When it comes to exciting gravel rallies, we are spoiled for choice here in Africa, but not all countries have it so good. UK rallying has launched a new Rally2WD initiative in a bid to rekindle support for gravel rallying with historic and two-wheel drive cars.
Rally2WD has been created to try and reverse the alarming decline in the number of entries on many gravel rallies this season, a decline that is widely regarded as consequential to the change in running order on UK rallies.
The concept has been developed to encourage back the groups most adversely affected by the move to a single field based on performance. The historic and lower powered front-wheel drive entries have been decimated as a result and Rally 2WD is aimed at those competitors, along with all other two-wheel drive cars – historic or modern – that have virtually disappeared from the sport.
The statistics are alarming: in the three years since the most recent changes to running order were put in place, the average entry of 1400cc cars has dropped from 43 cars to 18, while the average historic entry has dropped from 67 to 37. In the historic Category 1, for pre-1968 cars, the average field has gone from 13 cars to just two cars.
Events adopting the Rally 2WD concept will effectively run two back-to-back rallies. The first will be for all two-wheel drive cars, including historics, with the second for all four-wheel drive cars. The concept allows both events to run within one day, with all stage action running between 9am and 5pm while fully meeting all MSA requirements.
More details regarding Rally2WD and the rallies adopting this format will be announced in the coming weeks.