Rally Scotland to improve in 2010
|By David Evans
||Friday, November 27th 2009, 14:41 GMT
Rally of Scotland clerk of the course Iain Campbell is confident that he can make next year's event even better - despite unanimous praise for the final round of this season's Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Campbell and his team of organisers have already started planning next October's event, after IRC champion Kris Meeke described as this year's version as: "the best rally in the world."
Campbell said he had underestimated the level of work involved with starting an IRC round from scratch, but that the framework in place for the 2010 rally would ease the process when the event returns as the penultimate IRC round next season.
"All the feedback we’ve had has been really positive. We certainly haven't had anybody saying they’re not coming back," said Campbell. "The event was a challenge in its own right, but the weather made it a real challenge for the competitors. They all took that challenge head-on though and enjoyed it."
Campbell said there were areas of concern over this year's event – notably the restriction on space in the Blair Castle service park – but confirmed that those were already in hand for next season.
"If Abarth and Skoda had come from the Czech Republic, it would have been tight in the service park, there's no doubt about that," he added. "But the people from Blair Castle have already been in touch to say they can find some more space for next year.
"That was a little bit of the problem this year. The people from Blair or Scone Palace didn't really know what they were taking on – this kind of thing had never been there before. But now we're all a bit more aware of what we're doing and they're coming up with some great ideas – it's all good news for next season."
Campbell admitted that the one thing he didn't want to tweak was the route, which drew praise from many competitors.
"I think I'd get shot if I took Loch Ard out," he said. "The stages seemed to work really well and when you have people talking about these roads being the best in the world, we don't really want to change anything.
"Running the first time is a great unknown, but the organising team have been fantastic. Right now we’re walking around slapping each other on the back. This was a really big undertaking and maybe I did underestimate it.
"It's things like dealing with 100-plus emails per day while trying to keep on top of the day job. You're up all night answering all of those emails, all of which needed a reply, but then I felt like I was treading water at times, rather than driving the event forward.
"But those templates are in place now and I'm sure next year will be a lot simpler. But, when you look back at what the team produced, we've got to be pretty proud of that."