The FIA World Council of September 2012 has ensured that a new era in international rallying is about to take place.
The World Rally Championship will be joined by WRC2. As a result of this, a clear structure of classes flows down from the top echelon to the grass roots. A new promoter is in place for the big events. And the sport itself retains the enthusiasm and passion needed to succeed.
This blog is born of the fact that this sport – our sport – has the opportunity to change for the better. That opportunity deserves recognition, especially for those of us who have struggled along through many years of dark days when rallying seemed determined to send itself into obscurity.
There is much to be done and many wrongs to put right. Yet, for all that, there is much to preserve.
Hopefully a return to the mainstream beckons: a chance for top-flight motor sport to reach people. We have all the tools and potential to create an era in which rallying captures the popular imagination as it did when BMC Mini-Coopers ruled Monte Carlo, when the Lancia Stratos howled to victory, when Group B redefined speed and when we savoured the many manufacturers, teams, drivers and stars who made the WRC a decade ago.
Be in no doubt: now that there is a chance, it’s down to us – we who care about the sport – to lobby and chivvy and grumble and enjoy it all in equal measure. If we can do that, then the rest of the world will see what it’s been missing all this time.
This is a place for rally fans: I hope you feel at home here.