by Rob Wilkins
The 2006 Rallyday at Castle Combe this Saturday, July 22, will feature an array of stars from the rally world, including, too mention just two, BP Ford
works driver, Mikko Hirvonen
and WRC boss, David Richards. Crash.net Radio
caught up with one of the co-organisers, Brian Stubbings this week to get the low-down on all the attractions for this year's event...
Brian, this is the sixth time you and Darin Frow have organised the Rallyday at Castle Combe. Is it getting easier?
I don't know about getting any easier. There is certainly more happening and each year we try and bring more to the event, which brings its own new challenges. Some of the other elements of it are becoming a bit simpler, we can book it earlier and things like that, which helps us.
Last year you had a number of star drivers at the show, including Colin and Alister McRae and Gigi Galli. How pleased were you with the 2005 Rallyday?
Superb - it was fantastic for us. I mean Colin and Alister have been before, but they did an absolutely star turn-out on the circuit in their two Mk II Escorts and they really entertained the crowds. Having Gigi Galli along in the Mitsubishi World Rally Car was certainly a sight to be seen too. Generally with a lot of these celebrities it is good for the fans to get a chance to see them outside the normal environment. So it worked really well.
Now one of the big 'names' attending this year, is BP Ford
WRC works driver, Mikko Hirvonen. Tell us how you managed to convince him and Ford to have a presence?
We have been working with Castrol now for the last couple of years, whereby they have supported the event with simulators and things like that, which has been really good and other activities for people to participate in and so really, we were quite keen to take it to another level. We have been in discussions with the team throughout the course of this year just to see what might be possible and when they confirmed that Mikko would be able to come along that was absolutely fantastic. Also having their latest World Rally car there is superb too. We are really pleased.
Matthew Wilson is going make his first appearance at the show as well isn't he, sporting his Stobart
Yeah that is right. I mean having the Stobart
team and Matthew there, is something else I am really looking forward to. He is obviously another full time competitor in the WRC and having that calibre of driver at the event is terrific. We are delighted to welcome the Stobart
team down to Castle Combe this year and it will be good for people to get a chance to see them in action.
WRC boss David Richards is one of the other big names on the list. Give us some details on that, because he is there to mark his success in the WRC in 1981 with Ari Vatanen.
Again it is a first for David Richards at the event and it will be interesting to see what his reaction is, because he obviously plays a big role in the WRC and we are just interested to see what he thinks about the event when he comes along. This year it is 25 years since Ari Vatanen and David Richards won the World Rally Championship and so having them down with the Rothmans Escort, it will be a big spectacle for people and people are coming from a long way to see that. So having David Richards present adds a lot of clout to that really.
What other people should the crowds look out for?