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Well, it’s the end of the financial year already. Some six months into the year and we have had a couple of ARC’s and the new S2000 cars of Ford and Toyota.

Are these the sport’s saviour? Well, I think they look good and sound great, but our sport at the top end needs so much more. How will these cars filter down to the average rally plod? They won’t, because they are just too expensive.

* The comments expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of RallySport Magazine.

Hands up all those with 50k spare for a new gearbox? Even our well heeled privateers won’t be able to afford them. Given Ford reckon their Fiesta is worth $450K, I would rather drive one of Atko’s dunger WRC Subys for less!  
With about 100 rallies all over the country this year, the ARC makes up just six of them. Out of that six we have two Toyotas and two Fords running at factory level. Just how much of the sport is biased toward these cars? The TV at ARC level is pointed towards them - after all they pay for it - the events themselves are run like mini WRC  events, and still the crowds don’t come.
Well it’s because the powers that be, CAMS, ARCom and Rallycorp, have missed the boat when it comes to what rallying is all about. Somehow our sport has turned into a technofest of forms, officialdom and bloat that now takes hundreds of bodies to run. An ARC stage can take 50 or more people just to run it!
Mid-point scoring FIV’s, and tracking systems all add further to the costs. Have we forgotten that rallying was supposed to be a test of driver and car reliability? Modern day rallying has not really improved the lot for the average rally punter given daylight running, special stages and super special stages.
Rallying is now divided. The majority of rallying is club based and ought to be at night where you only need a third of the officials. It’s folly to suggest that we need daylight running for club events as the costs to clubs and organizers is way too high.

Let’s review all the rules, keep safety in mind and let’s end this silly official licence crap that CAMS has introduced. They stop good people being officials, make more work for those who are, and don’t police it anyway, so why bother.  Hey guys, if you’re caught not policing it, then isn’t that worse?
At the top level, we need Tony Cochrane badly. His “take no prisoner” attitude might just save our sport from disappearing. S2000 ain’t the answer or the sport’s knight in shining armour. ARC regulars can’t afford them.

Is anyone listening? We need to develop an affordable class, develop a franchise model and work with event organizers so that there is co-ordinate promotion. The ARC should be our showcase, a franchise system like V8’s.

Get the rules right, the events right, TV and away you go. Rallying at the top end fixed. Outcome? The rest of the sport feeds into it and prospers. Just like racing. Who said it can’t be done? What, another working group or committee? Come on guys, get with the action!
And don’t get me going on our silly PRC rules. Keep it up boys and the drifters will take all of the cheap rally cars and sponsors!
Rallying is a great sport and we all love it, but for it to continue and prosper we need to sit down and do some rethinking at all levels.
Someone please take charge. Who’s it going to be? Tony, are you there?
- Flat in 5th

Photos: John Doutch

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