2020 Rallying Thread (WRC, ERC and national rally)

2020 Rallying Thread (WRC, ERC and national rally)

Author
Discussion

ArnageWRC

1,047 posts

111 months

Saturday 22nd February
quotequote all
DelicaL400 said:
rdjohn said:
And not a single word on any news channel. PR generally seems to be non-existent.
Rallying is too male, too white and too environmentally unfriendly to be on the news. Elfyn's win was on the BBC Sport homepage, right at the bottom but at least it was there!
Well, in all honesty, it's just not that popular in the UK - and I say that as a fan of the sport. And a lot of that is self inflicted. All Live is a great addition to WRC coverage; but its behind a paywall. The promotion still isn't as good as it should/could be.

Autosport seem to have lessened their coverage, and the new arrival on the motorsport scene The Race aren't even bothering with rallying. Dirtfish have signed Colin Clark and David Evans, and are sponsoring Tanak, so they mean business, but unless you're a fan of the sport, you won't know about them.

DelicaL400

317 posts

63 months

Saturday 22nd February
quotequote all
ArnageWRC said:
Well, in all honesty, it's just not that popular in the UK - and I say that as a fan of the sport. And a lot of that is self inflicted.
Definitely, even a forum full of car people aren't really that interested in it!



ceesvdelst

289 posts

7 months

Saturday 22nd February
quotequote all
I adore rallying, but it has changed an awful lot int he last few years.

I was talking to a guy at Race Retro today about it and he has said the same, the MSV events get good crowds relatively but they are very different to proper rallying, good for drivers, but maybe not that great for older seasoned fans as it is like watching a sort of speed event. But they seem to work although I have noticed a slight wane in entry quality this year in some.

Single venue stuff is now a lottery depends where you are, used to be great fun ambling about on an airfield but regs and insurance mean that is not really on, so you lose a bit of passing interest and really, in the main the people that went there knew how to behave largely anyway.

It was the bigger national events near towns that got big crowds who were pretty naive and got unruly.

But, we do have an explosion in closed roads events, in line with Europe really, and this is huge, run properly they could in my mind revolutionise UK rallying. And as fans we have to me mindful, don't take the mick, don't do your own thing, because one Jim Clark type incident and we are back to square one.

Personally I am not interested in the top level, WRC and BRC, club stuff is what I enjoy. WRC is about the top teams and no-one else, the people involved think it's great but the public voted with their feet years ago coverage wise, they need a reason to watch and seeing people they don't know winning is not going to do that these days.

aeropilot

20,028 posts

179 months

Sunday 23rd February
quotequote all
ArnageWRC said:
DelicaL400 said:
rdjohn said:
And not a single word on any news channel. PR generally seems to be non-existent.
Rallying is too male, too white and too environmentally unfriendly to be on the news. Elfyn's win was on the BBC Sport homepage, right at the bottom but at least it was there!
Well, in all honesty, it's just not that popular in the UK - and I say that as a fan of the sport.
Its not rocket science to work out why.

If any sport is dying at grass roots level, and the top level has next to no free to view mainstream TV coverage then its popularity will wane.
No one is free from being to blame, be it the car makers, law makers, TV media people, the FiA, the RACMSA and spot the dog.....not to mention the interests of younger people are far removed from the hey days of rallying in the 70 and 80's.....in fact they aren't even that interested in cars.

Back in the day, you could use you daily driver on a few local road rally events, after a sump guard and a pair of Cibies had been fitted.....but no one with a shiney new Audi on PCP is going to be doing that.




Slippydiff

10,910 posts

175 months

Monday 24th February
quotequote all
aeropilot said:
Its not rocket science to work out why.

If any sport is dying at grass roots level, and the top level has next to no free to view mainstream TV coverage then its popularity will wane.
No one is free from being to blame, be it the car makers, law makers, TV media people, the FiA, the RACMSA and spot the dog.....not to mention the interests of younger people are far removed from the hey days of rallying in the 70 and 80's.....in fact they aren't even that interested in cars.

Back in the day, you could use you daily driver on a few local road rally events, after a sump guard and a pair of Cibies had been fitted.....but no one with a shiney new Audi on PCP is going to be doing that.
Apologies for the long post, yours struck a chord smile

I suspect that this is the crux of the problem, yet strangely they are interested, albeit at a very superficial level, be that following their idols on Instagram, watching Vloggers "reviews" on YouTube or playing on their XStations tongue out all of which allow them to enjoy their dream cars vicariously.

We've discussed this before, and whilst I think the current crop of WRC cars are technological masterpieces (and incredible to watch) and the commitment they're driven with, other-wordly, they're so far removed from the cars available in the showroom they're based upon, the general public really can't relate to them.

I think the shift towards closed road tarmac events in the UK is to be embraced wholeheartedly, but I suspect that the blanket message that "Speed Kills" that's been drummed into us over the past 10-15 years has seen a sea change, and thus any form of "road racing" will be frowned upon by the general populace and the tree huggers/loony left.

Unlike our European counterparts etc who support, embrace and I suspect actually enjoy having Tarmac events running past their front doors, the majority of Brits who find themselves in the same situation, will see it as nothing more than a bunch of hooligans racing around the lanes, causing them untold inconvenience for 24 - 48 hours.

For me the halycon days were the 80's (I think you considered them to be the 60-70's ?) but I was born in '63, so rallying only really appeared on my radar in '79 (my first WRC event was the '83 RAC)

It seemed that when the routes and schedules were less media friendly, both from the perspective of being strung out across the length and breadth of the UK and the stages were being run all through the day and night, the opportunity for spectators to get to the many and varied stages was easier/better.

With the advent of the cloverleaf event format, spectator access issues seemed to become the norm (certainly in the UK) though I've not experienced the same in Finland, Germany or Sweden. The last time I spectated on Corsica the issues were starting to manifest themselves (though that was back in 2007 ...)

Back in "the good old days " you could spectate without being herded into an enclosure, and if you were prepared to walk for just a few minutes more, you could usually find somewhere to spectate with either just a handful of like-minded individuals, or on your own/with the mates you'd arrived with, and that was a huge part of the appeal for me. Whilst I get that the Turini is/was the very essence of the Monte for many, it's about as far removed from what I was seeking from the sport when spectating on it.

As I've said on here previously, I derived huge pleasure from spectating in the 80's, the opportunity to view the worlds best in the wilds of Kielder at 1, 2, 3 am in the morning, seeing an early 80's A2 Quattro's turbo, downpipe and brake discs glowing bright orange as the likes of Mikkola, Blomqvist, Buffam, Mouton and Lampi fought to gain an advantage over the rest of the field, is something that will stay with me the rest of my years.

Within 3 years what I refer to as the "real" Group B monsters had arrived, and watching Mikkola and Rohrl driving their S1 quattros on the RAC (which did quite literally shake the ground beneath my feet) was something else altogether to behold. But the Group B years also made what was previously a relatively "underground" sport, that was followed by "bobble hatters" clutching well thumbed copies of the Motoring News or Car and Car Conversions for the itinerary (or to navigate to the stages, if they didn't have the necessary local knowledge) far more high profile, and with that higher profile, came increased public awareness.

I spectated on the '86 RAC rally and was shocked at the numbers that had turned out for the UK's Group B swansong.

The early Group A days seemed to quell spectator numbers (and deservedly so, the cars were incredibly dull to watch) but as the Group A cars morphed into something altogether more focused and quicker AND the McRae/Burns duo raised awareness of the sport even further, the numbers flocking to the stages once again increased.

I tried spectating on Rally GB during the late 90's, and rapidly found it too frustrating (not to mention increasingly expensive) Thereafter I tended go to the closest available WRC events, Germany, Corsica, Greece, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand ...

When I went to NZ in 2003 the Kiwi spectators were bhing because the marshalls were politely requesting where they should cross the stage and where not to stand stageside.
They were outraged that someone was even daring to marshall them.
Had they spectated on a UK event they'd have been absolutely apoplectic !! In reality they didn't know they were born, access to the stages was ridiculously easy and you pretty much had carte blanche to stand where you wanted (within reason) stageside.

Corsica, Finland and Sweden were equally easy compared with the UK, as was the first year of Rally Deutschland as a WRC event. Though apparently Walter Rohrl was scathing of both the organisers and the spectators as he drove the course car ahead of the event. When I returned there some years later, things had changed and event was very efficiently run, and access to the stages was more difficult and the marshalls displayed elements of behaviour more often witnessed between 1939-45 ...

There doesn't seem to be an easy fix, the sport is all too often misunderstood (or not understood at all) and at national level in the UK, would appear to have had it's day. With Motorsport increasingly becoming demonised, the costs to compete ever increasing, and a general antipathy towards fossil-fuelled cars, the outlook looks far from certain.





aeropilot

20,028 posts

179 months

Monday 24th February
quotequote all
Slippydiff said:
We've discussed this before, and whilst I think the current crop of WRC cars are technological masterpieces (and incredible to watch) and the commitment they're driven with, other-wordly, they're so far removed from the cars available in the showroom they're based upon, the general public really can't relate to them.
I don't think that many club level competitors can relate to them, which again, is part of the problem.

While in terms of costs of some parts a Grp.4 Escort RS1800 was far removed from a Gr.1 RS2000 or club level Escort, in most aspects it was pretty much the same basic car.
Current WRC is F1 tech but with dirt.........and its want the manufacturers demanded...........but, once they decided they didn't want to play anymore you are left with not a lot. This year is just a Hyundai vs Toyota. Ford M-Sport isn't really in the as not really manufacturer support.

WRC is fast disappearing up its own high tech arse.

Slippydiff said:
I think the shift towards closed road tarmac events in the UK is to be embraced wholeheartedly, but I suspect that the blanket message that "Speed Kills" that's been drummed into us over the past 10-15 years has seen a sea change, and thus any form of "road racing" will be frowned upon by the general populace and the tree huggers/loony left.
I fear this will be the case.
I hope not, but the headaches of event setup and management in the UK just make the whole thing almost unsupportable.
I admire those that are still persevering, but many motorclubs are now relying on people of retirement age, or close to it to run events, and with no next generations coming into the sport at that grass routes level, its not hard to see where the sport will be in 10 years time....outside of Historic Rallying (for obvious reasons)


Slippydiff said:
For me the halycon days were the 80's (I think you considered them to be the 60-70's ?) but I was born in '63, so rallying only really appeared on my radar in '79 (my first WRC event was the '83 RAC)
We were born the same year, but I was never really a spectator (other than watching on TV prior to getting a driving licence at 17) or that interested in spectating, only interested as a competitor, marshal or service crew, so my view is based on that perspective. I can actually count on one hand the events I attended purely as a spectator laugh
Start of the 1970 World Cup Rally at Wembley, start of the 1977 RAC Rally at Wembley, 1984 RAC (Donnington SS and somewhere in the Forest of Dean) and the 1995 Monte Carlo. That's it.

That's why from a competitors point of view I think the hey days was late 1960's through to the start of the Grp.B era, which put such a huge gulf in performance and costs between the pro's and clubman that has never recovered.





Edited by aeropilot on Monday 24th February 14:38

Slippydiff

10,910 posts

175 months

Monday 24th February
quotequote all
aeropilot said:
We were born the same year, but I was never really a spectator (other than watching on TV prior to getting a driving licence at 17) or that interested in spectating, only interested as a competitor, marshal or service crew, so my view is based on that perspective. I can actually count on one hand the events I attended purely as a spectator laugh
Start of the 1970 World Cup Rally at Wembley, start of the 1977 RAC Rally at Wembley, 1984 RAC (Donnington SS and somewhere in the Forest of Dean) and the 1995 Monte Carlo. That's it.

That's why from a competitors point of view I think the hey days was late 1960's through to the start of the Grp.B era, which put such a huge gulf in performance and costs between the pro's and clubman that has never recovered.
Gulf between the pro's and clubmen you say ?
I've serviced once : 1986 Circuit of Ireland (when it really was a circuit of Ireland) 600 stage miles over 5-6 days.
Car No 75 was a Talbot Samba Rallye piloted by John Underwood :

https://www.ewrc-results.com/entries/9355-rothmans...

We worked out that the tyres used by Hannu Mikkola on his SWB quattro during the first day would've paid ALL of our event costs, that being travel to and from the mainland, entry fees, accommodation, food, fuel for the car and the service barge (a metallic green 1.3 Astra estate) ...

A bit late this, but having watched the Red Bull highlights of WRC Sweden last night, I have to say I was hugely impressed by Elfyn's performance in the Toyota. A really classy drive that showed the favorites (and yes, that includes you Seb O in the same car) how it should be done. Let's hope there are many, many more victories in the future, and that Elfyn reaches even greater heights.


Edited by Slippydiff on Monday 24th February 15:32

Drumroll

1,820 posts

72 months

Monday 24th February
quotequote all
One of the things I used to enjoy when spectating on the old Lombard RAC, was the actual planning of what stages we could get too. Plotting on the maps and sorting out what food to take and when we would "sleep".

Who can remember Hot Cans? great as a fall back if your planning didn't go quite right.

Now much as I loved those events and events like the Mintex etc (both Spectating and marshaling), I fully understand why they had to change. You can't in this day and age "race" around the country with very little sleep.

There are still some spectators that will come out into the forests. I do agree that closed roads are the future. But if we have another event like we did on the JCR in 2014 we will loose rallying in the UK. Unfortunately too many people really haven't understood how close we are to loosing rallying in the UK.

So yes I loved rallying "in the old days" but fully understand why we need to change.

I also agree we need the cars to look like the ones we can buy in the showroom.

DelicaL400

317 posts

63 months

Monday 24th February
quotequote all
Drumroll said:
One of the things I used to enjoy when spectating on the old Lombard RAC, was the actual planning of what stages we could get too. Plotting on the maps and sorting out what food to take and when we would "sleep".
Same here, and it continued until a few years ago. It was a huge part of the fun planning where your "hotel" would be. And is there any better smell than breakfast being cooked on a frosty morning in the middle of a forest? Good times.

Ranger 6

6,120 posts

201 months

Monday 24th February
quotequote all
Drumroll said:
...Who can remember Hot Cans?
roflvomit

Drumroll

1,820 posts

72 months

Tuesday 25th February
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Ranger 6 said:
Drumroll said:
...Who can remember Hot Cans?
roflvomit
Never said they were any good, just handy if the choice was no breakfast, sat in a car park cooking or getting to a stage and watching rally cars.😁

fttm

1,935 posts

87 months

Tuesday 25th February
quotequote all
Ranger 6 said:
Drumroll said:
...Who can remember Hot Cans?
roflvomit
Memories of Alistair Sutherlands Hot Cans must've got jaded over time , any port in a storm etc and no long term harm done . Welsh forest , cooking breakfast out of a Citroen Safari having been awake for days , awesome .

RyanTank

2,842 posts

106 months

Wednesday 26th February
quotequote all
regarding why they wouldn't use gravel tyres on Sweden, besides the blurb about damage to the road surface making it exponentially expensive for the organisers to repair, I read during the rally weekend that it was down to speeds of the stages too, the roads without snow and ice are faster than Finland in some sections, as is evident from this fact put on twitter

The winning average speed of @ElfynEvans on @RallySweden 2020 was 124.3 km/h. It's the fourth fastest #WRC event ever, and the fastest-non-Finnish WRC event. The fastest Rally Sweden before has been 2017 with 115.4 km/h from @JariMattiWRC



Apparently Michelin asked to be able to offer gravel/winter tyres for Sweden but never had an answer back from the FIA

Wingo

229 posts

123 months

Thursday 27th February
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A bit of a nostalgiafest going on ^

There are a good many teenagers that are still interested in car and clubbie motorsport. By clubbie motorsport I mean autotests, targa rallies,12 cars all of which have entry fees that a fraction of stage rallying and can be done, in some instances very successfully in an standard road car or something that costs a lot less than the tyre bill some are paying on a national gravel rally.

The issue IMHO is that the jump up to stage rallying, even at the lowest levels is a big step moneywise, not to mention the other barriers to entry such as a BARS test, etc.

These days BOMAD is pretty much the main funder of teenagers who want to get into road car based motorsport and there are other reasons for this, such as far fewer are in full time paying employment.

As for Hotcans, yep I remember them, no great loss to the world!!


Allyc85

7,027 posts

138 months

Saturday 29th February
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How much closer to the action do people need to get?

https://www.facebook.com/wrcrallyparaguaycodasur/v...

aeropilot

20,028 posts

179 months

Saturday 29th February
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Allyc85 said:
How much closer to the action do people need to get?

https://www.facebook.com/wrcrallyparaguaycodasur/v...
Seen worse.

Allyc85

7,027 posts

138 months

Saturday 29th February
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Worse than a spectator being hit?

RyanTank

2,842 posts

106 months

Sunday 1st March
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90% of those should not have been stood where they were! any news on the guys condition, couldn't see much online for it

Zarco

12,995 posts

161 months

Sunday 1st March
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Ouch. Hope they are OK.

Allyc85

7,027 posts

138 months

Sunday 1st March
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Just a cut to the head fortunately. A very lucky and stupid man!!