02 Jun: Rallying’s future? Pg4

Time to Think – and to Plan – 4

Thinking back to the Craigvinean event there was indeed one selfish, irresponsible oaf who was defying the requests of Course Car crews and refused to move from his chosen vantage point – until a few other spectators stepped in and suggested that his health and wellbeing may take an unexpected, sudden and rapid downturn should he deprive them of their anticipated rallying enjoyment! He then moved. An extreme and effective solution, but not one that can be relied on.

Admittedly spectators might not like the idea of one-make challenges and viewing restrictions, but the sport was invented for folk to take part, not for the non paying public to watch. Having said that many fans do indeed enjoy watching the triers and the antics of the tail enders just as much as the front runners, although perhaps for different reasons!

Too radical? On this basis BRC competitors might have to travel further for their events, with Scotland, Wales and the north of England having the more natural forestry terrain. Closed road events could be staged almost anywhere, but if a rally has a big entry, roads would be closed for longer periods, so locations would have to be selected carefully. Costs would of course be greater but the events would be longer. Nationals and Regionals could use more local forest complexes and multi-use loops of closed road for tarmac events. Naturally we’d need to get the forestry folks on board, but with less damage from lower powered machines, perhaps the idea could be sold to them for the benefit of the clubmen and beginners.

Motorsport UK has recently sent out quite a few surveys to licence holders and competitors seeking their views on the future direction of all forms of motor sport. I just wonder how many of the 10,000 or so rally comp licence holders bothered to fill them in. We can’t shout through the window at them if we’re not sitting at the table with them.

That’s also why strong clubs and club associations need to have a strong base and a stronger committee. They have a voice at Motor Sport UK committee level. In past times, the MSA had the power of veto over decisions they didn’t like, but hopefully the new management will have a more democratic and sympathetic approach to the needs of those who organise and run the many hundreds of amateur events around the country and the club drivers and co-drivers who take part. Without them, there is no need for MS UK.

So if you want to contribute positively to this debate – I’ll pass it on. Mind you, there’s no guarantee they’ll listen to me either.

On the other hand, we could all sit back and do nowt. That’s not an option, is it?

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