The Rally GB has landed in Cardiff again this weekend, and even with the big event gracing the South, money problems are still an issue.
The recession has hit both the public and private sectors, including sport such as the Rally. But some teams do have the financial assets to be secure this year, even if many don’t.
Speaking with Ken Rees, the manager of Petter Solburg, the Subaru team haven’t been affected by the recession as such, mainly because the team started at the beginning of 2009 when the financial downfall began.
Mr Rees said: “We haven’t really been affected because we knew how much money we had at the start of the recession and so we had to budget it after building up the new team when Subaru decided to pull out leaving Solburg to set his own team up.”
He does agree, though, that with a limited budget, it has affected the sponsorship for the team. The main sponsor Johs Lunde Gruppen, who distribute leisure boats in Norway, is in partnership with Petter Solburg, who advertises the company in return.
“Our main sponsor is a Norwegian company called Johs Lunde Gruppen, who are more than happy to be part of our team, although in 2010, the smaller sponsors will be harder to keep on, if our budget is deflating.”
One team, who has been affected, is Ford. Managed by Malcolm Wilson, the team are part of the ever-growing recession. Mr Wilson said: “We are down 25 – 30% in profit, but experience is the benefit and we continue to invest for the future.”
He continues to say: “All the money in the world is not the answer though, it’s about the people, time, and performance of everyone which makes a team.”
Both managers are confident that even though money issues are a problem, their team will perform to the best standard they can, and with both cars hoping to come into the top 3, it’s a race against time about who will manage to come out top.