by Rob Wilkins

Rallyday co-organiser, Brian Stubbings looks back on this year's event, which took place at the Castle Combe Circuit in the UK on Saturday and reviews the action for Crash.net Radio...

Q:
Brian, the sixth Rallyday took place at Castle Combe on Saturday. Overall were you pleased with how the event went off?

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Brian Stubbings:
We were really pleased with how the event went. There was a bit of rain unfortunately in the middle of the day, a bit of a down-pour, but apart from that in terms of everything that happened, we were really chuffed.

Q:
How many people attended the roughly show?

BS:
There was over 10,000 that attended this year - a really strong attendance. So lots of rally fans there, lots of dedicated rally fans came to see the different stars, and we were really pleased with that as well.

Q:
Was that a record for the show?

BS:
Yeah, it was the biggest attendance we have had so far. It just shows that for a lot of people, the cars that we had there and some of the different stars and guests who turned up, were the sort of thing that they want to see.

Q:
1981 World Rally champion, Ari Vatanen, seemed to be extremely popular didn't he?

BS:
From the minute he arrived in the morning until when he left, well after the close of the event, he was surrounded by people and enthusiasts all wanting his autograph and he did an absolutely star role. He was really terrific with the fans. We had a good chat with him afterwards and we were just talking about different things and we are going to be doing something for a charity he supports.

Q:
You said prior to the show last week that you wanted to bring something new to it this year - on reflection did you think you achieved that?

BS:
Yes I do. This year was the first time we have had the BP Ford World Rally team there along with Mitsubishi as well. Having another team at that sort of profile was just incredible. We had a big wide range of guests from the likes of Mikko Hirvonen to Ari Vatanen too. So that was again a good breath of guests. We had other things going on as well - a wheel change challenge and other activities, which really does bring something for the visitors to do and with all those things taken together, it did bring it on to another level, I think.

Q:
Of course one of the other big stars was WRC commercial boss and Prodrive boss, David Richards. You said before the show that you would be interested to know what he thought about it. Did you get any feedback from him?

BS:
It was the first time he has come along and the response that we had was positive. It was great for him to be there along with that celebration we had with Ari Vatanen [25 years since they won the World Rally drivers' championship together in 1981]. I took him back to his helicopter at the end of the day and I had some quite good feedback, so that was pleasing.

Q:
At mid-day there was a minutes silence for Richard Burns and Michael Park. A poignant moment wasn't it?

BS:
It was a poignant moment and along with words from Jon Desborough, we also had a terrific parade of RB5's in honour of those two terrific guys. It was incredible how that came together and to have all those RB5's on the track at once moved a lot of people.

Q:
Obviously one of the other things at the show, related to that, was the Richard Burns Foundation. The event was also raising money for Save the Children. Any idea on how much has been raised so far?

BS:
I have to say I don't know yet - we haven't had the figures yet. I want to catch up with the people at the Richard Burns Foundation and also those at Save the Children. I know for Save the Children, there was a ride that was done with Ari Vatanen [which was put up on E-bay in the build up to the event] and that went for around ?860 for a couple of laps - that was great. In addition there was, in conjunction with the BP Ford team, we raffled a ride off with Mikko Hirvonen and that also, I think, had a big response. So it should have been a very positive day for both of those causes, which we were very keen to support.

Q:
For you personally, what was the biggest highlight of the event?

BS:
I have to say I had the opportunity to go out briefly with Mikko Hirvonen on the rally stages and that was absolutely like nothing else I have ever experienced. It was incredible.

Q:
I know you have only just finished doing this year's show and now want to take a well deserved break, but can you give us any hints on what you are planning for next year's Rallyday - how are you going to better the 2006 show?

BS:
Why did I know you would ask me that? At the moment we are talking to a couple of other people and we are speaking to another couple of teams as well just to see what might be possible there. We have got a couple of things up our sleeve; I am not going to declare what they are yet, because we are not quite in that position. However, people come back and they feedback that the formula that we do is right and we are just quite conscious that we don't want to go backwards. We want to do more of the same, but just introduce another couple of elements as we go on. There are a lot of things that worked quite well this year. We were pleased with the Rally Raid ride and things like that - and we just want to really try and evolve it a bit. I think what we are going to see though, is the paddock is going to be a wider area, with more and more people wanting to exhibit and display. We are going to expand around a bit to try and do that. So yeah we have got a couple of ideas, but I can't say too much right now.

Q:
Watch this space then really?

BS:
Absolutely - hopefully when the WRC calendar is finally bottomed out, then we will be able to get a date in the diary and it will all start to work on from there really. We hope to put on another fantastic show again next year.