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Old 28 May 2020, 10:26 (Ref:3978887)   #16
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They are sprint events that cater for very certain sorts of cars, I remember years ago talking to admittedly rich crews at an airfield moaning about having to adjust their suspension and use different tyres because the surface was not very good, that to me is a part of rallying, not turning up in a hillclimb car setup basically for circuit racing.
Oh for the luxury of having a selection of different tyres! We do adjust the suspension setup prior to events based on how good/bad the surface is likely to be but that's really only ride height changes (again we just don't have the variety of springs/shock absorbers to do anything else). Our car is certainly more softly sprung than some.

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it serves a purpose but for me, these events would not exist in the main rally season, they exist to make Palmer and other venues money off season and are designed to impact the venue as little as possible.

They are click bait for the off season a bit like the car shows at the same time. AS I say they serve a purpose and you can see with this raft of changes the people running them are trying to claw back interest.
These events existed before this championship started - they've been going on for years, it's just that now there's a championship that links them together into a "season" and that season runs over the winter. There's nothing wrong with running in the "off season" - in fact from my point of view I prefer competing outside the warmer months, it's hot enough in the car in January let alone June. The events seem to get good entry numbers so clearly they're catering for what the crews want - they're a very relaxed days rallying.

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The closed roads scene is the future, always has been, to bring us in line with the rest of Europe in particular and hopefully these circuit events in my opinion stay off season for people who don't really know much about rallying to watch at, as for fans like me, they are really not worth the effort to watch at anymore.
More closed road events would be great to see - but I'm not sure how many we're realistically going to see. The obstacles to getting one up and running are huge and the amount of work that goes into it really can't be underestimated - Chelmsford Motor Club put in a phenominal effort to get Clacton up and running, hopefully that can be replicated elsewhere.

Forest Rallying appears to be declining (cost and availability of forest seem to be the problems) so maybe closed road events can take up some of the load from there. I assume from you "proper rallying" comments you spend a lot of time out in the forests? There's not much forest rallying left in the south (no more Tempest, Rally Of Kent long gone) so the forest events are a bit of a trek for me - any favourite events / venues you'd recommend for a trip into the woods?

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But as is the case with most club level motorsport these days, the punters are the last people these events, circuits etc think of.
That's because club level motorsport is paid for by the competitors - the potential return for the circuits from the paying public is limited, is it really worth their while? But I'd have said the circuits seem to be doing a good job of making 'an event' of some of these meetings (Fireworks at Oulton Park and Cadwell Park for example).

Like any motorsport event the circuit rallies aren't for everyone (in the much the same way that I don't watch bike racing - it's just not something I enjoy) but they seem to fill a hole for some people and currently they're obviously viable for both organising clubs and circuits - long may that continue!

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Old 28 May 2020, 18:57 (Ref:3978987)   #17
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As a Wikipedian and motorsports fan, I have been reading about the history of the different disciplines, venues and organisations. I like to learn why and how they were created and disappeared.


Attending a rally has less comforts than attending a racetrack. There's no grandstands, toilets, food carts or fan zones, although now there's a service park. These circuit rallies seem like an interesting alternative.


Of course, many drivers will prefer to enter proper rallies rather than Mickey Mouse circuits.
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Old 28 May 2020, 20:33 (Ref:3979022)   #18
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Of course, many drivers will prefer to enter proper rallies rather than Mickey Mouse circuits.
Hmmm, doubt that Mickey Mouse would want to be driving towards a tyre chicane or a concrete pit wall at 90 mph and get through it whilst braking as late as possible.

Itís not the same as a forest rally but it is still a challenge, and the barriers can sometimes be even close than in the woods.
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Old 28 May 2020, 21:33 (Ref:3979030)   #19
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Of course, many drivers will prefer to enter proper rallies rather than Mickey Mouse circuits.
I've competed in rallies on circuits, tarmac non-circuit and forests - they're all very different but they're all rallying and they're all good fun. The circuit events aren't to everyones taste but that's fine - people can pick and choose the events they like, ultimately unpopular events fall by the wayside as they don't stack up financially.

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Hmmm, doubt that Mickey Mouse would want to be driving towards a tyre chicane or a concrete pit wall at 90 mph and get through it whilst braking as late as possible.

Itís not the same as a forest rally but it is still a challenge, and the barriers can sometimes be even close than in the woods.
Adjust the speed to 120 (we'll reach that at Brands and Goodwood - that's why we need the chicanes on the straights) and you're about there. Each type of rally has it's own challenges - in the forests there are trees and ditches, closed roads the same to some extent. Circuits have tyre bails, concrete walls and gateposts, airfields have blast shelters. All of them can make a mess of a car if you get it wrong.
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Old 29 May 2020, 14:38 (Ref:3979178)   #20
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Motorsport, even more than most sports, is about cost and value.


Like, doing a Dakar Rally is very expensive, but there's hundred of competitors that are willing to pay for it. Having decent sponsors and television coverage helps to pay for it.



A circuit rally requires renting a racetrack, which may or may not be expensive. But it helps to attract paying fans, which can't be done easily in a stage rally.
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Old 29 May 2020, 14:51 (Ref:3979181)   #21
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A circuit rally requires renting a racetrack, which may or may not be expensive. But it helps to attract paying fans, which can't be done easily in a stage rally.
Venue hire is expensive no matter whether it's a circuit, airfield or forest (I can't remember what the Forestry Commission charge per mile but it's not cheap!). For the circuit based events the circuit will take the gate money for the spectators (the cost of putting the event on will be paid by the organising club and recouped from the competitor entry fees).

For the circuits it's another way of bringing in money during the "off season". When we did the rally at Brands Hatch this year there were areas around the circuit undergoing their winter improvements / maintenance - they couldn't have run a race meeting or track day given where the work was being carried out, no problem for the rally though so it turns otherwise "dead" time into paying time for the circuits.

The circuit based events are great for the casual rally fan and as mentioned above some circuits have turned them into family friendly events by putting on things like fireworks as well. It's a way of getting people to watch rallying that may otherwise never see a rally. Many of the single venue events are on Ministry Of Defence sites and no spectators are allowed, forest events are by their nature more difficult to get to and have limited facilities - bobble hats compulsory The closed road events also offer a good chance to bring new spectators to the sport - the Clacton rally had plenty of people out watching a rally for the first time.
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Old 31 May 2020, 18:38 (Ref:3979511)   #22
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Here in Latin America it's often the other way around - local governments sometimes pay to be hosts of national championship events.
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Old 1 Jun 2020, 09:28 (Ref:3979581)   #23
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Here in Latin America it's often the other way around - local governments sometimes pay to be hosts of national championship events.
For bigger championships (like BTCC, BSB for example) the circuit pay to host the championship and make their money back from the spectators. For something like the MN Rally Championship the spectator numbers are too low for that to be viable - so the championship hires the circuit and makes it's money back from the competitor entry fees (same with club racing meetings).
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Old 1 Jun 2020, 16:52 (Ref:3979665)   #24
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I think you may be wrong on closed roads Bert

Since Clacton there have been a splurge of closed road events, ther was even supposed to be one near my neck of the woods in Stevenage this ears and at least 4 or 5 have been run in the past year at different venues.

It seems where there is a will there is a way, I eman who would ever think that a rally could be held within 40 odd miles of London at the best of times, elt alone now.

I tried the circuit stuff, but for me its not rallying, it is sprinting with clocks. Would rather watch other things. Sadly that time of years there is chuff all on, so I will usually end up somewhere handing Palmer over far too much money for what is on, but there we go.
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Old 1 Jun 2020, 19:21 (Ref:3979688)   #25
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I think you may be wrong on closed roads Bert

Since Clacton there have been a splurge of closed road events, ther was even supposed to be one near my neck of the woods in Stevenage this ears and at least 4 or 5 have been run in the past year at different venues.

It seems where there is a will there is a way, I eman who would ever think that a rally could be held within 40 odd miles of London at the best of times, elt alone now.
I hope I'm wrong! The more closed road events the better as far as I'm concerned - especially down in the south where we've been losing venues.

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I tried the circuit stuff, but for me its not rallying, it is sprinting with clocks. Would rather watch other things. Sadly that time of years there is chuff all on, so I will usually end up somewhere handing Palmer over far too much money for what is on, but there we go.
They're not for everyone, but as you say they tend to run when there's not a lot else going on - although Lydden ran a winter rallycross series last winter so that's something else to watch during the off season - hopefully they'll run that again this year (the 'proper' season is truncated so competitors might well be up for a winter series).
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