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  1. #1
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    British and Irish Rallying 2021. Will there be a season as such?

    With forestry off limits as such until Easter at the earliest and the Tier system meaning that travel is all but banned for anything other than "Elite Sport" its looking very unlikely that anything approaching a structured season for most championships will occur.

    If the greenlight is given for later in the year then there could potentially be lots of date clashes which may have a detrimental effect on entry numbers and event viability. Thats assuming that the landowners and local authorities for closed road events allow the rallies to take place.

    With the loss of this years WRC counter looking almost certain then perhaps its a good opportunity for David Richards and his team to look at how this can be turned into a positive opportunity to review the sport and start to build it back up. I'm not suggesting we will ever get back to the heady days of the Open Championship and the RAC Rally however we still have a WRC team based on these shores and two drivers in premier teams. Looking at the quality and number of the entries for some recent events that had to be cancelled at the 11th hour there appears to be plenty of people wanting to compete so the hunger is still there it just needs the right menu otherwise things could spiral out of control.

  2. Likes: HKSjbg (8th January 2021)
  3. #2
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    Blimey, this should/ could be a good thread.

    Where to start? I think major questions need asking, and honest answers, however unpalatable they may be. How many reviews have there been in the last X years? And where has that got us?

    I think the sport has been in decline since the early 2000s - others many think earlier.

    Personally, the BRC hasn't been great since the F2 era; since then it's changed every few years - and it doesn't seem to know what it's for. In an ideal world, the BRC would have one 'professional paid team' organising the whole series/events - and the local clubs would offer expertise, but not gamble of losing money. In 2021, it's another example of being miles behind the times. I went to the 1999 Seat Jim Clark Rally; that is the template for a modern BRC event; the whole town taken over and real 'big event' feeling. Over 20 years later and I'm not sure any BRC event since has come anywhere close.

    As for the probable loss of our WRC round; how on earth can you go from the RAC Rally, pulling in all kinds of mainstream media interest, massive crowds, etc to not finding any sponsorship/backing and losing it's slot? MSUK have really messed this up - and have seemingly been asleep at the wheel, expecting the Welsh to continue funding, without a back up. Every time they signed a new deal with Wales, they just made it harder to get a new backer. 20 years in sports sponsorship is a very good deal. The problem is in that 20 years, the sport has fallen of a cliff in the UK.......

    Is there a better sound than that of Porsche engined Flat-6 ???

  4. Likes: HKSjbg (8th January 2021),the sniper (8th January 2021),TWRC (9th January 2021)
  5. #3
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    I highly doubt that the Circuit of Ireland or Corbeau Rally will go ahead. I feel like the Plains Rally is the first chance of British rallying getting back into the forests this year.

    If even May is too early for forest or closed road rallying to start up again then we may well see the BRC season start in July and taking up the option of the Mull Rally as reserve event. However that leaves things very precarious for any further cancellations.

    I always think back to the IRC Rally of Scotland when I think of the sorry state of British Rallying - here was a rally with great stages and 2 British-backed factory teams (Peugeot UK and Skoda UK) competing. It was held in November, then October; after the end of the British season yet it wasnít part of the BRC. The BRC had a history of having WRGB as part of the BRC season when it needed to (though split over two counting rounds), so surely a two-day IRC event could have been the BRC season finale? Such a lost opportunity in my eyes.

    Ever since the idea of rotating Rally GB around the country was first floated I thought that MSUK should have been doing their best to make the BRC a proving ground for WRC candidate events. Longer rallies are costly, I know, but there could have been some level of manufacturer interest; Andrea Adamo had openly stated his respect for the British Championship, surely they would send works cars to British events (as they have a history of in other parts of Europe in recent years) if it meant getting knowledge of this/next yearís Rally GB stages?

    The draw that Elfyn Evans brings to WRGB cannot be underestimated too, if Toyota entered him at the Cambrian Iím sure the fans would come out to see that in lieu of a Rally GB this year?

    Iím sure someone will be here to tell me how wrong I am though 😁

  6. Likes: AndyRAC (8th January 2021),the sniper (8th January 2021),TWRC (9th January 2021)
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    I went to that first 2009 IRC Rally Scotland; a great event, but not supported by UK rallying; if I remember rightly, there were less than/ about 10 S2000 cars. On other rounds there were quite often 15-20 S2000s. There is money in UK rallying, however, a lot is spent on 40 year old cars for 45 mile events.

    Is there a better sound than that of Porsche engined Flat-6 ???

  8. Likes: HKSjbg (8th January 2021)
  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRAC View Post
    There is money in UK rallying, however, a lot is spent on 40 year old cars for 45 mile events.
    Nail - head - hit.

    There isn't the interest in the sport from business to support it because of its lack of visibility so the sport has shrunk to be dominated by wealthy gentlemen drivers who want to play out on a Saturday on club events.

    It's time to accept that it's just BTRDA and regional events for rallying in the UK and that anybody with any ambition needs to go abroad as soon as they can.

    The rot started in the 90's when they got professional promoters in for the BRC who marketed it as a "stepping stone" to somewhere else instead of bigging it up to be the place to be.

  10. Likes: AndyRAC (9th January 2021),HKSjbg (9th January 2021)
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    I never liked the 'stepping stone' idea. The BRC should have been like the BTCC; a place for drivers to end up in; if they progress to ERC/WRC, then fine. Plenty of drivers have made their careers in the BTCC without moving on elsewhere; and yet others have shown promise there - and gone WTCC, GT, WEC, etc

    Is there a better sound than that of Porsche engined Flat-6 ???

  12. Likes: HKSjbg (9th January 2021),the sniper (11th January 2021),TWRC (9th January 2021)
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    BTCC is exactly the success they ought to try and emulate. Just look at the free to air TV coverage, swathes of sponsors on the vast majority of the cars and the most stable championship calendar surely of any series out there.

    The only question is; can that actually he emulated in a rally championship? It would help a lot if they can jump on the esports bandwagon a bit more to create further interest in the BRC

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    To be truthful, they can make all the plans for the championship - it needs entries to make it work. There don't seem to be enough interested drivers - so I don't really know what they can do. As I've already said, the majority of UK rallying seemingly wants a 1 day event. Contrast with circuit racing were many championships are held over the entire weekend; so arrive Friday, Sat/Sun practice, qualifying & racing. It's almost a completely different culture.

    Is there a better sound than that of Porsche engined Flat-6 ???

  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRAC View Post
    Contrast with circuit racing were many championships are held over the entire weekend; so arrive Friday, Sat/Sun practice, qualifying & racing. It's almost a completely different culture.
    Professonals and semi-professionals can afford that - the amateurs in rallying can't. The problem we have is how to build up the BRC from where it is to a point where it will attract professionals. With zero media presence there's no incentive for advertisers and sponsors and hence no money for professionals.

    Anyone with an answer contact Dave Richards ASAP!

  16. Likes: HKSjbg (10th January 2021),the sniper (11th January 2021)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Boyd View Post
    Professonals and semi-professionals can afford that - the amateurs in rallying can't. The problem we have is how to build up the BRC from where it is to a point where it will attract professionals. With zero media presence there's no incentive for advertisers and sponsors and hence no money for professionals.

    Anyone with an answer contact Dave Richards ASAP!
    I think it is important to go step by step. Not to make immediatelly "super championship for professionals", but start with lower ambitions for first years, restart the championship, persuade drivers it is worth to do the championship. It is not important to have 3-4 top drivers fighting for the win, but also "background" of other drivers with potential fast drivers for the future. For me, last years editions of BRC were too ambitious.

  18. Likes: HKSjbg (10th January 2021),pantealex (10th January 2021)

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