Welcome to the first Newsletter for the 2022 Roberts Garage Jersey Rally – the 39th running of this popular closed road rally in Jersey. We are delighted to welcome Roberts Garage who continue their successful partnership with the Jersey Rally – and they have already confirmed that they will offer a tyre fitting service at Rally HQ.

Our Jersey Rally Committee has been working hard behind the scenes for many months already and thanks to all of them for their commitment. The motorsport regulator, Motorsport UK, has now signed off on the event and issued the permit number enabling us to proceed – thanks to those willing volunteers who have produced the documentation to get us to this milestone and who will now be focussing on the event documentation required ahead of the event.

Great to see such enthusiasm from competitors with entries coming in thick and fast as soon as they opened. There is a great mix of vehicles and fabulous interest both from the UK and Guernsey so we look forward to welcoming many visitors to Jersey for Rally Week. So far, we look to be welcoming 21 crews from the UK and 14 from Guernsey with 7 “mixed” crews (UK, Guernsey, Jersey) – the pending entries include a good breakdown from the various countries too. Jersey, of course, is well represented with some 40 teams so far.

All the rally car classes are well supported – starting with A (up to 1400c) with 4, B (up to 1600cc) with 9 and then the very popular class C (up to 2 litre) with 22 entries and D (over 2litre) with 23. It will be interesting to see how the 4WD succeed (9 of them so far) – weather conditions can play a big part here as the last few winners have all been 2WD. Finally the FWD2 class has an amazing 16 entries so far – front wheel drive 2 litre. Very popular class with many Peugeot’s featuring but also an exciting Suzuki Swift Super2000 coming from Wales for the first time.

In terms of manufacturers, it’s no surprise that Ford is the favoured make with Peugeot in second spot and then Subaru and BMW.

The PR teams have been out and  again thanks to all who have assisted them with this mammoth exercise. There will be a further exercise immediately before the rally to drop off a letter to each household on the stages themselves – and another army of volunteers will be completing this.  This event, like many sporting activities in the Island, can only take place with the goodwill and tolerance of all Islanders – something that we all truly appreciate.

We are using the new Tracker system for the Roberts Garage Jersey Rally this year.  Competitors will have seen the details in the Supplementary Regs. Ben Le Lay worked with this on time-keeping duties in the Isle of Man recently and our feedback will be given in due course – such tracker systems likely to be mandatory from 2023. Ben will also be launching the Sportity App again in the near future – watch for further news …

One of the significant current workstreams is the development of the digital rally maps – using the Digimap system introduced by Ron Allen several years ago.  This is a multi-layer electronic product – so competitors will have stage maps relevant to the rally competition itself but it’s interesting to know that other “layers” of maps will, for instance, give full details of each marshal post, signage, emergency service routes, officials’ routes.

Jersey resident competitors – don’t forget to ensure that all your marshals have taken the on-line training and have received their accreditation. Further news on marshal arrangements to follow.

So the preparation goes on – anyone travelling to the Island is encouraged to arrange your travel as soon as possible. Don’t forget that the Merton Hotel in St Helier is traditionally a home from home for many rally teams – and the venue for the Awards evening and after rally party (just a quiet little affair!). Contact the Merton Hotel directly to book your Awards Evening and Party tickets as soon as possible as there is always great demand.

Exciting news to follow soon as we are reintroducing the Ceremonial Start on Friday lunchtime – venue to be advised shortly!