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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









First FIA Baja in the United Kingdom set to debut in August 2006.



Marches 4x4 Motorsport Management Ltd has gained permission from the Motor Sports Association (MSA) and motorsport's world governing body, the FIA, to run Britain's first ever Baja-type event in August 2006. The proposed event has the full backing of the Motor Sports Association (MSA), the Forestry Commission, the Welsh Development Agency (WDA), the Welsh Assembly Government and Andrew Davies, the Welsh Minister for Economic Development and Transport.

The ground-breaking new Baja will comply with the guidelines laid down by the FIA for Baja-type rallies and event officials are hopeful that Baja GB 2006 may become a round of the FIA International Cup for Bajas as early as 2007. It will take place in Mid-Wales on August 18th-20th and will be open to cars complying with T1 and T2 homologation categories. Officials have also been granted a special dispensation to permit international competitors to take part.

There will also be a National status event running behind the main Baja and officials are looking at the possibility and practicality of running a motorcycle category. Cars and bikes are commonplace on other international FIA Baja events in Qatar, Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain.

"This is a very exciting breakthrough and major news for the entire sport of off-road motorsport in the United Kingdom," said Chris Tomley, Chairman of the MSA's Off-Road Committee and founder member of Marches 4x4 Motorsport Management Ltd. "We are hopeful that the event will be observed by the FIA and granted a slot in the 2007 international calendar. Baja GB 2006 will be the first forest-type Baja in the world calendar and we are confident that it will attract a strong entry from the outset."

"This is excellent news for UK motorsport," said Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the MSA. "Baja GB 2006 will bring a dynamic new form of motorsport to this country and we would be delighted if the event were to become included on the world calendar. Although we currently have few competitors on the Baja international stage, the UK is well represented by manufacturers at the top of the sport. This new event will give the UK competitors a welcome opportunity to compete on home soil and it should stimulate further interest in this exciting sport."

Officials are currently working on the format for the three-day event, which will begin with scrutineering, documentation, a ceremonial start and a timed Prologue stage on Friday, August 18th. The timetable will continue with several loops of a testing special stage in the Forestry Commission's Radnor forest in Mid-Wales on Saturday, August 19th and Sunday, August 20th. Event officials are looking for around 180 competitive miles over the two days in the Radnor forest complex.

"This is a very exciting development," said Derek Ledger, FIA Commissioner for Cross-Country Rallies. "A Baja event in the UK would be welcomed by the FIA. Great Britain is an important market for the automotive industry and I am sure that manufacturers would like to see a round of the Baja Cup running here in the future.

"The Dakar Rally is one of the most famous events in the world calendar, but hasn't really captured the imagination of the British public. Running a Baja in the UK would be a major step towards increasing the popularity of one of the fastest growing sports in the world." Mitsubishi has won the gruelling Dakar Rally for the last six years and the Japanese manufacturer's Team Director Dominique Serieys greeted the news favourably. "Britain is an important market for several manufacturers and we would all like to see the sport given more coverage. I see this as very positive and am sure that it will be a success."

Marches 4x4 Motorsport Management Ltd was founded in 2000 by four off-road enthusiasts, as a way of promoting and running the MSA British Off Road Championship. After the onset of 'Foot and Mouth' disease in 2001, officials went on to run the 2002 MSA British Off Road Championship. Marches 4x4 also runs two National Hillrally Championship rounds, Y Rali Bryn Cymru and The Hillrally. Most of the "Marches Team" are involved with other events, providing radio control, safety radio, course cars, course closing cars, stage commanders, Clerks of the Course, event safety officers, etc.

For further information about the Baja GB 2006, contact Chris Tomley, Marches 4x4 Motorsport Management Ltd, Tel: + 44 1686 626641, Fax: + 44 1686 626218, Mobile: + 44 7831 418 304, email: [ ct@tomleys.co.uk ] or web at [ www.bajagb.co.uk ].

2006/04/03 I 17:28 CET I Editor: marathonrally.com






















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