A new rally intercom system will be launched at the Malton Forest Rally on Sunday November 2.

The Rowen Rally System, according to the manufacturer Viking Communications, 'takes the hassle out of in-car communications as it sits in your ear, with a microphone attached'.

Safety helmets can be worn over it and it also acts as an ear defender.

The system's earpieces are individually moulded and plug into existing intercom sockets to produce a crisp sound quality.

The new concept has been created by 21-year-old Daniel King. He and his father Martin King run the three-year-old radio communications business and have been involved in motorsport, both rallying and racing, for many years, both being members of York Motor Club

"Everybody who competes knows what a fuss it is to have to unplug your helmet all the time and then swap it for the ear defenders, this system is all in one," Martin explained.

"I decided it was time to do something about it, so I had Daniel develop the Rowen Rally System with the aim to make in-car communications easier so you can simply focus on your rally. It does both jobs, making life that little bit easier."

The Rowen Rally System has already been tested with several rally drivers in the build-up to the launch at the Pickering-based Malton Forest Rally.

Partially deaf driver Adrian Smekks, who will be contesting the Malton Forest Rally, and York driver Gary Cooper, will be using the Rowen.

Viking Communications is also in talks with other high profile national and international drivers with regards to the Rowen system.

"Due to my hearing disability I need to cut out engine noise and the Rowen certainly does this," Smekks added. "The ear plugging deadened engine noise and allowed direct speech into my only working ear, allowing precise speech as if in a normal everyday environment.

"The custom-made ear moulds are very comfortable and as a hearing aid wearer I understand the importance of in-ear comfort.

"With stage two anti-lag, which is quite noisy, the system coped very well with reducing this loud noise. I'm looking forward to using the product as not only does it solve my own problems but gives you great freedom of helmet choice and no need for headsets on road sections."

Viking Communications will have a stand at Pickering Showground for the duration of the Malton Forest Rally, where interested competitors will be able to take a look at systems, make enquiries and place orders.

"We've had some really positive feedback from the drivers who have been testing it and helping us develop it," Daniel summed-up. "We're now looking forward to launching the product to the general market next week."



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