Škoda Fabia's R5 (chassis #51A) owner is Benediktas Vanagas, mostly known in Lithuania and countries around from his starts in Dakar rally (the one in South America). Dakar rally is quite big thing in Lithuania, during its time most of peoples are interested in results and news from it, and that is mostly, because of Benediktas advertised it and himself used world's toughest race. His backing comes from various private business and some even from government (Ministry of National Defence). While Dakar rally is his main goal, driving Škoda in national rallies is his preparation for Dakar. He using slogans "Dakar never ends" and "Everyone has his own Dakar". Vanagas from rally/rally raid/circuit driver becomes influencer, who forms positive point of view about Lithuania, and increase public spirit.
    His Škoda bought from Martynas Samuitis, who ended his career of rallying, due unknown (at least for me) reasons, maybe after serious accident his co-drive couldn't recover, maybe because his lack of speed. Although he had Škoda importers backing.
    Third R5 is Ford Fiesta, (Chassis #214, ex M-Sport's Gus Greensmith's car) and will be driven By Egidijus Valeiša, businessman, but fast enough driver, he was driving BMW M3 and did it well, now it's time to step up.

    Basically there is no manufacturer/importer involvement. Only Vytautas Švedas is backed by JUTA - VW, Audi and SEAT dealer in Lithuania. Vytautas sold his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X, now drives EVO9 N4. It's like step back for him, but he said that it's only temporary, to keep his shape and hinting that next year will be big. My personal guess - Polo R5.

    According our national regulations top league rally distance is between 80 and 120 km (49 to 74 mi) in one day rally, and from 100 to 150 km (62 to 93 mi) in two days rally, where more than 25% of distance is in day 1.

    National federation doesn't support drivers/teams. Only decreased entree fees for Junior and lower level winners.
    Last edited by electroliquid; 20th March 2018 at 10:44. Reason: Updated Chassis for Valeiša's Fiesta R5

  4. Likes: juhoman (17th March 2018),Mirek (16th March 2018),Rally Power (16th March 2018),the sniper (16th March 2018)
  5. #3
    Armchair General Mirek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Prague / Eastern Bohemia
    Posts
    18,885
    Like
    4,473
    Liked 5,691 Times in 2,390 Posts
    For Czech Republic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal the 2nd View Post
    R5 cars. Are these driven by up and coming drivers in your countries or well heeled older business men?
    Both cases. There is a bunch of R5 drivers which can be called young (let's say 30- age - for example Černý, Mareš, Pospíšilík, Kopáček, Jakeš - this year only with S2000). There is also a group of professional or semi-professional drivers in age around 35-45 years of age which managed to establish themselves without having family money behind them (Pech, Tarabus and despite he is de facto retired also Kresta).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal the 2nd View Post
    For those drivers of R5 cars, does their backing come from family companies or sponsorship from other commercial organisations who see rallying as a good return for their marketing spend?
    There are often personal links between the teams and the sponsors but it's not a rule. There are some big companies involved often in very long-term partnership who seek for the marketing return - Mogul, EuroOil, Gemini for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal the 2nd View Post
    Is there much in the way of manufacturer/importer involvement in your national championship?
    Škoda obviously (afaik the Czech campaign is paid and driven by the local marketing department, not by Motorsport itself). Others from time to time only on lower level - Opel Adam Cup, Peugeot 208 R2 Cup (not in 2018), Citroën cup few years back, Subaru etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal the 2nd View Post
    What is the maximum stage distance/duration of your top level national rallies?
    In the official championship the rallies typically have two days and 150-180 km of stages with the only exception being Barum Rally (its stage distance is given by ERC rules, this year I expect around 230 km).

    Then we have so called Rallysprint Series where the rallies take only one day and typically have around 70-80 km of stages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sal the 2nd View Post
    Does your National Motorsport body back or lend support to any teams in your country?
    Yes, they do. They give some smaller money for representation on the individual basis but they also support some chosen drivers strongly (for example Mareš).
    Last edited by Mirek; 16th March 2018 at 17:53.
    Stupid is as stupid does. Forrest Gump

  6. Likes: electroliquid (16th March 2018),juhoman (17th March 2018),pantealex (17th March 2018),Rally Power (16th March 2018),the sniper (16th March 2018),TWRC (16th March 2018)
  7. #4
    Senior Member Rally Power's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    1,899
    Like
    2,176
    Liked 1,536 Times in 728 Posts
    Here in Portugal we have a national championship (CPR) and a handful of regional series. CPR is a mix surface series composed of 9 rounds: 6 shorter events (around 120 SS’s kms) plus our 3 iconic rallys - Portugal, Açores and Madeira. Two main titles are given in CPR: overall and 2wd. There’s also a gravel cup and a tarmac cup (allowing expired homologated cars), both sharing most of CPR events (CPR tarmac rounds are also used in the Junior/Initiation, GT and Historic competitions). Very few one make cups during last seasons but fortunately this year we’re having the 208 Cup and some privately organized challenges. There’s no program from local ASN in order to support the most talented drivers and importers are slowly returning to the sport; that helps to explain the little number of pro drivers in CPR. The vast majority of the crews are amateurs and budget restrictions usually don’t allow them to do a complete season; nevertheless, R5 has become a popular category among the wealthy ones, in part due to the presence of high level tuners like Sports&You and ARC Sport. I’d say that overall we’re living a positive era in national rallying, although far from perfect.


    Btw, from here it’s hard to understand why the BRC is struggling so much to succeed. Is the current Wales GB Rally format unable to promote the sport, like the iconic RAC Rally did in the past? Are Meeke and Evans achievements unnoticed to the general public? What kind of media leverage can be used to help revamping the series?
    Rally addict since 1982

  8. Likes: juhoman (17th March 2018),Mirek (16th March 2018),the sniper (16th March 2018),TWRC (17th March 2018)
  9. #5
    Senior Member TWRC's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Budapest, Hungary
    Posts
    359
    Like
    2,233
    Liked 348 Times in 151 Posts
    In Hungary, we have a main national championship, the ORB, and a second tier (which usually has the same rallies as the ORB, but the teams only participate on one day of the event), called Rallye2. ORB tipically covers 130-160 kms, while Rallye2 does 60-80 kms. There are also events for amateur drivers, with regions where they can compete.

    In recent years we had a quite good number of R5 cars, and there were and are importer supported teams, but some of them have stepped up to international level (Herczig with Skoda), or they have switched focus (Peugeot went from supporting Tóth to rallycross, and now is back to support the 208 Cup). As far as the drivers go, there was a period where a lot of very talented young drivers disappeared, because they didn't have the money or opportunity to drive. Now we have a lot of good, young talent in top cars, like Vincze, Velenczei, Ranga P. who can already win events and contend for the title. Also there are the older generation drivers with a lot of experience, like Turán or Hadik, who can still drive fast. Of course there are also gentleman drivers with R5s like Lovász, Lencse or Puskádi.

    Sponsors vary. Some have family companies as sponsors, but tipically the sponsors are either importers, local dealers, logistics companies, road building companies or oil brands.

    As far as one make cups go, with Suzuki being in Esztergom, we had three editions of Suzuki cups (two with different generation Swifts and one with Ignis), but these were a long time ago, and that's why I'm really happy that the 208 Cup is finally happening, and some very good young drivers will be a part of it. But the ASN here doesn't support anyone sadly.
    Last edited by TWRC; 17th March 2018 at 11:38.

  10. Likes: dimviii (17th March 2018),Mirek (17th March 2018),Rally Power (19th March 2018),the sniper (17th March 2018)
  11. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Hamburg, Germany
    Posts
    177
    Like
    86
    Liked 175 Times in 83 Posts
    In Germany we´ve got ten R5 cars, but only a few of them are used in the German Championship permanently. Actually just three drivers are expected to do all eight rounds this year. Dominik Dinkel is supported by a rich businessman, Marijan Griebel by the German Peugeot importer and Sebastian von Gartzen has a rich father. There are many drivers which are more talented (René Mandel or Sepp Wiegand to name just a few), but they´ve got huge difficulties to find the budget to do more than just a few rounds unfortunately. Last year the situation wasn't much better, but back then we at least had Fabian Kreim (who is doing ERC Junior 28 this year) and Mandel in the championship.

    Without the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup (which is really popular, especially among foreign drivers) nobody would care about the championship anymore. The close fights among the youngsters are probably the only thing which makes the rallies worth to follow. There are some drivers with R3 cars (sometimes some really close fights!), but that´s it.

    So after all, the situation is quite bad in Germany right now. It´s very difficult to find any sponsors because nobody really cars about the sport here. Right now I can´t imagine that there will be a successor of Walter Röhrl someday.

  12. Likes: Mirek (17th March 2018),the sniper (18th March 2018)
  13. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,299
    Like
    383
    Liked 745 Times in 323 Posts
    Situation in Belgium is very good at the moment.
    Every round has at least 8 R5 cars, despite the fact that there are too many (9) rallies. Best rallies go passed 15 R5s (Ypres not counted). It's a mix of gentleman drivers and young talents, but most of them are pretty good.
    Skoda Belgium supports a young driver (Bedoret this season) while Peugeot and RACB (national federation) support Guillaume De Mevius.
    Sponsors are often the companies of the codriver, so they are driving with rich rather than good codrivers.
    Also good for the championship, is they allow home made cars. There are a lot of BMW's, fast FWD cars and also historic cars competing.
    www.wrcpickem.weebly.com

  14. Likes: Jarek Z (18th March 2018),Mirek (17th March 2018),the sniper (18th March 2018)
  15. #8
    Senior Member Jarek Z's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Wroclaw
    Posts
    5,955
    Like
    1,424
    Liked 1,314 Times in 681 Posts
    Polish championship hasn't started yet, so it's hard to say something about 2018.
    http://www.rallymadness.prv.pl - rally photos and movies!

  16. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    417
    Like
    8
    Liked 205 Times in 118 Posts
    Thanks for your responses. Not been around much due to an RTA. Will have a further read through what you have all been saying.

    Cheers

    Chris

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •