At long last, we here in Northern Ireland might just be getting stage rallying back up and running later this year. While we are still in a lockdown situation until the NI Executive decides otherwise, a number of local clubs are planning events for October and November. This is great news! By that time most of the country will have received their complete set of vaccinations and life should be returning to something approaching normality. I have listed below a diary of proposed events, more May follow. Of course these dates are provisional and totally dependent on the the situation in Northern Ireland at that time with regard to COVID-19.
Organised by Magherafelt and District Motor Club this closed-road tarmac event takes place over six stages in and around Maghera in County Derry. Based at Walsh’s Hotel with a central service park nearby. BRMC members will be assisting with rescue, timing and other marshalling duties on the one-day NI Championship event.
Cookstown MC are running this event. Another closed-road tarmac rally, this time with four stages run twice in the Stewartstown/Newmills/Pomeroy areas of Co.Tyrone. We should be out in force again. A counting round of the 2021 McGrady Insurance Motorsport UK Northern Ireland Rally Championship and the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship.
This gravel stages event could be organised by as many as four Motor Clubs. No further details yet but we have been asked to assist with radio cover and possibly other marshalling duties.
The final round of the 2021 British Rally Championship. Organised by the Northern Ireland Motor Club the closed-road tarmac stages will be in the same area of County Down as the 2019 event, with a base in Newry. We will be marshalling as usual covering rescue, radio and timing as well as other duties. It must be said, if you are marshalling on any of these autumn events don’t forget your warm weather clothing. We could have rain, sleet or even snow on any of them!
I'm Tim Bendelow - BRMC region's new Rally Rep.
Rob Miller - the previous rep. stood down last year.
My aim as Rally Rep. is to inform our marshalling members of forthcoming rallies & encourage them to contact the rally Chief Marshal direct to volunteer their services for that event.
I will not be chasing-up marshals for an event - individual marshals ought to know what event/s they've volunteered for & noted all the relevant details required.
I will only act as the initial link between the organising club & any volunteer marshal.
If organising clubs could provide details of any changes for their events, including Chief Marshal's contacts, either direct to me or via 'Spotlight' that would be appreciated.
After comprehensive stakeholder consultation and an independent review, Forestry England today announces that motorsport will continue to benefit from access to the nation’s forests.
The review highlighted a number of areas of mutual interest between Forestry England and motorsports and all parties agreed to collaborate closely, evolve working practices and sustain motorsport in the forest.
The chief executive has approved in principle the new, strategic approach and Forestry England will now need to develop a long-term plan to make it happen. It has committed to keep talking and listening to the motorsport sector and other forest users.
Mike Seddon, Forestry England Chief Executive explained:
“The nation’s forests have in the past found themselves at the leading edge of motorsports in England. Our review has made it clear to me that we must take the opportunity to become leaders again.
“I’m excited for the future with the welcome support from Motorsport UK and the ACU. Together, this is our chance to reduce the environmental footprint of motorsport and improve its financial support for the forests and local businesses. We’ll better understand what the right event in the right place looks like, the true costs and how we deal with them. Perhaps we can bring some new audiences too.
“I know first-hand the passion and support that the motorsport community has for the nation’s forests and we’ve worked together for a long time. This is a strong base from which we can, together, lead the changes necessary to secure the future of motorsports in the nation’s forests.
“Finally, thank you to everyone that took the time to give us their views: some 1,700 individuals and organisations.”
Hugh Chambers, Motorsport UK CEO, commented:
“For decades the nation’s forests have hosted a wide variety of motorsport, from international rallies to grassroots entry-level club events, and everything in between. For so many there is a deep bond between our communities.
“I am delighted that with Forestry England we have secured a pathway that will enable us to build upon that strong cultural heritage, and also ensure that the communities in cities, towns and villages continue to benefit from the significant economic return they derive from local motorsport events.
“Our members have a deep respect for the unique nature of the forest stages and we are committed to playing our part in their preservation. We are fully dedicated to ensuring the long-term future of motorsport on the nation’s forestry estate through this crucial partnership.”
Roy Humphrey, ACU Chairman, added:
“The ACU are pleased to receive the news that, following a review of motorsports in the nation’s forests, the CEO of Forestry England has confirmed that a new agreement will be struck to support motorsport into the future.
“As the recognised Governing body of motorcycle sport, we look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with Forestry England to manage and organise quality events whilst encouraging access to the nation’s forests.
“Over the next five years, we are committed to improving our sustainability and environmental impact, and will be working with stakeholders, organisers, manufacturers and other forest users to secure our sport into the future.”
Rallying as a discipline was given the green light earlier this month, and now Motorsport UK has created a guidance video to help everyone understand the changes we have to undertake. Here is a link to the video:- ReturnToTheStages
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