The British Rally Championship is set to take a break for a year when this season finishes as the Motor Sports Association (MSA) takes the championship in house from 2016.
In March the MSA put the organisation and promotions of the BRC out to tender but only received two submissions and has since taken the decision to run the championship under the International Motor Sports banner which is the MSA’s commercial arm.
With IMS taking on the the organisation and promotion duties the championship will take a one-year break in 2015 to lay the foundations for the re-launched championship.
“We considered both of the tenders very carefully and took soundings from around the sport, but ultimately we concluded that the best way forward was to bring it in-house and start again” said Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive.
“The BRC is one of the UK’s premier championships and to rest it for a year was not a decision that we took lightly. It is certainly a big move, but we gather a lot of feedback from around the country and one thing that our members tell us is that they really want us to govern and lead the sport.”
“I would like to pay tribute to Mark Taylor and everyone at UK Rally that has worked so hard on the BRC for the past decade. Mark has often borne the brunt of some of the problems with the sport and has taken the championship through very difficult economic times, but no one has put more time and effort into the BRC than Mark. If it wasn’t for him, it is highly questionable whether there would even be a British Championship at all right now.”
Ben Taylor, IMS Managing Director, added “This is a really exciting opportunity, both for the sport and for the MSA, and we are delighted to be entrusted with making a success of the country’s flagship rally championship. Last year, in preparation for the tender process, we talked to a whole range of people in and around the current championship to understand the views of the sport. It was striking just how many suggested that the MSA should take the BRC back in-house and rebuild it from the ground up.
“We have looked very carefully at whether we could do it in time for 2015 but we concluded that that would inevitably involve rolling over much of what is already in place. Taking a year off will enable us to have a clean sheet of paper to work with. That provides the perfect opportunity to take stock, to canvass opinion more widely, to confirm what we believe the BRC should be and to put the plans in place that mean we are ready to go with a brand new championship in 2016.”