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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The conversation on JV's post further down the forum reminded me that I had this information about rallying in Finland that illustrates just how popular it is over there. Read on and just try to imagine these figures. I got these links and info on the world rally forums, particularly from user Riitta (thanks!). Most of these links are in Finnish, but you can get the general idea...

There are maybe 50-60 rallies a year, with maximum entries of 220 cars (Riitta explained that usually the entries vary between 80 and 220) :eek: Look at these pages and see ("osanottajat" is the entry list). I think those are organized by month and day:

http://www.mantta.fi/yritykset/tenab/kale2002.htm (to see other years just change the year on the link)

This page details the competitor and car stats:

http://www.mantta.fi/yritykset/tenab/rafu/lkm2002.htm

Look at the kinds of cars... not quite prorally material :)

Also, I understand that these lines are the number of actual competitors for the year (first line drivers and second line codrivers, last column totals - 1901 drivers and 2337 codrivers :eek: ):

YLEINEN A-JUNIORIT B-JUNIORIT YHTEENSÄ
---------------------------------------------------------------
1-ohjaajia yhteensä 726 38% 448 24% 727 38% 1901
2-ohjaajia yhteensä 562 24% 487 21% 1288 55% 2337

The main page for this site - http://www.mantta.fi/yritykset/tenab/

BTW, JV or Topi, why are Toyota Starlets so popular for rallying over there, what with their tiny wheelbases?

I guess this can be filed under "curiosity", but there must be at least a little something that we can learn from them on how to attract more people to rallying? BTW, some of the Finnish guys in the forum believe (and I tend to agree with them) that the secret of their success is in quantity of competitors and level of competition.

LOL, I feel like I am talking about some fantasy rallying land in middle-earth (Lord of The Rings).

This would probably make for an interesting Specialstage.com editorial (if only I had the time)...
 

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I'll throw this in for what it is worth a fellow Datsun 1200 owner form Finland sent me some pics - they had 153 cars entered and this is a Historic Rally.


Tom
 

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Alex I will buy the rest of those countries have big numbers at Rally but Spain - Spain only has one form of motorsport ,
125 CC grand prix motorcycles!! every kid Spain wants to be the next Angel Nieto , Alex Creville , Valentino Rossi or soon to be champ Danny Pedrosa.

Alright , Alright so some kids want to be Carlos Sainz.


Tom Grossmann

PS ok so some grown ups want to be Carlos too.
 

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It is interesting to read other on-line forums to learn the perceptions about rallying in the USA. I think this quote sums it up pretty good:

"I want to try out some rallycrosses, but full on rallying is VERY expensive and time consuming."

Somehow we have taken a sport that back in my dad's time you could buy a decent 510 or in his case Colt do some minor work to it, still drive it to work during the week and then rally it a few times a year, into a VERY expensive sport with very fast cars that you would not drive to work.

To some extent this perception is due to the focus on only the fastest cars by the SCCA head office. There is almost nothing that says you can participate, you can afford to join the fun without spongers. The sport is being promoted as a profession not a hobby, but the reality of the situation is there is not enough money in the sport to make it a profession so it is becoming a sport of the wealthy with a few odd sponsored cars mixed in.

Another reason is the total lack of support for beginners, it took me almost a year to get my 2nd rally car log booked as when I called around to the officials I got a name for someone 2 hours away who was never avaible. Not once in all my efforts did anyone point out the 3 other people who could log book the car with in 15 min of my house. (my first car was so long ago it pre-dates log books)

I expect Finland has a mentioning program for young or new drivers, I also expect they promote the idea of go out have some fun see what you can do, then and only if you do well should you look to make it into a professional effort. We need to do the same.

Derek Bottles
 

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>Another reason is the total lack of support for beginners,
>it took me almost a year to get my 2nd rally car log booked
>as when I called around to the officials I got a name for
>someone 2 hours away who was never avaible. Not once in all
>my efforts did anyone point out the 3 other people who could
>log book the car with in 15 min of my house. (my first car
>was so long ago it pre-dates log books)
>
>I expect Finland has a mentioning program for young or new
>drivers, I also expect they promote the idea of go out have
>some fun see what you can do, then and only if you do well
>should you look to make it into a professional effort. We
>need to do the same.

Derek, it sounds like you have a subject for a new editorial piece! ;-)

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's exactly the kind of thing I wanted to talk about in an article when I got this info originally. Derek, if you want to write this, I can give you the contact of the person in Finland who gave me this information. He offered to answer more questions through email.

Maybe one of the factors for the high participation, like Derek said, is that it looks like they try to make it as easy/cheap as possible to get started? I think the CRS has a good idea with the stock class with it's $4000 market value limit (but maybe it should be even lower $1000-$2000). Having some place/class where people can get into good competition for little investment I think helps a lot.

Here's another cool link he gave me - a couple of pages from a Finnish blind rally route book - look familiar? A whole stage in one page... LOL :)

http://www.akk-motorsport.fi/saannot/AKK2003net/2003RalliLiite4.html
 

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Hi guys,

In Spain, some kids want to be the next Alex Criville and some kids want to be the next Carlos Sainz, but ALL kids want to play for Real Madrid.

Spain has a reputation for being a two wheeled country but that is a bit of a misconception. Most of the people who follow cycles also follow rallying and vice-versa. Marca, a domestic sports paper did some kind of poll a few years ago and ofcourse, Football or as some call it, Soccer, was no.1 by a large margin, but the gap between rallying and motorcycles was not very big. The thing there is that unless you grew up in downtown Madrid or Barcelona, chances are no matter where you live, you are within a 10 minute drive, or even walk from a special stage. In my home province, which is roughly the size of NJ, we have an 8 round regional championship, plus two asphalt nationals (all stand alone), two gravel nationals, and 7 or 8 hillclimbs a year. The regionals normally average about 150 entries and consistenly draw around 100k spectators per event. If you live there, It's almost impossible not to witness some kind of rally activity at some point in the year. If you are there long enough, chances are there will be some road, somewhere, that you will not be able to drive on because of either recce, testing, stage, etc, so in some way you are forced to spectate. With motorcycles, you still have to go to the track and pay your entry.

My point, in countries like Spain, Portugal, and Italy, still only motorcycle fans pay to see motorcycles races, but every one goes to rallyes. So, even thought the number of hardcore fans is not as large, the overall number of spectators is much larger. I have never met a person from my province between the ages of 13 and 55, male of female, who has not at least once, spectated a rally, and that is not an exageration.

Good example of why the numbers don't do justice. I was back home in '97 and M-sport had arranged to close some roads for a day of tarmac testing. Sainz was still with Ford at the time and a rumor started going around the day before that he would be there. Make a long story short, Ford had to delay their test and wait for local police to help with spectators because about 8000 people turned up, on a work day. Sainz never showed up but Juha did, and spent a lot of his testing time signing autographs.

Cheers,
Jose
www.eurosportrally.com
 

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At the regional level, Spain and Portugal have classes like Group X, and Group H, which are basically for older cars that are out of homologation but not quite old enough to run Historic. If I remember correctly, anything older than 1982 or 1981 runs historic and anything newer but out of homologation runs these clases.

Cheers,
Jose
www.eurosporrally.com
 

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>Another reason is the total lack of support for beginners,
>it took me almost a year to get my 2nd rally car log booked
>as when I called around to the officials I got a name for
>someone 2 hours away who was never avaible. Not once in all
>my efforts did anyone point out the 3 other people who could
>log book the car with in 15 min of my house. (my first car
>was so long ago it pre-dates log books)
>
>I expect Finland has a mentioning program for young or new
>drivers, I also expect they promote the idea of go out have
>some fun see what you can do, then and only if you do well
>should you look to make it into a professional effort. We
>need to do the same.
>
>Derek Bottles

This is not breaking new ground, IMHO the biggest differance is the motor clubs and the role they play in introducing new guys to the sport and supporting them. In the UK you have to join a MC before you can get a license, they are supported by the RACMSA and every town of any size has one.

I understand MC exist and offer the same support to new and experianced competitors in Italy, Scandinavia, France, Belgium and so on.

A MC gives you a social place where you can look for mentoring and learn new stuff in a relativly low pressure enviroment. You gain an instant network of like minded loonies who have been there and understand where you are and are willing to help.

That is exactly what is missing here...

As to the number of rallies in the UK, there are at usually 3 or 4 a weekend, sometimes more, I've been part of 180 car fields. They range from single stage events (think big rally-sprint on an old airfield or simular, maybe 25-40 stage miles and no transits) to multi-venue events lasting the entire weekend.

Most MC put on an event every year, which also spreads the load on organizers a lot wider. I was a memeber of Thame MC, a very small club with maybe 40 active members, we organized a multi-venue, 8 to 10 stage rally (the Aylesbury Stages) for the 4 or 5 years I was a member.

Just my thoughts...

Dave Kean
[email protected]
 

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Jose when you say Soccer don't you mean Futball like on Telemundo right? Living in South Florida and having distant relatives in Cuba and Puerto Rico it is my impression that all Spanish speaking people are completly fantical for "soccer". Now being a racer from Spain are sure you didn't want to be the next Angel Nieto and ride for Derbi , oh wait that was my boyhood dream.

Tom
 

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Do you all think that a contingency prize may help get some of the "lesser" cars out and playing on the dirt? Something like $1,000 for winning an unofficial "ghetto" class for a season in a sub $1000 car? Of course one of the problems is that cages alone can go for over $1000, so there are obviously details that would need to be worked out.

Ryan Douthit
Northwest Auto Sports Magazine
http://www.nwautosports.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I guess I have been away too long... are FIA-legal bolt-in cages no longer allowed in SCCA rally?

Also, I think making a class where people can invest a minimum amount and have fun and compete is all it takes to get people out. Something like the CRS Stock class, except even lower, let's say $1000 or $2000 blue book value limit on the car. :)

I like the idea of the motor clubs too, but how to get them started?
 

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Finland has long been a haven of rallying, going back long before Rauno Aaltonen and Timo Makinen were hired by Stuart Turner in the 1960s for the BMC team. Over 20 years ago I read in a book called "Of Finnish Ways" that one in ten Finns possesses a motorsports license.

So rallying isn't a new phenomenon in Finland like it seems to be here in the U.S. (though I have been following it here for over 30 years), rather it is a way of life and has been for over 50 years.

As to the "Older" cars you see on the entry lists... they are better prepared than most of the top running Group 2 and Group 5 cars running in SCCA ProRally. Even those at the back of the pack look as though they were built in a professional race shop.

www.FlyingFinns.com
 

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fragmented racing venues

So what you're saying is that instead of inventing a dedicated snow-going motorcycle and then inventing roads for them, the Finns just stuck with cars and the roads they already had. As usual, the cheaper form of transportation turned into a very expensive racing machine. At ice races, its fun to take snowmobilers for rides showing them how much fun we have sliding around with windshields, heaters and no tow cars and trailers.
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I had older brothers who hooked me up with motor clubs in my area but when I moved, it was almost a year before I could find the local SCCA and find a member to sponsor me to join.
This computering and Googling is a big improvement over flagging down MG-TC owners on the street.
---
There are many small motor clubs around, I think the Albany, NY ice racing club has talked about running dirt competitions in the summer. I'm sure there are interested people all around NA.
rz
 

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RE: fragmented racing venues

>>---
>I had older brothers who hooked me up with motor clubs in my
>area but when I moved, it was almost a year before I could
>find the local SCCA and find a member to sponsor me to join.
>This computering and Googling is a big improvement over
>flagging down MG-TC owners on the street.
>---
>There are many small motor clubs around, I think the Albany,
>NY ice racing club has talked about running dirt
>competitions in the summer. I'm sure there are interested
>people all around NA.
>rz
Randy, SCCA does not require a present member to sponsor you to join. It did once upon a time, but not for the past 25 years at least. Each local region is separately incorporated from the national organization. Some local regions are more active than others. And only in a few cases are the local regions rally oriented versus solo or race. Also, once upon a time, women could not race in SCCA. Or professionals. Read B. S. Levy's books.
Richard
 

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RE: fragmented racing venues

There's still a huge impasse on the culture. In Sweden they have this "Folkrace" activity which is like a very small rally or rallycross, populated by old Volvos and Saabs that are no longer necessarily street legal (blanked headlights, nerf bar bumpers etc.), and...

...the winner of every event is required to sell his car if anyone will pay, I think, 4000kr (like $500) (this may have changed since 2000 and since currency unification, but it's the right range).

Some of the events are more like little rallies, and some are closer to (oh gad) dirt track racing in the US with multiple cars on the track, but with turns both ways. Lots of amusing photos can be fuond at http://w1.825.telia.com/~u82503048/ - all those are from Southern Sweden.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.

Edit: winter too! http://w1.454.telia.com/~u45415571/jonkoping_01.htm
 
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