Should history be used to promote the present (and future) of WRC?
World Rally Championship is in Spain this weekend, and among all the title duel drama and line-up changes and/or confirmations, there is plenty to enjoy for every rally fan. If you fancy modern rally cars and current WRC crews, there’s main Rally RACC event and its mixed surface hell/paradise. On the other hand, if you’re suffering from nostalgia and cannot sleep well unless you’ve had a nice little shot of old rally cars and legendary crews, worry not. Rally RACC organizers prepared a fantastic treat: line-up of historic rally cars and equally famous yet not so historic (yet!) drivers and co-drivers. If there is a rally car you simply loved back-in-the-day, chances are it’s lined up to tackle the stages of 2014 Rally RACC; same goes for drivers and co-drivers.
Nostalgia or not, WRC should not ignore its past. Instead, why not use it to boost the popularity of the sport today? Various cars, classes, drivers and co-drivers, famous events and special stages… they all play(ed) their part in making of World Rally Championship. For new fans it might be easier to understand the basics of the sport and the passion behind it if we show them what it meant to go through all the phases and different eras of the sport; from 60s and 70s to group B and beyond – you need to know the sport before you can understand it and love it. It takes MUCH more than showing a couple of special stages live and call it a promotion of a sporting spectacle. Because rally is so much more than that.
Instead of twisting the sport to some dubious purposes, promoters should maybe look back once in a while. They should extract some of the passion from the days long gone and inject it into modern day rallying. There should be films, web based stories and special “side show” competitions of historic cars and crews, among other things. Rallying should evolve and grow, no doubt about that, but it must not forget its past, because it’s so rich and full of pure passion.