By David Love
So what do I know! In my last scribblings about this years rally I said we were keeping International in the name, which at that time we were, but things constantly change in the run up to the event. We along with Pirelli are honoured to be associated with Richard Burns name and are pleased to be in a position to help promote the work of the Foundation. I was amazed to discover that it was 20 years ago that Richard won the Pirelli and then I was depressed to realise that I started marshalling on the event 10 years before that. No Geoffrey! There wasn’t a man with a red flag walking in front of the cars.As I said things change in the run up to the event and we’ve just had our first logistical hiccup. The route was decided, the stages measured and timing worked out when we got word from the Forestry Commission that we couldn’t use a section of the route so it was back to the drawing board. So now we are on version 2 of the route, which thankfully will not cause too many changes to the overall timing of the rally
The beauty of the changes in the format should make this year’s rally very relaxed compared to previous years. There will still be a relatively early start for the Recce for the BRC competitors on the Friday and we’ll be fairly busy setting up Rally HQ during the day but the actual rally will start at a sensible time on Saturday. The plan is for all competitors in the BRC, Historic, BRC Challenge and Land Rover categories to start from the city centre from about 10:00. They’ll then head out to Kielder for three stages taken in quick succession before returning to the racecourse for Service then it’s another run through Kielder before returning late afternoon or early evening again to the race course where the Historic and BRC Challenge competitors cross the Finish ramp to end their rallies. On Saturday afternoon there will also be a National category event that will cover about 25 miles.
Sunday morning will see the BRC and Land Rover competitors head for two stages in Kershope. There will also be a longer event for National competitors, this will be a separate event to the Saturday one but competitors may enter both at a discounted price. The first car will arrive back at the racecourse to finish the event around lunchtime; this will give both competitors time to travel home on Sunday.
We hope that the new format will prove popular with everyone, especially as most Marshals won’t have to take time of on Friday and will get home at a decent time on Sunday. Talking of Marshals, if any Club Members fancy a change from the forests they’re welcome to come along and help me at the Start in the City Centre. I have a great team supporting me but we’re going to be very busy with over 100 cars coming and going up English Street so any extra help would be appreciated. Wherever you decide to Marshal I would like to thank you, in advance, on behalf of the Organisers for your help and wish you an enjoyable and safe rally.