Analysis: British Rally Championship 'bogey' controversy explained

The British Rally Championship revival hit its first glitch in Carlisle last weekend, with DMACK threatening to withdraw its team and Elfyn Evans lambasting a "joke" rally. JACK BENYON explains

Analysis: British Rally Championship 'bogey' controversy explained

BOGEYS

The controversy centred on the use of 'bogey' times on the Pirelli Carlisle Rally, round three of the new BRC.

MSA sanctioned rallies are not permitted to exceed an average speed of 70mph on a single stage. If a driver completes the stage quicker than that, they receive an average notional time. This is known as beating the bogey - and it happened too often for comfort on the Pirelli.

A LEAD BATTLE LOST?

Of the rally's seven stages, the bogie was beaten on three and on one stage, current WRC2 championship leader Elfyn Evans did so by 27s. Almost half a minute. On Sunday's Blackaburn stage, no fewer than 13 drivers beat the bogey.

A puncture on Saturday cost Evans a shot at a victory that ultimately went to Fredrik Ahln, but being repeatedly pegged back to bogey times prevented Evans from recovering.

"We're just competing to compete, there's no challenge," said Evans. "I may as well give the car back to Ken [Skidmore, Autotek team boss] clean and move on.

"We're here trying to showcase the best of British rallying and this is what happens, it's a joke."

ORGANISERS AT FAULT?

It is generally accepted that rally organisers are responsible for creating a route slower than the 70mph maximum, but the team behind the Pirelli misjuged the speed of the new R5 cars used in the revived BRC.

Speeds in national rallying are higher than ever; the last time cars and drivers this quick were firing through Kielder, it was 2005. And the R5-spec machinery is quicker than a 2005 World Rally Car with the right driver.

Crews and teams reacted angrily to not only the bogey being beaten, but the way the situation was handled.

The organisers released a statement on Saturday evening stating there was nothing they could do post-recce, but when the crews arrived at the service park on Sunday, three chicanes had been added to stages.

Tom Cave's co-driver James Morgan was unhappy with the handling of the situation.

"It wasn't the professional thing to do," he said.

"It didn't help that the chicanes added in were of different character to those seen on the recce.

"You put a lot of work in before the event. It would have been better had they warned us the night before so we could go over video, but we were only told minutes before we had to leave."

WHAT NEXT?

The bogey issue has forced the BRC into a difficult corner. While it doesn't plan rally routes, the impact is on the series' reputation.

Both Evans and IMS chief Ben Taylor have called for the bogey to never interfere in rallies again, and DMACK's future in the championship rests on the problem being solved.

For that to happen, organisers need to take heed of the route mistakes in Kielder. But there is another solution.

Current BRC events run to MSA national standards, but could run as international events.

That would raise the permtted average speed from 70mph to 75mph and give organisers extra breathing room, and with two WRC2 drivers competing for victories there is an argument that the front of the field is already at international event standard.

For further analysis of the 'bogeygate' controversy and full statements from the BRC and Pirelli Carlisle Rally organisers, see this week's issue of Motorsport News

shares
comments
WRC's Mikkelsen and ex-F1 driver Speed get Audi TT Cup starts

Previous article

WRC's Mikkelsen and ex-F1 driver Speed get Audi TT Cup starts

Next article

Ave-Riley LMP3's debut delayed again, Murphy gets Ligier for Imola

Ave-Riley LMP3's debut delayed again, Murphy gets Ligier for Imola
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020