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StevieBee

4,734 posts

141 months

[news] 
Monday 21st May 2012 quote quote all
Back in the day, I worked for an agency that did a lot of PR work for Ford Motorsport and I had the honour of working briefly with Stuart Turner, then Boss of Ford Motorsport. I recall him saying that in terms of bangs for buck, all manufacturers got a far greater return from Rallying than all other forms of motorsport combined - F1 and LeMans (this was around the time of the Ford C100) were really just corporate willy waving. The reason being that the average punter would turn on Grandstand and see a Ford Escort winning a Rally. That the car technically bore little relationship to what you got in the showroom - to the punter, it was an Escort; "Hey, I've got one of them" or "Hey, I want one of them"

I don't see that so much has changed in this respect.

It's a sport that cries out for decent TV coverage and it pains me to say it, but I see only one saviour in this respect; Sky.

YorkshirePudding

1,860 posts

71 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
In the UK the MSA needs to stop banning perfectly good cars from competing.

They saw fit to ban the biggest draw, at a national level, Andy Burton's Pug 306. banghead

My neighbour can't get his logbook renewed due to his car being a kit car, one pissed off owner who'd like to see the MSA up against a wall and shoot.

Then they wonder why entries are falling. rolleyes





ArnageWRC

633 posts

45 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
StevieBee said:
Back in the day, I worked for an agency that did a lot of PR work for Ford Motorsport and I had the honour of working briefly with Stuart Turner, then Boss of Ford Motorsport. I recall him saying that in terms of bangs for buck, all manufacturers got a far greater return from Rallying than all other forms of motorsport combined - F1 and LeMans (this was around the time of the Ford C100) were really just corporate willy waving. The reason being that the average punter would turn on Grandstand and see a Ford Escort winning a Rally. That the car technically bore little relationship to what you got in the showroom - to the punter, it was an Escort; "Hey, I've got one of them" or "Hey, I want one of them"

I don't see that so much has changed in this respect.

It's a sport that cries out for decent TV coverage and it pains me to say it, but I see only one saviour in this respect; Sky.
Was true once – not sure it’s still applies. Personally, I reckon Sportscars are the most relevant to road car technology; petrol, diesels, hybrids, etc
Rallying isn’t really offering anything – 1.6L Turbo engines, 4WD....Wow....where is new technology? Diesels, hybrids....I’m not sure the sport is relevant. Also, the cost of developing these technologies.
The thing with the old RS Escorts was the car had virtually the same layout as the Rallycar – front engine, RWD. The last Focus was 2.5L Turbo, and FWD......nothing the same at all.

Agree about the TV – it desperately needs decent TV – Manufacturers won’t commit to a series with poor coverage. Return on Investment is what they’re all after – at the moment, just what are they getting?

Mark A S

706 posts

74 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
Having done a few rallies in the last year now, and had a few retirements so been out on the stages and had nothing else to do but watch, IMO, its not really the car that’s so important, it’s the noise!
Stick a powerful high revving N/A engine in Any car, and its exciting to watch, weather 4wd, Fwd or preferably Rwd.
Needs to be driven well helps of course, and the less electronic aids [ especially 4wd diffs etc ] the better.

LimaDelta

2,187 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
I wrote a fairly hefty reply to this thread yesterday, then lost it...

Anyway, for me, my interest waned for two main reasons:

Firstly, no discernable link to the car on the stage to the car on the road. I followed rallying far and wide from the early nineties. I loved the fact that the group A cars looked just like the road versions of the Cosworth/Subaru/GT-Four/Evo etc. even the F2 kit cars that came later in the BRC seemed 'right'. For me the change from group A to WRC was the beginning of the end.

Secondly, and most importantly (IMHO), I loved the involvement felt when spectating. If I want to sit in a grandstand, I'll buy a ticket, drive down to Croft and watch BTCC. Rallying was about the early mornings, marking up the maps fom the rally guides in the previous issue of MN. It was about the mad dashes between stages to catch the leaders through and then on again. I loved it because you felt involved, because it wasn't easy, and getting it just right on a big event was genuinely satisfying. The move towards centralised servicing, spectator 'pens' on a limited number of stages meant punters who previously were spread over a hundred stage miles were now bunched together. The sport lost its intimacy. Instead it got £20 car parks and burger vans.

I understand public liability and land access issues were causing problems, and the lack of marshalls (often did this too), but I feel it was simply an economic decision which spoiled the sport. Pandering for TV audiences and casual punters in town centre super-specials simply put me off going.

I haven't been to a major (BRC/WRC) event for around 8 years. I did make it to the RAC in Dalby last year, which was close to the old days, but due to stage timings, and a pregnant wife only managed one double run and a BBQ, but still it felt better and less retrictive than the bigger, more mainstream events.

I would love to pick up with rallying again, but working away, family and other commitments, and the feeling that it will never be quite the way it was, means I will probably have to make do with memories. Like the snowed in '96 RAC in Kielder, or the first closed road Jim Clark Memorial. Or the BRC Manx showdown in '97 moan
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LimaDelta

2,187 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
^^^
Just realised I didn't actually answer the question. hehe Rewind to 1990!












Infact, sod it, rewind to 1970!

TankRS

2,002 posts

40 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
i’d like to offer an answer to some point raised in this thread so here goes -

Twincam16 said:
-Merge the IRC and WRC. More rounds, more cars, more manufacturers and more drivers can only be a good thing, plus I suspect the likes of Mikkelsen are more than capable of holding their own against Loeb et al.
Great in theory, won’t work in practice. If both were to merge, there would still only be one team per manufacturer, Currently the manufacturers in both series are - Ford, Citroen/Peugeot, Skoda/VW, Renault, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mini. Looks an awesome line up until Citroen/Pug decides to run just under the one brand, same with VW/Skoda. In doing so making many top level drivers redundant, they in turn would take the seats of other privateers and along with that the sponsors they would probably use. Yes the entries would be bountiful, until budget restraints kick in and drivers start missing long haul rounds as its cheaper to stay in the EU rounds. Just ask Kris Meeke!!

Twincam16 said:
Base the cars on road-legal production models. I don't mean some expensive, economically unviable homologation run. Set the rules so the cars on the rally stage have to be capable of being bought and specced if you had deep enough pockets. Take Ford for example - You can buy a Fiesta and take it to Mountune for modifications. Whether in-house or privateer-based, this process should always be possible for road cars.
They are based on road legal production cars. The Fiesta WRC is a Fiesta ZetecS base. Then given to M-Sport for their work to do.

M-Sport offer kits for the Fiesta starting at the R1 which is £17,000 all in right up through to WRC which is in the region of £340,000 visit http://www.m-sport.co.uk/ and scroll to the bottom for their dedicated websites to each spec of car. R1,R2,S2000 & RRC

Twincam16 said:
-Bring back touring stages. Rather than having everything packed into a small area or even an arena, they should have stages all over the country with transfer stages run to regularity rules in between. Physically spreading out the action means they can scoop up more spectators.
We did this on Rally GB last year, and will again for this year, the competitors weren’t overly fussed with the distances in all honesty as there was considerably more road miles than there were stage miles. Spectator reactions were similar too.

Twincam16 said:
They need a major terrestrial/digital broadcaster behind them. This needn't necessarily be a front-line channel (BBC1/2, ITV1, C4 etc), simply because I recognise that it's not going to grab as big an audience as, say, the football or the athletics. However, the superb entire-day's-motor-sport coverage we get on ITV4 on BTCC racedays suggests there's capacity for it. Perhaps a 'rallying roundup' could be added to the end of the BTCC programme, or they could do a more substantial show on non-BTCC weekends. Still, ITV4 proves there's mileage in non-F1 motor sport coverage.
Not having a TV deal still is a big blow for us fans. But one appeal to the current format of close action within a few km’s of each other means its easier to film. Longer stages means more people to film, more people means more cost in wages, and this i think is the sticking point in current negotiations. IRC run most of their stuff from chase helicopters and in car footage, but often you lose part of the spectacle viewing it from above, still it’s better than nothing!

Twincam16 said:
However, if the car had to start life as a production-line showroom car (albeit the hottest version), and the transformation from road car to rally car was handled by an outside tuner (in the manner of the BTCC), then it'd be easier for manufacturers to manage and market their 'rally specials' (they'd just have to build 'tribute' versions of their hot hatches), what would look like hard work to a manufacturer becomes a great lifeblood contract for a third-party motor sport preparation firm, and punters could buy these cars in the showroom knowing they were only an overhaul away from being the cars on the rally stage - then they'd be simultaneously cheaper for the manufacturers, better news for Britain's motor sport sector, more appealing to buyers and easier to compete in.
I’ve answered this one already wink

Furyblade_Lee said:
BUT the cars must be to a set price and privateers must be able to purchase a car off the shelf from whoever they want. Maybe a limit of £300k for a car?? And engines like in F1, have to be lifed to last a certain time, have rev limits, and breath through restrictors.
This is already in place re engine lifeing, they run to restrictors also, 34mm ones i belive.

Vocal Minority said:
I am all for the reduction of costs by making the cars more basic. I understand the major cost in modern rallying is all of the clever electronic jiggery pokery. If the road car don't have it, the rally car shouldn't. Though mechanical parts, eg. engines, clutches, gearboxes, suspension can be beefed up for spectacle's sake - this is relatively cheap.
This also happend in the new rules, diffs were changed to mechanical, paddle shifts were outlawed, centre diffs binned (i think).

Nick M said:
They don't excite me !! They're clearly being driven quickly, but the drivers no longer seem to be on the back foot - they're not having to fight to control the cars, to tame them even, just being smooth and quick and efficient. Boring.
Richard Burns proved early on that clean safe driving was the best way to win a rally, McRae,Gronholm,Solber etc all got shown up by it, as exciting as they were to watch hanging it out every chance they got, when they binned it or had a moment, Mr Consistent would breeze past, still going at a pace, but just making it tidier. Imo having RWD only cars wouldn’t bring the spectacle back as the current crop of consistently tidy drivers would tame it, knowing ass out round the bend is slower than getting the power down later in the corner.

YorkshirePudding said:
In the UK the MSA needs to stop banning perfectly good cars from competing.

They saw fit to ban the biggest draw, at a national level, Andy Burton's Pug 306. banghead

My neighbour can't get his logbook renewed due to his car being a kit car, one pissed off owner who'd like to see the MSA up against a wall and shoot.

Then they wonder why entries are falling. rolleyes
thumbup agree completely


Another problem with WRC right now is the loss of the Spectacular Drivers, apart from the Solberg Bros no one else in the sport seems to have the enthusiasm for it. i’d question whether Loeb even counts as a celebrity outside of France, actually probably even in France! No driver has given the ‘mass marketing’ appeal drivers of old did. Loeb always appears as if he’s turning up for a 9-5 desk job and rarely emits any form of emotion whereas Petter is so passionate about it that he cant help but show his emotion, the interview he gave at stage end on the last round after going the whole stage without power steering was amazing, he was clearly drained of all his energy and downed a bottle of water in 3seconds flat, but still gave one hell of an interview, Loeb rolled up, did his usual mumble then drove off. You can see he’s bored of it all now and is counting down the days till he retires.

When asked if he’d like to see the return of Safari and Kenya as the monster WRC rounds he said no. Why?? The long stages don’t appeal to him and because he likes his sleep. (something like that anyway, i’ll try and find the link). Although i think its because he knows he couldn’t keep up the consistent driving style he has over 100km stages against drivers like Solberg and Latvala.

I know i haven’t given much in the way of ‘fixing’ the wrc, but thats because i’m at a loss to what can be done tbh. I’d love to see more manufacturers using cars we can go out and buy to an almost identical spe. I’d also love to see the African rounds back as they were great for showing up drivers strengths/weaknesses over the long stages. Take the TV coverage back outside the car and from a birdseye view as its not exciting to watch. Yes sometimes you only see a car on screen for 10seconds but the Pro’s behind the camera always knew the best locations to get the action shots, action shots = exciting viewing.

As a last note to someone who asked why the stages are predominantly in Wales, its due to the fact most of Rally GB funding comes from the Welsh Assembly.
And the Forestry commission in Wales don’t charge as much to use the roads as they do in England (so i’ve been told in the past)

Al W

578 posts

113 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
TankRS said:
They are based on road legal production cars. The Fiesta WRC is a Fiesta ZetecS base. Then given to M-Sport for their work to do.
laugh Who honestly believes they modify a showroom Fiesta by simply slipping in a 4WD system and sequential box, and then hit the WRC trail? Regardless of the marketing-speak, for this ex-rally fan the current cars hold little interest or relevance. They're prototypes.

Although technology has always played a part in top-level Motorsport, I can't help feeling that advancing technology brings greater efficiency that's often to the detriment of entertainment. I see the same in F1, sports cars, touring cars etc

For me, RWD rally cars with more power than grip will always be more entertaining than 4WD or FWD, but hardly anyone makes RWD any more unless you look at the Porsche GT3, Aston etc, and they're hardly mass-market cars. I can't see VAG or Peugeot/Citroen building RWD just for rallying, so that's out

I don't know what the answer is for top-line rallying. Without the spectator interest (live and/or online), it's hard to see the manufacturers really committing; and without a decent array of quality cars & drivers, why would people watch?

There's some great historic rallying to watch though...

ArnageWRC

633 posts

45 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
Regarding RWD - if there's a will, then there's a way. Audi race with RWD in DTM/WEC-Sportscars......yet you can't buy one from an Audi dealer........

As previously said - Manufacturers are in it to sell cars. Now c'mon - who honestly wants to buy a Ford Fiesta Zetec-S, or a Citroen DS3...??? You can't imagine young teenage boys have posters of them up on their bedroom walls. A bit different to 15-20 years ago.....I've still got a Ford Escort RS Cosworth brochure somewhere......

I honestly have no idea what the answer is. Do you want to continue with 'Production based' cars? Even though they're nothing like what you can buy at the dealers. Or, do you go the opposite way, and make them proper Prototypes - or even a Silhouette formula??

Personally, Jean Todt needs to get all interested parties around the table - and see were that leads us. And make sure Ford & Citroen don't hijack it with their threats, they've had their way in recent years, and the sport is no better off - in fact, it's worse.

TankRS

2,002 posts

40 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
Al W said:
TankRS said:
They are based on road legal production cars. The Fiesta WRC is a Fiesta ZetecS base. Then given to M-Sport for their work to do.
laugh Who honestly believes they modify a showroom Fiesta by simply slipping in a 4WD system and sequential box, and then hit the WRC trail? Regardless of the marketing-speak, for this ex-rally fan the current cars hold little interest or relevance. They're prototypes.
i never said they simply slip a 4wd system and sequential box to a showroom fiesta.

i highlighted what i said to make it clearer.

here's the info from the WRC teams themselves regarding the shells -

Ford - Bodyshell: Unitary construction. Unique composite side panels. Welded T45 steel safety roll cage. Aerodynamic rear wing. Unique front ‘bumper’ treatment.

Citroen - Built using the production body shell, the DS3 WRC chassis includes a roll cage made of over 40 metres of steel tubing. The lower part has undergone several significant structural modifications: upper attachment points added for the rear McPherson-strut suspension, optimisation of the lower suspension attachment points, integration of the transmission tunnel and the rear differential...

Mini - Chassis.The MINI John Cooper Works WRC chassis is based on that of the MINI Countryman road car. The extreme stability of the MINI Countryman allows the engineers to exceed the FIA safety requirements with comparatively little additional steel tubing. Prodrive's uniquely designed roll cage is not only one of the safest, but also one of the most spacious safety cells in rallying.


The basic shell of the current wrc cars is identical to the road cars, with the exception of the wider arches. theres nothing 'prototype' about it.

Edited by TankRS on Tuesday 22 May 22:12

Al W

578 posts

113 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
TankRS said:
The basic__ shell of the current wrc cars __is identical to the road cars, with the exception of the wider arches.
Really? If you're involved in the builds, I'd be interested to hear how they get drive to the rear axle in a production fwd bodyshell, or where the rear diff fits?

TankRS

2,002 posts

40 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
Al W said:
Really? If you're involved in the builds, I'd be interested to hear how they get drive to the rear axle in a production fwd bodyshell, or where the rear diff fits?
not involved in the building of them. and clearly i've made the rookie mistake of forgetting the modifications they make to extend the transmition tunnel to accomidate the driveshafts for the rear wheels and diff :facpalm:

JB!

4,135 posts

66 months

[news] 
Tuesday 22nd May 2012 quote quote all
As someone who BUILT JWRC cars.

Cars are too complex and expensive.

S1600 Swifts run:

Brembo 6-pots with floating discs in 2 sizes for gravel/tarmac.

Coilovers with on-board remote resivoiors.

Hewland 6spd sequential box

Bespoke uprights

S1600 200+bhp engine

Custom bodywork


None of which you can buy from your local dealer.

This, plus the lack of coverage, and boring tactics are killing WRC.

I wish more historic and road rallies & rallycross were televised!

ChrisJ.

514 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
Historic Rallying, ...

... it's the future.

Twincam16

Original Poster:

27,646 posts

144 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
JB! said:
As someone who BUILT JWRC cars.

Cars are too complex and expensive.

S1600 Swifts run:

Brembo 6-pots with floating discs in 2 sizes for gravel/tarmac.

Coilovers with on-board remote resivoiors.

Hewland 6spd sequential box

Bespoke uprights

S1600 200+bhp engine

Custom bodywork


None of which you can buy from your local dealer.

This, plus the lack of coverage, and boring tactics are killing WRC.

I wish more historic and road rallies & rallycross were televised!
Actually, given the success of ITV's BTCC coverage, I wonder if there'd be any merit in covering the British Rally Championship?

Cars more similar to showroom models, local interest, more English and Scottish stages - OK, so the drivers aren't household names (yet) but the action might be more exciting. Cheaper to film too, I'd imagine.

coppice

1,480 posts

30 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
ChrisJ. said:
Historic Rallying, ...

... it's the future.
You are of course quite right. Not because it is historic but the fact that the cars used are diverse- 3s 4s 6s and even some 8s, many different drivetrain configurations- and spectacular. Modern WRC is a a parody of the rallying I grew up with and attracts pathetic entries and little media coverage. The answer is complex- I think what we need to end up with are great sounding and sideways prone cars but how we get to that from our tech heavy turbo 4Wds is the problem. I suspect one D Richards has a lot to answer for.

EDLT

14,716 posts

92 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
TankRS said:
When asked if he’d like to see the return of Safari and Kenya as the monster WRC rounds he said no. Why?? The long stages don’t appeal to him and because he likes his sleep. (something like that anyway, i’ll try and find the link). Although i think its because he knows he couldn’t keep up the consistent driving style he has over 100km stages against drivers like Solberg and Latvala.
He never said that at all. In an interview he said he doesn't like how the new rallys are spread over four days and he would rather see them done in two - which is achievable because a couple of the days only had one or two stages to run.

And the past decade has shown that it is Latvala/Solberg/Hirvonnen that can't keep up a consistent pace against Loeb.

Twincam16 said:
Actually, given the success of ITV's BTCC coverage, I wonder if there'd be any merit in covering the British Rally Championship?

Cars more similar to showroom models, local interest, more English and Scottish stages - OK, so the drivers aren't household names (yet) but the action might be more exciting. Cheaper to film too, I'd imagine.
There is already a show about the british rally championship
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssPQknNwS8w

The new cars are slower, boring to watch and still too expensive for some of the competitors (see the 'can't afford an R3' comments in the interviews). I don't know why they bothered with the different classes of almost identical looking cars, its is like they want to kill any interest in the sport.

ChrisJ.

514 posts

126 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
coppice said:
Modern WRC is a a parody of the rallying
Best phrase yet.

That's the thing, it just isn't 'rallying' any more.
There are some key elements to rally events that were there from day one to the mid 90s.

Then someone decided to take those key elements away??

ArnageWRC

633 posts

45 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
ChrisJ. said:
Best phrase yet.

That's the thing, it just isn't 'rallying' any more.
There are some key elements to rally events that were there from day one to the mid 90s.

Then someone decided to take those key elements away??
Yes, mainly the Endurance element. Endurance seems to be a dirty word in WRC circles.....a good job they weren’t in charge of Sportscars....
Have Sebring, Le Mans, Nurburgring, Petit Le Mans, etc all cut their races to suit modern audiences?
Yeah, I can just see it, the NEW & IMPROVED Le Mans 3 hours......
Pathetic.....Rallying should be speed & endurance.....looking after your car is just as much a skill as driving flat out....

Cyder

5,442 posts

106 months

[news] 
Wednesday 23rd May 2012 quote quote all
Irony being that most of the changes made since the early 2000's were done to improve the sport for the tv audiences.... nuts
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