by Rob Wilkins

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH BRIAN STUBBINGS: CLICK HERE

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, September 22 and reviews the action for Crash.net Radio...

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Crash.net:
Brian, in a few words, sum up your thoughts on this year's Rallyday?

Brian Stubbings:
I'd say it was the best yet in terms of turn-out and attractions - and for the first time in three years the weather was kind to us as well. There were over 10,000 people in attendance in the end and it was very, very busy.

Crash.net:
Following on from the Rallyday at Castle Combe there was the 'The Rally Show at Chatsworth', the weekend after. Do you think that had an impact at all on crowd numbers?

BS:
It is difficult to say exactly, but I am sure some people would choose one event or the other. It is always difficult to put an exact figure on it but there probably would have been some impact.

Crash.net:
Is there room for two similar rally shows so close together?

BS:
I think you can question whether there is room for two rally shows at all. Basically a lot of the big rally teams only have very limited time and the risk is by having a couple of different rally shows those attractions get split rather than appear at both places. That then isn't quite so good for the fans. It is a fairly niche, specialist thing and the risk is it might not work for spectators if you have too many of them.

Crash.net:
From your own personal point of view, what was the highlight of this year's Rallyday?

BS:
Blimey! I'd have to say a couple of things - I can't boil it down to one. I'd probably say Hannu Mikkola in the Audi Quattro S1 E2 was a huge thing for me. Matt Wilson and Gwyndaf Evans in the WRC cars were good too. They both did some fairly flamboyant driving - and the Aston Martin Rally GT was awesome as well. It is kind of split between those three things - all for their own different reasons.

Crash.net:
What feedback did you get from the stars attending - people like Matthew Wilson, Hannu Mikkola and Phil Mills?

BS:
It has been really positive so far. I had a chance to have a bit of a chat with Hannu Mikkola on the day and he seemed to be enjoying it. It was good.

Crash.net:
This year the show benefited from an official tie-up with the Tesco 99 Octane MSA British Rally Championship. What was the reaction from the organisers and drivers' from the BRC to the event?

BS:
I caught up with Simon Moss [the media co-ordinator for the BRC] at the end of the day and from what he was saying the teams had all been really busy giving rides to all of their guests. He felt it had worked for them and in due course I will catch up with the individual teams separately too. But it seemed to be positive and I am quite pleased with that given it was a bit of a first for us this year.

Crash.net:
A special tribute was done for rally legend Colin McRae, who passed away 7 days before the show. Were you pleased with that and how it was received?

BS:
It was shocking for everyone what happened the weekend before and basically when it happened I spoke to [fellow Rallyday co-founder] Darin Frow and we talked about what we wanted to do at the event. Overall we were pleased. We did a minutes silence and the entire crowd observed it, which was quite a moment with that amount of people all being in one place and all being completely silent. I think by getting a couple of cars there as well - his original ex-works cars - it did make it very moving for people. We had a book of remembrance as well, which fans wrote there comments in and we have just sent that up to the family. Given the short space of time we were pleased with what we did and I thought it was appropriate.

Crash.net:
Did McRae's tragic accident cast a bit of a shadow over the event?

BS:
I think many fans in situations like this want to be able to pay their respects and do something. In that way it can be of help to people. I remember at Wales Rally GB when 'Beef' [Michael Park] had that terrible accident and I went to the Millennium stadium afterwards and all the people were there and there was the minutes silence. It was helpful then and that was part of the thoughts behind it when we were putting this together.

Crash.net:
At the moment, I suspect you are still recovering from this year's Rallyday, but are you set to do it all again in 2008?

BS:
Yeah, I am pretty sure we are going to do it all again in 2008. We have got a few ideas and a few specific calls we want to make. Basically there will be a release later on this year with some of the main details on what we are going to be doing. That will come out sometime in November I think.

Crash.net:
Any hints on what you want to do for the eighth Rallyday?

BS:
Not just yet. We have got some ideas, but we need to progress them a bit more before we say anything about them.

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH BRIAN STUBBINGS: CLICK HERE