Currently in 2013, there is no coverage of the WRC anywhere on Television in the UK. However on Sunday the 27th of January, the weekend after the Monte Carlo Rally and the Dakar finished. There were two high profile high viewing programs shown on the BBC which were on the subject of the World Rally Championships. the first was one of the biggest shows on the BBC – TopGear. The other was called Racing Legends, Which was a Documentary about Colin McRae, one of the most famous WRC drivers of all time.
It was expected that the TopGear show on BBC 2, was watched by around 5 million viewers last night. The ‘Rally feature’ on the show was filmed during Wales Rally GB last year. The ten minute feature showed fantastic clips and footage of the rally itself, including a brief description of a WRC car, with pictures of the ford Fiesta RS wrc. Then Presenter James May and rally driver kris Meeke took the Bentley Continental Speed GT on to a stage of the Rally just before the WRC cars took to it. Meeke with May Co-Driving had the car at all angles, and over the jumps, and on one straight even got up to speeds of over 140mph.
In a program that followed TopGear an hour later, again on BBC 2 was the last of a series of 3 programs called Racing Legends. This particular episode was a documentary about the Career of Colin McRae. Britians first World Champion. Olympic Gold Medalist Chris Hoy, set out to learn about Colin and how he went on to become one of the Worlds most famous rally drivers. From the start of Colin’s Career in the Scottish and british championships, to his first win in New Zealand with his first team Prodrive and Subaru. Hoy met up with Colin’s father Jimmy McRae, who himself was a successful Rally Driver. the program also featured the likes of Derek Ringer, David Evans, David Richards and Ken Block. It was a great, emotional story of a man who became a hero to many drivers and fans around the world. McRae took Rallying to a new level through his Driving style, his games and brought in a whole new generation to the sport. The BBC along with Hoy and the McRae family produced a brilliant story, not just about Colin but also about the sport itself. The documentary is said to of attracted 1.2million viewers.
The WRC currently needs a voice. A platform in which to be able to show the world what a spectacle it is both to Fans and Manufactures, but also to suppliers and sponsors who could massively benefit from the sport. Last Sunday could be a great opportunity to get the WRC back into UK homes through Television and Media. If in the right hands it could return to being, the greatest Sport in the World once again. Lets hope the BBC take note of the attention and drama that Rallying can bring. And hope that the WRC will be coming to a screen near you very soon
If you missed the TopGear episode or Racing Legends documentary on McRae, you can watch it over on BBCiPlayer.com