You’ve got to hand it to The Bears, they ain’t afraid of nuthin’. Next month’s Colin McRae Stages Rally organised by Coltness Car Club will test a radical new format, starting at 12 noon on Saturday and finishing at 12 noon-ish on Sunday with an overnight halt and ‘entertainment’.
A lot of people think the idea of a two day event with an overnight halt is daft. No doubt a few competitors will moan that they could do the rally in a single day by booking early morning scrutineering and travelling to the event even earlier! For the majority, it still means only one night away.
Full marks for trying it though and it’s only by trying will the sport find out if the idea works and is popular. No doubt there will also be a few spectators who don’t like the idea, but given the implementation of new rules, spectating opportunities are already becoming much more restricted.
There is another reason for the format. The bears have personally extended a very kind and courteous invitation (how could anyone refuse?) to two rather special guests for their Saturday evening ‘Rally Forum’. In addition to the expected line-up of rallyists both the Scottish Government appointed Civil Servant tasked with overseeing the Motor Sport Safety Review Group and the recently appointed Safety Delegate have agreed to appear on the panel to explain the new requirements and to take questions from the floor.
By hosting this unique gathering on the Saturday evening mid way through the rally, it should ensure a good attendance of competitors and if they don’t attend and start bleating about new rules and restrictions next year, then who can they blame?
And if the audience gets rowdy, just remember who’s running the show. The Bears are not to be trifled with fed on a distinctly Lanarkshire diet of Tunnocks teacakes and Irn Bru - so who needs ‘energy drinks’?
As for the picture, that shows last year’s winners, but who is the chap sneaking up in the background and what is he up to?