IRC: Q&A: Andrew Coe - EXCLUSIVE.

It is certainly something we have been considering and we have been talking to the BRC about that. They are aware of this event and its launch here today. I think an event of this calibre and an event of this size will inevitably benefit the BRC in terms of its promotional development and vice versa. There is lots of interest and potential to crossover. I think it would be a great development if we could work together with the BRC championship and [BRC boss] Mark Taylor. Hopefully we will have some good announcements in the future.

Could this event ever rival Rally GB in anyway?

Obviously the World Rally Championship is akin to the Premiership in Football. It is the pinnacle of world rallying. But what I have been very impressed with here in Scotland in our dealings, especially over the last twelve months, is that there is a huge appetite for rallying. The pedigree and names associated with rallying and Scotland just come to mind immediately - and obviously Colin McRae would be at the top of that list. There is a will to make this happen. It is going to take a while to develop an event up to the standards of a WRC event. But I think if there is a will to do that - and certainly there is some world class stages and terrain here in Scotland - who knows what could happen. We will keep reviewing that over the next two to three years.

Finally, is there any news yet on if Rally GB will get to stage a round of the WRC in 2010?

At the moment, on the calendar that has been published, we do not form a part of the World Rally Championship in 2010. But, having said that, Wales Rally GB is certainly an event that is probably unique in the world in that, despite not having WRC status, it could be that we run an event anyway of a serious nature - if we had the continued backing of Wales. That is something we are working on and we are putting some plans together for what could happen in 2010. We are still working with the FIA and lobbying to make sure that if the calendar does change for 2010 - and there are some suggestions and it has been widely covered in the media, that the 2010 WRC calendar could still be subject to some changes. If that is the case, we would be delighted and pushing hard to be in there as part of the WRC. But even if we are not, we may find it is feasible to run a major event in Wales, based in Cardiff as normal, and still attract a very good value participation base from which we can run a very special event.

Could that be a bit like what the Monte Carlo Rally is doing next year and tie in with IRC?

Not necessarily the IRC. But I think there are a number of major events in the World Rally Championship that are tapping their fingers on the table and saying: 'What do we do?' As I said, because of the strength of our sport in the UK, it could be that we run a major event that wouldn't necessarily form part of the WRC. We wouldn't be setting a precedent either. Some people, with slightly older memories, might recall in 1995 or 1996 when the Network Q Rally, as it was then, wasn't formally part of the WRC. It did form part of the Production World Rally Championship. But despite not being a full WRC event it did take place and it was as good and as big as ever. People came to support it and what is upper most in our thinking is: 'Could we actually run a huge event of the scale of Wales Rally GB without necessarily being a points' scoring round of the WRC?' It is not something we have agreed to yet. But it is certainly a possibility.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Andrew Coe and Alex Salmond - First Minister of Scotland - at IRC Rally Scotland launch [Pic credit: Rally-Photo.com]
Andrew Coe and Alex Salmond - First Minister of Scotland - at IRC Rally Scotland launch [Pic credit: Rally-Photo.com]
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland [right] speaking at IRC Rally Scotland launch [Pic credit: Rally-Photo.com]
Pierre Louis Loubet (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Karl Kruuda (EST) - Martin Jarveoja (EST) Ford Fiesta R5, Drive Dmack Trophy Team
Yoann Bonato (FRA) - Denis Giraudet (FRA) Citroen DS3 R5
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA)-Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, FWRT
Quentin Gilbert  (FRA) - Renaud Jamoul (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Teemu Suninen (FIN) - Mikko Markkula (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5, Team Oreca
Marcos Sebastián Ligato (ARG) - Rubén Francisco Garcia (ARG) Citroen DS3 WRC
Khalid Al Qassimi (ARE) Crhis Patterson (GBR), Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total WRT
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II
Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR)-Anders Jaeger (NOR) Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Motorsport II
Craig Breen (IRE) - Scott Martin (GBR) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team
Kris Meeke (GBR)-Paul Nagle (IRL) Citroen DS3 WRC, Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team

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