Rally GB bosses reveal spectator plan

Rally Great Britain bosses have revealed their plans to improve spectator safety levels on this month's event in an attempt to protect its position on the World Rally Championship calendar

Rally GB bosses reveal spectator plan

The Rally GB came under scrutiny from the FIA, motorsport's ruling body, after last year's event, during which Carlos Sainz's Ford Focus slid into a bank where spectators were standing, injuring 13 of them.

This year, British motorsport's governing body, the Motor Sports Association, has unveiled plans designed to stop spectators wandering from place to place.

Many car parks which are not near a suitable viewing area have been closed. Visitors will now be directed to existing spectating areas which have been cleared to provide better views, and linked to other areas by cleared walkways through the forests.

A brand new mile of road in the Rheola Forest stage has also been created in an attempt to keep spectators in one place. Walters Arena, which runs through a restored opencast mining site, has been developed into a spectacular area of track at which spectators can see the cars negotiate corners, jumps and water splashes for a full mile without moving.

The MSA, which runs the Rally GB, is also setting up a new ticketing system. Visitors will choose which stage they wish to watch and will then be guaranteed car parking space and access to their chosen stage. This will also stop stages becoming overcrowded.

MSA boss Colin Hilton said: "There are many other nations which want to be part of the World Rally Championship so to keep our place on the calendar, we must be world class, and we must set the benchmark."

Rally GB clerk of the course Fred Gallagher said: "The world is changing so we must change with it. It will soon be as unacceptable to walk across the road during a live stage as it is to stroll on to the court at Wimbledon or cross the track at Silverstone during the grand prix."

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