by Rob Wilkins
TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH BRIAN STUBBINGS: CLICK HERE
The 2008 Rallyday at Castle Combe takes place this coming Saturday and this year BP Ford
Abu Dhabi World Rally Team number one Mikko Hirvonen
will headline following in the footsteps of the likes of Hannu Mikkola and Ari Vatanen as well as the late Colin McRae. Crash.net Radio
caught up with Brian Stubbings recently, one of the brains behind the event, and got the low-down on all the attractions...
Brian, the big star at this year's Rallyday is going to be Mikko Hirvonen. How important is it to have a name like that at the top of the bill?
It is terrific to have Mikko come along with the latest Ford Focus RS World Rally Car and it does make a difference. A lot of people come to the event to see different rally stars and having someone that is bang up to the minute and fighting for the championship is a real crowd puller.
It's not the first time the Rallyday has attracted one of the premier names from the world of rallying, we've seen the late Colin McRae and the late Richard Burns at the event, as well as the likes of David Richards and Matthew Wilson. Does that history help you now?
It does - I think people now know the calibre of stars that they can expect to see at the event and it has helped. We always try and keep it diverse as well around the more recent stars and some of the people that were successful many years ago.
The event seems to regularly attract around 10,000 people. Can you break that marker this time?
The weather always influences that. But for the last few years it has been a reliable 10,000 people crowd. I believe that with some of the attractions we have got this year it is certainly probably going to appeal to a bit weirder audience outside of the 'hardcore' rally fans. We have got a big Rally Raid display this year and we are doing a lot more with Rallycross. It is going to be interesting to see what effect that has.
Of course the Combe Rallyday is not the only rally show in the UK now - and the Chatsworth Rally Show took place back in June. Is that a help or a hindrance?
It probably doesn't help to be honest, but it is just one of those things. Elements of the show that we have done here have gone across there as well. From a spectator point of view geographically it is in a different place and so that is good. But it is more to do with the teams that there is a bit of a problem. It is difficult for them and they only have so many spare days that they can devote to this sort of activity. In that sense it makes things a bit more difficult.
At least this year though both shows aren't in September...