Arnold Clark Jurys Inn
18th February 2017
MSA Chief Executive Rob Jones attended the Scottish Association of Car Clubs meeting in Stirling giving details of the safety tracking system to be introduced to UK rallying, and news on the negotiations with Forest Enterprise on future pricings.
The current 12-month agreement for Scotland and England expires at the end of this year and so a longer term, 3-year deal was sought by the MSA. In a departure from recent practice, the price for use of F. E. roads on stage rallies will rise by 5% in each of the next 3 years. Whilst this is a significant increase, it is clear that the MSA has managed to spread the sought after level over a longer period to minimise the impact. We can therefore expect to see increased entry fees in 2017 and beyond.
Negotiations with NRW over costs for roads in Wales are ongoing, the authority there of course looking for total recovery of repair costs. It’s worth noting that competitors in Ireland have faced big hikes in insurance premiums for all stage rallies, whether tarmac or forest, with increases of up to 30% levied on entry fees this year to ensure that rallying there can go ahead.
Not a situation we like but we still have access to the forests which seemed in some jeopardy a couple of years ago. Much of the turnaround there is due to the hard work put in by all our event organisers, marshals, services and spectators in accepting the new safety regime, as well as the good natured tolerance of inevitable delays by competitors.
Vehicle tracking was also part of the Scottish Government Safety Review and Rob Jones revealed initial details of the successful application. This will be introduced on all MSA Stage Rally championship events in 2017, and as with current tracking systems, it comes with a cost.
Each car will require to be fitted with a carrying cradle for the kit. This must be hard wired so that it’s unaffected by the cut off master switch so it won’t be a case of turning up at an SRC event to get it fitted in the noise test queue. There is a one off fee of £75 + VAT for this fitting, and we will bring you more details as they are available. There’s still 5 months to the Snowman so you should all have time to get the work done.
On events themselves, vehicle tracking will enable Rally HQ to monitor, on screen, the progress of each car in a stage, alert crews to any stationary vehicle in a stage as well as allow communications between the organisers and the crew. The kit will also have an SOS button to directly alert HQ to an emergency situation. Further details are expected shortly from the MSA and we will keep you up to date. The fee for hire of the in car kit will be £45 + VAT for each event. Whilst this also an increase it is a major step forward in the safety of everyone on a rally and will go a long way to ensuring the sport can continue.