ERC Sibiu Rally Romania postponed due to force majeure; alternative format and date now under consideration
Sibiu Rally Romania will not go ahead as a winter event after its postponement under force majeure due to exceptional heavy snowfall and forecasts of more severe weather around the competitive route leading to fears that safety would be compromised.
 
The event was scheduled as round three of the FIA European Rally Championship from 27 February-1 March. However, following the completion of an extensive safety and risk analysis report prepared by the event promoter and endorsed by Romania’s ASN, ERC promoter Eurosport Events has agreed to the rally’s cancellation as a winter event. Every effort is now being made to maintain Romania’s presence in the ERC, albeit at a later date and in a different format but still using the famous Transfăgărășan highway.
 
With 75 per cent of the special stages in the South Carpathian mountains taking place at an altitude of 1600 metres and the proposed Transfăgărășan stage peaking at 2400 metres, in light of Romania’s Institute of Meteorology forecasting extremely heavy snowfall in February, it was determined that the safety of competitors, spectators and the general public would be compromised if the rally went ahead as planned. This particularly concerns access roads no longer being passable and the resources of emergency and rescue services becoming overstretched.
 
The local promoter has now proposed an alternative format and date to Eurosport Events with an all-asphalt route of 220 kilometres – including a stage on part of the Transfăgărășan highway – from 9-11 October. Providing this proposal meets Eurosport Events’ criteria to ensure a successful round of the ERC, then Eurosport Events will consider potentially submitting the new format and date to the FIA Rally Commission for its approval when it meets on 12 March.

World Champion McNish Completes the BBC’s F1 team for 2014 

World Champion McNish Completes the BBC’s F1 team for 2014

Reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Allan McNish will be an integral  part of the BBC’s F1 team for 2014 as co-commentator for Radio 5 live and expert analyst across TV, radio and online.

Dumfries-born McNish will be “live” from the radio commentary box and will also feature across the BBC’s F1 output.

Allan, who announced his retirement last month from Le Mans sports-prototype racing, will use his extensive experience and knowledge gleaned from all areas of motorsport to steer audiences through the intricacies of the forthcoming season.

“Now that I have ‘hung up’ my racing helmet, I am really looking forward to joining the BBC team again for what I am sure is going to be a fantastic new F1 season,” commented McNish who is an Ambassador for Audi Sport.

“With so many technical rule changes, as well as team and driver movements, there will be lots of things happening on and off the track for the BBC team to bring to its various audiences”.

McNish, one of the most respected names in the world of motorsport, became Britain’s first sportscar world champion for 21 years and Scotland’s first ever in a 2013 season that saw him win a third career Le Mans 24 Hour race. He also worked as F1 co-commentator alongside James Allen for Radio 5 live.

Ben Gallop, BBC Head of F1, added: “The 2014 F1 season picks up pace tomorrow as testing begins and the BBC’s F1 team is ready to deliver another exciting year of coverage.

“We’re delighted that Allan McNish is on board with the team this year in an expanded role, his experience and expertise is an invaluable addition and audiences love him.”

BBC One and BBC One HD will show nine races “live” on TV, including Silverstone, Canada, Monza and Spa, as well as the season finale from Abu Dhabi, with extended highlights programmes of the remaining races. This goes the same for practice and qualifying.

Every Grands Prix of the season will be live on Radio 5 live or 5 live sports extra with live coverage of practice and qualifying. Plus all the action, news, reviews via the BBC Sport App and the BBC Sport Website, with Andrew Benson as Chief F1 writer.

McNish was on Audi Sport ambassadorial duty for the first time at the Daytona 24 Hours last weekend (25-26 Jan) – an annual twice-around-the clock race in Florida that Allan placed second on three occasions.

The first customer today was Gordon Malcolm, Eastern BMW’s i Sales Manager, with his i3 BMW demonstrator.

Knockhill Racing Circuit, Scotland’s National Motor Sport Centre, is celebrating 40 years of motor sport action this year, but also, 2014 is a landmark year for the future of motoring too as the Circuit now has its own ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING POINT as part of Transport Scotland’s National campaign for a network of points throughout Scotland.

The first customer today was Gordon Malcolm, Eastern BMW’s i Sales Manager (pictured here), with his i3 BMW demonstrator.

Stuart Gray, Knockhill Events and Marketing Director said, “The BMW i3 is the perfect car to use the Knockhill charging point first as the BMW i brand stands for visionary vehicles, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium, defined by sustainability. Having test driven the i3 myself on Hogmanay, the new BMW i3 is an innovative experience and exhilarating too, and a near silent driving experience. Knockhill has a long history of “Green” measures as all our Subaru rally cars and go-karts are LPG and our safety lights are solar, and all our buildings are heated by building LPG too. We also promote and train 100’s of drivers a year on safer and economic driving skills via our Centre for Driving Excellence, so going green is now cool with the likes of the BMW i3.”

The charging point is located near Kinnairds Restaurant and the Knockhill Karting Centre and is available to anyone attending Knockhill which can be from all over Scotland, and beyond. Charging is free and available anytime that Knockhill is open (subject to occasional event restrictions such as Touring Cars when it will be for spectators attending the event only).

For more information, please contact Stuart Gray at Knockhill on 01383 723337 or information about the BMW i range from Gordon Malcolm at Eastern BMW at Newbridge on 0131 467 6000.