Thursday 31 March 2016

Rally - DCC Stages

Full entry list for Saturday's DCC Stages at Ingliston. Cracking entry, just a pity it's a non-spectator event.…/31-mar-dcc-stages-entry-list/

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Rally - Border blethers

Bartering for goods and services, flichty maws, co-driver cruelty to drivers and dangerous dog biscuits. More from the hidden underbelly of Scottish rallying.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Rally - Border classes

That's the Border Counties Rally class roundup now in the on-line rally mag. News and gossip will be compiled accurately and truthfully tomorrow and be on-line later in the day. I say truthfully, because you won't believe what some rascals get up to on Scottish rallies - or maybe you will.

Rally - Border report

That's the main report from the Border Counties Rally now in the on-line rally mag. Class roundup to follow (soon!) with news and gossip to be on-line before the second round of the Scottish Tarmack Championship takes to the stage this weekend. And with a bit of luck and a following wind, reporting schedules will be back to normal next week. Fingers crossed!

Friday 25 March 2016

Rally - Forum

Diary Date - 28th April ... If the previous two postings have stirred up a bit of interest then the next 'RallyFuture Forum' event being hosted by the MSA at Carlisle might be of interest.

This is just the latest in a series of seminars being arranged around the UK to explain rallying's new rules to those who are interested, and hopefully to listen to other points of view. Another event is being planned for Scotland but no dates or venues have been confirmed. Anyway, this next one will benefit from the fact that the 2016 season operating under the new rules is already underway and much experience has already been gained.

The venue is The Shepherds Inn, Montgomery Way, Carlisle, CA1 2RW, which is just off the M6 at Junction 43 (behind Lloyd Land Rover), with arrival from 7pm for a prompt 7.30pm start on Thursday 28th April.
Amongst the guests will be Malcolm Wilson OBE, David Bogie, Nicky Moffitt, Safety Delegate, Sue Sanders, Safety Delegate and some other high heid yins from the MSA.

The organisers would also like to know how many folk are intending to visit and if you could email that would be very much appreciated. But don't confuse this evening with a lighthearted and entertaining sporting forum, this is intended to be a more serious discussion about what the MSA is planning and how the sport should be responding. If you are there to learn or have something to contribute then you will be more than welcome.

Apparently the Shepherds Inn has a small private meeting room for up to 20 folk and another for up to 100, with a bigger room for up to 400 should the occasion demand!

If you can't make it, then there might well be a quiet wee soul sitting at the back taking notes - and you can read about it here afterwards!

Thursday 24 March 2016

Rally - Spreading the word

I was chatting to a couple of old-timers (they won't be reading this, they "don't do computers!") the other day, one an ex-rally driver and the other an ex-navigator. On a whim they decided to pop down to the Border Counties the other weekend just because it was running through the Tweed Valley and they knew the stages.

Imagine their surprise when they turned up at Elibank and were charged a tenner to park their car before going to watch. Then their shock at being told they couldn't walk up the roads to their favoured vantage point, and even if they did they wouldn't be able to walk back out while the rally was still running.

It got worse. Once directed to the specified spectator location, they were then informed by a Marshal to move further back because they might be struck by flying stones. Adding insult to injury, the Safety Delegate entourage stopped and told them to move further back before the stage could commence.

They were completely unaware of all these new rules and limitations. They don't buy the weekly paper any more, there are no dedicated rally magazines, there is virtually nothing in the sports sections of the daily press and there is no coverage on radio or TV, so how do folk find out what our sport is doing?

If the sport can't reach those who used to participate what chance does it have of trying to reach newcomers? We simply can't rely on 'social media'.

Not only do we need to attract and inform newcomers to the sport, we need to advise and educate other forest users like dog walkers, horse riders, mountain bikers, twitchers and ramblers. They have no interest in looking at motor sports websites so why should they need to know anything about rallying, and if they did want to find out any specifics, where would they start? Which web presence would provide them with accurate information?

If folk won't help themselves then it's up to the sport to do it for them, and on that basis the Forestry Commission and the MSA need to work much more closely with event organisers to spread the word ahead of each event. Perhaps a free leaflet could be printed and placed in FC offices and shops for general public distribution and also in other retail outlets in the local area ahead of events.

More signs on all forest approaches, entrances and car parks are needed, not just to tell folk about The Country Code and keeping the countryside tidy, but that they need to be aware of and look out for other signs motorised wild life - from forestry vans and chainsaw contractors to logging trucks and rally cars. These signs also need to be colourful and attractive so that folk stop and look. Also, most forestry conservancies and national parks produce their own quarterly news-sheet so a regular spot about rallying in here would help spread the word.

Rallying is like no other sport. You can't just turn up at a stadium, get a ticket and go and sit in your seat, so folk need to be enlightened.

Just another job for hard pressed rally organisers, but a little bit of outside help wouldn't go amiss, eh?