Sunday 15 March 2015

Rally - MSA under fire

Many folk are wondering why there is an apparent sudden rush to implement change. There is also much talk of knee-jerk reactions. The truth is, the Scottish Government is the driving force here, and they of course are answerable to the public.

To those outside the sport it would appear that little has been done to make things safer following a number of tragic events in recent years. To those of us inside the sport, we know that much has been done by organisers and regulators, but those on the outside are unaware.

There are two prime reasons for this. Firstly, rallying is regarded by the mainstream media and general public as a ‘minority sport’. It doesn’t attract coverage and generate comment like other sports so there is a widespread lack of knowledge about what goes on inside the cars and outside on the stages.

Secondly, we as a sport are not good communicators. For sure WE all know what is going on, but those on the outside looking in have little understanding. We are not good at promoting events or individuals, and until that’s sorted the mainstream press won’t be interested either.

The last time that rallying had a high-ish public profile was when McRae and Burns ruled the world’s stage. Sadly we lost them both and failed to capitalise on their legacy. Meeke didn’t get the breaks then and Evans has his chance now, but they haven’t (yet) managed to excite and invigorate sports desks across the nation’s media outlets.

Over 12,000 people have read my Facebook posts and well over 2,000 have taken the time to read the longer article in the on-line mag. These are not huge numbers, but in terms of rallying, I am really quite surprised. If you’re up for it, I’ll write another one and expand on the brief notes above.

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