World Rallycross Returns This Weekend - Paul Bellamy Interview
Today's also sport podcast a World Rally Cross special. Will this weekend? The World Rallycross championship restarts in Sweden the season now set at seven around the goals have fans potentially in attendance from round three in Latvia. The same whether the Covid nineteen storm in the sport is looking ahead positively to an electric future two and twenty two. But this weekend in Sweden, they will become block and some electric action to preview in the latest Hashtag thinking forward interview with the sports leaders. James Allen talks to pull Bellamy the managing director of IMG Motorsport. But wrx promotes up who argues that while motorsport has to go electric soon as possible to retain manufacturer involvement that will remain a place entitled combustion engines in private classes plus they talk innovation and why World Rallycross is the perfect sport to convert the. Non. Motor fan enjoy the podcast today. Thank you so much for joining us on this Hashtag thinking food episode of senior World Red Cross wrx. Restarting again this weekend. What makes wrx? So distinctive think it's it's short-form racing james to be honest. Drives to sunny six minutes for lattes basically hits. Ed Rising and you don't need to be a multiple if these asked to really enjoy the sport which Rossi's is great because lousy us to sort of bring you audiences and I know that I could bring them. Any A. Opening say schools fan but any of a fan of action events alone erotic fries or even to watch it on Ta as logistically six minutes if you time. H. E. Only lost six minutes and you go contact heads head racing and I only need someone's attention but six minutes. Can convert them. So I think bats will make for me. That's what makes ready. How. Have you whether the lockdown and what impacts it made on the series beyond the obvious that you've not had any events Yeah. For. You know we are requires a Gemini Alliance for optimizes. So that's been really difficult for promotion office. We've managed Toba permits.' Sweden 'em and go to feminine certain to start racing behind closed doors. But I think the biggest thing weathering this how covid nineteen fools lended itself to East foursome we were able to run sports series bringing new into that really helps keep radical at the forefront of people's minds. Swift for months. I was GONNA come on and talk about these folks a bit later on. But as you brought it up, obviously there's there's many different things to touch on that. You did have very good numbers and on your on your series and it did look so like the real thing I think of old of east votes series that were run during that virtual sort of season I think the wrx is perhaps the one that was the most authentic in many ways an unexciting, but it also doesn't accessibility side to this as well. Isn't there in terms of really does open the funnel in terms of during you fans to the sport. Did you did you find out? What was your favorite? Yet it was people that. What necessarily radicals fans or hadn't same radicals but will gain this regular comes the site and I think the PGA as as a lot of other sports had they were interact with the professionals and competes against the repeat because. Again. in fantastic job with the actual game of a BR brought people in, and then we hope it will convert people to fines and and actually the laws is. The estate have the ability from each force potentially into. One of the the entry level calls all rex to this year, and it may well be the new series of Rx to which is electric bogere Next, you know, you don't buy that that bridge where you can get from each force to the entry level rally, Cross them, build your while you know way up through for those supporters. So it worked for us and I think he's a fantastic going forward in. Terms of building that found by getting hurt making it accessible debatable taking a view. Then the overall landscape when when the world eventually returns to normal, we also have five minutes months off the lockdown was still quite some some white from that even if the action is starting up again behind closed doors, you said, what do you think will be different about mugs-full once it re balances going forward? Yeah I think I mean. A. Radical Spain really successful. We've had an open paddock. for the whole world championship years of obviously basket change. This year, we have to keep it teams in their grades. When we do go back to rights sunny for the show will sable shelter. So that'll be a big difference. So it'll be the old side of the live experience that he's obviously GonNa touch change I think the teenage products you see a great deal of changes there because because again, it show from racing will be able to bring it to. The rising of users we always have done but I think. The teams that onside they gonna be the challenge is how we protect able to keep people safe. And then moving around from territory to territory because you know we wanted to start it successfully a will you go for one territory to another? Domestic Championship that's challenging so It'll be the site experience that that will be different especially self-serv self behind closed doors. You mentioned foam into one obviously, which is a fourth I, may just booth to be able to move across geographies across Buddha's how much have you been able to learn from our experiences well. At, the very start and very early on the A. Wise. Though the world trump should promotes together on regular coast where we could share information. So along with our colleagues in at. WWL. F. What we've been speaking to each other, just sharing best practices guidelines back to racing guidelines. What Week Don in terms of testing. What we've had is that I'm Jay on USA in professional writing PBR and they went back to racing and competition back in in April. So they early guidelines out. So we were fortunate to have access to those guidelines. And then just just sharing information and I, you know one of the the positives to come out of this pandemic and the closure. You know we always got together with all our colleagues, other world championships once but we've done it more regularly and aspirated useful. There's been a failing of sort of family F. I family onus together and we serve helped shall. As as. Across referencing across sharing a practice which has helped us tremendously. Now what about teams oversee you know protecting the teams has been a big priority for for the right series. It's extremely difficult for them. especially, the ones so dependent on the event income from from sponsors, etc. However, your teams whether this this pandemic they I think they've they've weathered it very well, we've had a weekly cools the principles. What we talked get updated Webby calendars because obviously count changed over time eventually going to change what we got a required to do testing a stinging in that bubbles and they've all been really really and he one of radical stains You'll see put him back. He's team grown home they were instrumental in helping us get in. On the original calendar. So everybody pulled together shed practice what it means experts that of crossing churches in Europe, how they've done it. And it's been really challenging to them, but everybody's putting together. For the good of to getting back to racing competition. So a very, very tap over secret sculptures. For that, but by keeping them updated on ensuring the TV, products. And the livestream is still decide we hugged once we get at rising best phones this will see the value. That gotta be getting because we'll people look watching, TV and large street. Let's talk about the manufacturers because of this crisis is pandemic crisis has been tough for everybody but. You had your own challenges with manufacturers a couple of years ago back in twenty eighteen more generally though how do you see the autistic station of manufacturers in this votes in future? Obviously, the the rationale for them to invest not hasn't really changed scenario -bility to do. So the level of investment clearly will juice in the short term but how important do you feel that will be to them I think that will depend zone on on what that looks like going forward. You know way studying a very close contact with a manufacturer saw the whole crisis. You know it's no secret that they they wait for the world championship. Either twelve months ago And that was fine because the whole marketing. Strategy was to get behind new technologies as to whether that be high-grade or electric, and we were ready to turn electric at that's on. As we go forward. The way I said I think internal combustion engine racing still has a place in motorsports, but probably, properties had probably the Romantics among south the fans out there. The few CHEP for manufacturer involvement will be. Will be the new technology whether that's hybrid or electric moronic suspected. We believe that's going to be electric. And the plan of the FAA's for the World Championship to Be Electric Twenty, twenty, two bats when I think was thought saying manufacturing boom combating may be a year after that once they they see the championship from running for a year to see how it goes on and that's when the marks dollars will come back in. But the clan and the strategy would be Knox not to lead internal combustion engine racing behind sightsee. Positive signals from from the manufacturers near Williams about new direction of travel. Yeah I. Mean we face the more regularly just getting updates where with Very. Happy to just keep us updates. She'd obviously. We've announced now that we will actually get electric racing douay this weekend in swayed with project eight, and we're very excited about that and you know. We got kimbrell coming along which will help hugely as a well known night and he's read it slice to embrace electric. So I failed that we're on the right trajectory and the manufacturers very cain obviously we can. Be Very heavily involved with him cummings project. And we've been speaking stemming. In UK regularly trulock donal ago Kenzi Boca and how they can help just looking further forward than oversea. You've got your your your this weekend will be interesting to see how that goes with the project eighty. But what what other steps are you taking future-proof proof the series looking to innovate but at the same time maintaining that Cole Fan base in the balance. Between Electric internal combustion engine, etc it's it's difficult to fathom what's what's your? What's your sense? Tell you about the future proof I, think my deal on that is the radical with very fortunate across the right across weekend, we have eighty races because you've got a number of support categories though in terms of future prepaid the the sports if you like. We can combine bunks. So what I mean by that is the vision will be the well, championship does go electric. In Two, thousand, twenty two but the support categories whether it's euros supercar super sixteen hundreds will still stay into a bastion Jim because as private is out as as 'cause out that still be racing somewhere. So if we got it right and that is the way it's combining the. So, certain that the traditional rallycross fans you know unless there's a noise to it or role than open one nine but there's always element is a human nature is I'd I'd like it but I'm GonNa chewed just what I'd like it and then I think when they understand when they save technology behind it and the fact that these calls Would appear to be false and that will. Then, stop watching a a crossover coupled with the younger generation people, and now a look into vehicles and that looking electric vehicles to buy an January will be hatches the all the calls that are going to be competing in Rallycross. You know whether it's the photo, Persia will be W. Bats the market these guys, and they'll be able to relate to the 'cause they conceal with caused by and and. All the old the young people I'm speaking to my kids. Generation Electric Vehicles. That's what they're looking at electric vehicles. If you WANNA drive in the city said not just talking about capital sixties now. SIXTIES AROUND EUROPE And the world you'd have to have an electrode with some. So to get it in question how quickly it comes it's interesting. Isn't it? Because obviously, the move towards decarbonisation in dispose was coming anyway obviously forms working on these bio-fuels aerobicy committed to hybrid for the foreseeable future. Full Marie in very strong position having the you know the license from me is electric prototype racing but do you see when you tell them about the drive towards sustainability? Do you see that accelerating now menu of us you made this step but looking around you at the landscape, you see what patch would have a slightly longer horizon is now coming shelter to the full before everything elite now has to focus on. Really sustainable multiple. I think for a number of reasons one. Probably anybody else insisting probably realized. Just how clear cleaner the ares in lockdown unit be less planes flying around just outside London but the but the traffic and the pollution is dropped massively nothing statistics show that just proves. What a good thing for the Environmental Bay if they're, you know if there's less combustion. Engine vehicles in A. On the roads unless planes so that'll help become factious had a great time with moving. New Vehicles New call. So that's GONNA accelerate the future's going to light and I think. To Mama wants consumers understand that futures coming in coming quick The ones that are sitting on, don't make the purchase will purchase. Electric vehicles old VIC was A. Diesel or petrol as the future you know what? Time to electric bike sales said concrete reasons not now and I think that'll my Job original question will mean A. Saw embraces electric vehicles much quick. Would've done it. Back to the issue of. Getting people back into the to the venues. What's your sense of of what twenty one will look like in? We'll be back to normal at some point in twenty twenty one now is it likely to take longer than that? What was what pays telling you that transition? We're not going to get back to normal levels at a I in twenty twenty, one straightaway I think it all depends on how quickly we find a vaccine. And how quickly? People except going back to racing again, motorcycles innocence has a huge advantage in that. We're. Also competes a much wider area so it's not a contained stadium so that does allow it. It's budgies if a social distancing again, going to events in A. One hundred nights hod your to control, but the other hand it makes it easier to open up because if you. You're not sitting in the grandstand next to somebody else. And you saying challenges that faces a call. Now, you may have to limit grandstand capacity and you may have to limit of. GIGN there is a white back quicker than potentially for football and rugby and and again the athletes can be contained so I think I think it depends how quickly it comes back I think that'd be an element to come next year. The fans will be so fed up with not able to go to events do anything over twelve month period. Especially, the younger generation, we have got a younger audience that we will see him coming back. A don't seem coming back to two thousand eighteen nineteen level straightaway think might second time. And then of the series the. Coastal urban but You I. DO believe it'll come back and I suspect sort of halfway through next season is what I would hope we can stop getting back to to where we previously Unjust. Thinking forward to to the way, the sport connects of your is fast dynamic. It's engaging lends itself to digital media. lends itself to social media sets but what innovations are you saying or you anticipating over the years that's going to help Ospel to to grow at sites engagement? I think one of the. We've been speaking to one of us. You know a main sponsor bolster on. This is the traditional sponsorships again, already struggle in. The substrate mobile had been changing anyway from the Women Vicennium license particular school to actually return on investment. What we found is that a lot of of sponsors onces want to do activation sites. Because of this hope they can't do that. So we don't gotta be running with fans issues. So we've had to try and create new models to now. Brand out there an interact and I know that he's going to be content. So, what we'd be working on freeze whole lockdown with both Creighton not teacher that's presented by. The gives fans something more than they would marry had You know it's not just content embrace footage because that's what Bro Causes. It's beyond that. So A. And it's a way of interacting with It's going to be more along competitions. That we're GONNA create a monster studio that's online. It'll. I will be free to a and the whole point about that is to build up the audience erratic cross, but also bringing a New Orleans. So we will be back next week It'll be on the Sunday. He off the WHO list What we will have thirty minute show and it will sell the wrx platform. And it'll be into costs. And another platforms as well and it's GonNa. Be. For your old of years on one of those. So it's a cross between ten Gi Friday full focus it the couch Paul calls. It's an element of although seeks to try make it fun. And I think baddies one area where we're going to have to embrace. New Ideas, new technology a but I think that there is a day. I'm finally pull 'em oversee. We've seen throughout this summer and very, very strong messaging increasing the from FAA about racing. For Purpose, I'm saying all kinds of drive to woods diversity accessibility forty talked about sustainability accepted. You think we're at the point now where where spoilt has to demonstrate a sense of purpose noted to a future. Yes I think he does and I think we're at a very strong position to late that and any speed lead. You know it's been started let by and I think people will take nights. Three sport is a different way of getting people's attention and You know we've been a weeping fortunate because rally costs is wanted to know spoilt while champions relative for you. So there's not a lot of various the breakdown you. Allow Street while champions the tink principles of women. Who picked the world championship trophies at the end of the year, which is with with you know she's Hanson and. That's fantastic with the support categories we've got radic cross lends itself to the cause being at that Sade we've been able to have. A number of disabled with drivers. Compete But that's in the cars. fancying in your supercar by older, we go competing this year in the whole season. So with starting at process would not there yet and it's still not good enough that it needs to be. More diversity currently is using different backgrounds, but because it's not an expensive motorcycles to enter that brings barriers down straight away that he thought the middle class of the potentially about is what was agreed issues. In a case that have got talent potentially having the availability we hope through his in other areas, they can then start getting into it. And everybody always always thinks about his drivers, but it's not when you look other areas in the industry. United media a thought Titians disease keep berries room for targeted people from diverse backgrounds to get involved another living out of the school, and that's what we're trying to encourage. On testing a great note in which to finish. Thank you so much for making the time and the very best to let your Resta- account. Wait to sit it's such a spectacular Bob. In my family and the very best. Thank you very much. A reminder you can catch all of our Hashtag thinking forward interviews if you look at our podcast channel throughout twenty twenty so far we featured many different interviews with Motorsport leaders and you welcome to catch up on those anytime. Make sure you subscribe to all different podcasts across the motorsport network not just here on the facebook podcast but the brand new motorsport dot com global podcast as we bring together out talented team of world class journalists to. Talk about Motorsport every single week just such motorsport dot com annual podcast. APP. 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