For a number of years I’ve been a long time supporter of the BHRC competing with numerous drivers on various events. It’s a championship I’ve always enjoyed, had great fun and even had the odd great result – And I met one of my heroes Francois Delacour. But, the last two years have really proven to me that the championship has lost its way and what was the pinnacle of historic rallying is now fast becoming a farce.
I don’t want to follow or be the precursor to the BRC and I certainly don’t want to spend hours waiting around for ceremonial starts which mean absolutely nothing.
Last year with no warning entry fees rose by on average £150:00 – I don’t include the Mid Wales Stages in this which kept its entry levels realistic, at clubman levels and I believe is THE best devised historic rally in the UK.
What did I get for my extra £150:00 or equivalent of my hard earned extra £600:00 over the year – absolutely nothing, apart from the guarantee that I helped prop-up the under supported BRC, again apart from the Mid Wales stages the forest roads were a joke. The Severn Valley 2011 being a prime example, we were assured prime forest mileage – well how come 15! Yes 15 cars were parked up at Dixies changing punctures 3 of which (Porsche 911’s) HAD to retire because they had run out of spares. This was the first run… with the potential of another 60 odd cars travelling across the roads already in a poor state. We also then had to run back to Builth Wells for service on tyres that were at best totally illegal and at worst ready for the scrap heap. Now people might say change tyres etc etc but here comes the second problem if you are allowed to run a certain type or make of tyre then as a competitor there is nothing you can do.
Thirdly, why would I now want to enter a championship which I have no chance of winning as Julian Reynolds found out there is no way he can win in a D5 car due the points scoring system and the way it favours classes with the least amount of runners. Fine, I don’t have a major problem with this but what I do have a problem with is a mix of events. Most of us choose whether to run on the tarmac or gravel series having the Jim Clarke running at this time of the year means we won’t be able to support other events due to the close nature of the rounds and at the end of the day I’m in this for the fun and can’t imagine how many extra hours and if we’ll have the time to make the changes.
This was a real opportunity for the HRCR to remain the number one historic championship especially with the rifts deepening in the ranks. I’m afraid this has done nothing to add any credence to the championship and rather than becoming a hit I fear that the numbers and registrations next year will be low to say the least – I hope I’m proved wrong!
We are in a recession and numbers are dropping all the times – to have the expense, travelling, time off work and events I really do not want to do I’m afraid there was a huge sigh of disbelief when I saw the calendar… for me all I have left now is the BTRDA!!
Check out the proposed recently released 2013 calendar:
Round number and name Surface Based at Date
1: Mid-Wales Stages Rally Gravel Newtown March 3rd
2: Bulldog Historic Rally Gravel Welshpool April 6th
3: Pirelli Historic Rally Gravel Carlisle May 4th
4: Jim Clark Rally Asphalt Duns June 1st / 2nd
5: Severn Valley Stages Gravel Builth Wells June 15th
6: Harry Flatters Rally Asphalt Epynt July 28th
7: Ulster Historic Rally Asphalt Antrim August 23rd/ 24th
8: Rallye Sunseeker Gravel Poole October 19th / 20th
Colin McRae Stages Gravel Aberfeldy October 5th