|The move comes in the wake of last year`s Foot and Mouth epidemic and changes in international technical regulations which have had repercussions on the sport in Britain.
To address the current situation and to meet future challenges, the Motor Sports Association has charged Mike Broad, chairman of the Rallies Championship Steering Group, with the responsibility of preparing a full review of British rallying. With the benefit of more than 30 years of rally experience as a co-driver, event organiser and as a director of the British Trial & Rally Drivers Association, Broad has extensive knowledge of the sport within the UK. He also won the British Rally Championship (BRC) with Russell Brookes in 1985.
“For a myriad of reasons, we feel British rallying is currently struggling to fulfil its maximum potential,” says Colin Hilton, chief executive of the Motor Sports Association.
“At the top level, we are determined to see the British Rally Championship restored to its past position as the perfect proving ground, not only for drivers and co-drivers but also for technicians and all those seeking a career in the sport. It`s no coincidence that many of today`s top stars – including past World Champions Richard Burns, Colin McRae and Tommi Makinen – all honed their talents in the BRC, a series which accurately reflects the demands of the World Rally Championship by offering both top-class forest and asphalt stages.
“We are confident that Mike Broad has all the right credentials and contacts to produce an authoritative and comprehensive report, which will prove an invaluable asset to those planning the long-term structure and success of the sport at all levels in Britain.”
Although not under-estimating the enormity and responsibility of the task ahead, Broad is relishing the challenge: “I have been given a far-reaching brief to consider all aspects of the sport, so I`ll be talking to all interested parties from manufacturers and teams to drivers and event organisers. I will also be looking at how we can best respond, not only to the current FIA technical regulations but also to those already in the pipeline for imminent introduction. It`s crucial that we select the right formula to re-establish the British Rally Championship as the natural stepping-stone for those setting their sights on a World Rally Championship future. If we can get that right, it will put the BRC back onto the international sporting map and pave the way for the remainder of UK rallying. In order to have a successful BRC, it is vital that the sport is strong at grass roots level.”
In order to provide Broad with a sufficient timescale to conduct a full review, the Motor Sports Association has given him 12 months to prepare the report. However, all parties involved expect the full report to be published well within that deadline. “I`m aiming to present my findings in around six months time,” confirms Broad.
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