by Rob Wilkins
TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH BRIAN STUBBINGS: CLICK HERE
The 2007 Rallyday at Castle Combe takes place this coming Saturday and will feature a number of stars from the world of rallying - including 1983 FIA World Rally champion, Hannu Mikkola and Stobart
Ford's Matthew Wilson, as well as many, many others. Crash.net Radio
's Rob Wilkins caught up with one of the co-organisers, Brian Stubbings ahead of the event to get the low-down on all the attractions...
Brian, this is the seventh Rallyday at Castle Combe that you have organised with Darin Frow. Are you still as excited about it as when you did the first one back in 2001?
Absolutely, when we did the first event we didn't quite know what the response would be but as rallying enthusiasts we had a good feeling and designed it from that perspective. It is a bit different now. The event is well established and the challenge is how we evolve it and keep attracting new teams and celebrities, while keeping our loyal following. It is exciting but the challenges have changed.
The weather hasn't always been kind to the Rallyday show - why have you made the switch it to a September date?
Partly the weather - the last two years we have had quite severe weather, but we always keep an eye on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar as well. So it is a combination of looking at those couple of things and making sure we keep clear of any WRC events. We are certainly hoping for better weather.
This year, you have two big drivers' from the FIA World Rally Championship attending, namely one from the past and one from the present, in the shape of Hannu Mikkola and Matthew Wilson. How big a coup was it getting those two people to agree to attend?
It is fantastic - any one at WRC level is really good for us. I think it shows something about these guys too, how they can devote the time to something like the Rallyday. Both drivers' are excellent in our eyes and they show great contrasts. Mikkola is someone I remember watching in the Group B era specifically. It is good at the moment that we can all see Matthew evolving through the sport too and learning in what is only his second full season in the WRC.
The Rallyday and the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship have joined forces this year. How did they tie up come about?
We got talking with [BRC boss] Mark Taylor and he was keen to have a platform to showcase some of the BRC teams in a spectator orientated event and outside of the normal BRC rounds. We then put a package together with some of the teams and the guys from the BRC are going to be running on the circuit in a separate rally stage with good spectator viewing points.
What benefits will that link up have? Will it be good for the Rallyday show?