Rally GB damaged by 2012 date change says Ford's Malcolm Wilson

Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson says Rally GB must switch back to its traditional November date in 2013 to avoid repeating this year's record low entry

Rally GB damaged by 2012 date change says Ford's Malcolm Wilson

Just 31 crews are committed to next month's British round of the World Rally Championship, with a further 44 contesting the national event that runs behind the main rally.

That total of 75 running on both events is three less than the international alone received last season.

"The one thing you've got to look at the successful events in the championship - you need continuity, stability and something to build on and included in that is the date.

"One reason why Finland is the most successful is because it has been going to Jyvaskyala for 40 years and always on roughly the same date. Rally GB has usually always been the final round of the year in November and we need that back."

The 2012 date change was prompted by Rally GB's principal backer the Welsh Government, which hoped an early rather than late autumn date would see better weather and larger crowds.

Wilson is saddened by this year's poor turn-out for his home rally.

"It really hurts me to think it's my home world championship event," said Wilson. "It's an event that got me into rallying, watching the RAC Rally when I was a boy when it came into the Lakes.

"When I was first doing it there were 180 entries, 30 reserves and I'm just very saddened to be honest by the whole situation.

"Hopefully people will look within the governing body now and hopefully take on board some of the things we feel need to be addressed."

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