Organising the logistics for a WRC team can be a complex task at the best of times.

As well as arranging rooms and flights for sixty on-event staff, the team must also transport all it's freight. Including a custom-built 14-metre hospitality unit, four 36 ton trucks - including a mobile workshop, a mobile kitchen, two recce cars, two management cars, a forklift truck, two minibuses, 300 wheels and more parts, tyres and spares than there is room here to mention, it's not an easy task.

So, with two WRC events being held on consecutive weekends for the first time in the Championship's history, was it a difficult task for the 555 Subaru World Rally team co-ordinator Ken Rees to prepare?

"For me, the most difficult thing was preparing for the team members to be away for two events, rather than one. Only six team members returned to the UK between events, and for the others there was no time to make the journey home and take time out to relax after finishing one event and starting the next. We therefore made sure we made time for those members to rest post Corsica, and put time in the schedule exclusively for that.

"Another difficulty was organising all the necessary paperwork, and coping with the sheer volume of it - it was two of everything for this trip! Normally, my bag of paperwork, which includes all the maps, schedules, road books, tickets etc. weighs in at approx 25kilos at the airport, but for this trip it was 48kilos! We obviously had to be very precise during all our pre-planning to make sure we had everything we needed.

"The other notable change was that I lost usual week post event, which I normally use to conclude everything, such as the team's expenses, writing all the necessary correspondence, and tying up all the loose ends. But this time round, I was already making calls for start of the Spanish event while still in Corsica. Some things have had to wait.

"From a logistics point of view, arranging for the freight to travel directly from Corsica to Spain was actually easier than if it had returned to the UK. It cut out both the return and outbound trips to and from the UK, saving both time and money. The most difficult time was the period between Sanremo and Corsica back in England, when we had to ensure that all the trucks were correctly stocked with the equipment that we'd need for the two tarmac events. With that done, as soon as that the French round was complete, they were able to leave immediately for Spain. It took the truck drivers 21 hours to get from the finish of one event to the start of the next."

So would he welcome a future calendar including two WRC events run on consecutive weekends?

"So long as I had enough notice and the events were of a similar nature, as these have been, then I would certainly be happy to prepare for two events like this again, especially now as we have the experience of having done it! The main thing for me is the well-being of the team, but we've been very careful to ensure that they've had as much rest as possible. It's when we get three in a row that I might start complaining!"

 

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