Wales Rally GB gets extended government backing, is it enough?

  • Jason Anthony

    France already has the Monte, so I would imagine that the WRC would be more willing to drop Corsica instead of Wales Rally GB. Also, we have heard all the noise Citroen is making about China, but what would Ford M-sport do if Rally GB was dropped off the calendar?

    • Alex Langheck

      M-Sport would be disappointed, but they have other bigger programmes, I;e the Bentley GT3. I doubt RallyGB has much impact on Ford car sales, the event is virtually ignored by mainstream media.

  • Enzo Gaming

    I still hope France is going to be dropped. If Corsica is just a stripped down version of former (glory) days, it’s not as exciting as it was and Rally Alsace is just another Rally Germany. I’m very courious about China though. But dropping the Wales Rally would be a big loss for WRC in my opinion.

  • Alex Langheck

    RallyGB has to rely on Welsh government ‘hand outs’ as it can’t attract a proper commercial sponsor! Why? Because the event & sport are invisible in the UK. Why don’t Vodafone, Currys, Aviva, etc want to sponsor.
    The former rallying heartlands of Yorkshire, Scotland & Kielder have been abandoned, all for a huge wedge of Welsh cash. It’s simply more short termism.

    RallyGB should be rotated every 3 years, rather than staying in the same place every year. Hardly trying to grow the sport, is it?

    Compare to the Tour of Britain cycle race; they know 7/8 days isn’t enough to cover the whole of the UK, so they try to cover each region over a 3 year period, meaning it’s possible to watch at least once every 3 years.

    And guess what? Which sport is growing & thriving and gaining exposure to the general media? Answer: it isn’t rallying.

    • wrblog

      I must admit I was not aware of the lack of media coverage, especially since I always perceived Britain as a very rally oriented country. But when you step out of your little circle of rally friends, you realize how big the world of sports really is and how small and isolated rallying still is in this world. There is still plenty of room for WRC to grow but I, for one, often forget just how much room. Loads! Especially in mainstream media, as you said.

      How did they secure the government support with no media coverage? Is WRC bringing so much to Welsh economy on its own, no further promotion and presence in media needed?

      • Alex Langheck

        Good question, but remember, it’s not the UK government funding the event, it’s the Welsh Assembly; which is why it stays entirely in Wales.
        The local media will obviously cover the event, but the national media give very little coverage; remember, during the RAC era it used to get huge coverage on national TV, Radio, newspapers. I think it’s now viewed as basically a Welsh event, rather than a British or International event.
        A lot of sports, especially minority or ‘niche’ try to include London, as that ‘sells an event’.

        • wrblog

          Good points. I often wonder what would it take for WRC to win back some of that immense coverage and support it enjoyed in the old days – I cannot but hope that things promoters do are heading in that direction, but is it enough and will it get us there is hard to say.

  • TrueColours

    I think it’s making a comeback. We’re starting to get good coverage on satellite and decent coverage on terrestrial. I haven’t really watched rally since Loeb started dominating it, nothing against Loeb. I think what is needed most to bring WRC mainstream attention is a healthy competition/rivalry between the drivers and more teams/cars. It’s the human ‘sport’ element to it. Need to back it up with access on a morning to see and hear the cars and drivers, help strengthen the connection.

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