The Motor Sports Association (MSA) has announced a complete review of stage rallying to be undertaken within the next six months.
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive, has appointed Steve Stringwell JP, Chairman of the MSC Judicial Advisory Panel to lead the review by forming a small working group to make recommendations for the governance, structure and strategic development of the sport.
“Rallying has been struggling for a few years,” says Hilton. “Rally licence holders are down by 10% in the past five years and the number of events has fallen by a similar amount. We know that the sport has been going through a difficult time on the international stage as well and that this inevitably has an impact on the domestic scene, but we have to look at the issues and see how we can redress the balance.
“The UK has a proud history of rallying success, but we need to re-evaluate what British rallying should look like; what the focus of the championships and events should be; how we can increase the numbers of competitors and spectators; and how we can attract sponsors and investment. We don’t need to identify the major issues – they are already well known throughout the sport – so we want this review to focus on identifying solutions to reverse the decline.”
Steve Stringwell has more than 40 years involvement in motor sport, having started marshalling in 1967. He competed on Club and International rallies throughout the 1970s and 1980s, before becoming an MSA Steward in 1986. Since then, Steve has officiated at a string of major national and international race and rally events and has been a Chairman of the MSC National Court since 2003. Professionally, he was appointed as a magistrate to the Leeds Bench in 1991, has been a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Panel and Drugs Panel, and now sits at Leeds Crown Court in the Court of Appeal.
“I am very much looking forward to the challenge of pulling this review together,” said Stringwell. “I would like to stress that this is very much an MSA review, not my personal project, so as well as convening a small working group, we will also be consulting widely across the sport. I think everyone is aware of the issues facing rallying and I hope that the results of this review will enable some positive action to be taken to improve the situation for the long-term health of the sport.”