HERO,the Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation, and the CRA, the Classic Rally Association, have joined forces to become one of the leading rallying organisations in the UK and Europe.
The joint venture will focus on improving the existing events to enhance the classic car enthusiasts’experience and will integrate the annual calendar of rallies and events into a simplified structure.
Over the past two years, HERO has invested in new services for its members and audience, mostly aiming at making classic rallying a more user friendly activity and accessible to seasoned competitors, new participants and interested parties alike.
“Joining forces with the CRA will benefit classic car enthusiasts as sharing resources will improve our combined portfolio of rallies and trials. It will also allow the development of joint initiatives such as training days for novices and tailor made events,” said Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Managing Director of HERO.
Jeremy Dickson,Event Director of the CRA said: “Working to get her will allow us to combine the strong points of both organisations and position us as one of Europe’s largest established classic rallying organisations. Consolidating all this experience in classic rallying is a great opportunity for us all.”
“HERO and the CRA both run very well known events. The consolidated joint organisation will focus on achieving operational efficiency and exploiting marketing synergies,” said Patrick Burke, Managing Director of HERO.
“It does not mean that the CRA will become part of HERO or vice versa. The different styles of the events are an important factor for competitors and we have no intention of changing that,” he added.
The two teams will continue to operate as they have done till now under their own brand and maintaining the different styles of their respective events.
HERO’s Peter Nedin commented: “Jeremy and I have known each other for several years and we have always tried to work together to avoid date and route clashes. I am delighted that HERO and the CRA have joined forces. This will allow us share resources, knowledge and experience to ensure that the events each organisation is famous for such as the Classic Marathon, Rally of the Tests, Le jog and the Scottish Malts will continue to for many years to come. We will also have the opportunity to develop new events in line with the demands of classic rallying and the needs of competitors. It is not the wish of the CRA or HERO to change the character or style of any of our events; what we do have is the opportunity to work much closer on routes and dates to ensure competitors are provided with variety and choice. This is a win-win situation which benefits everyone. Classic rallying has never looked better”
The merger of the CRA events into the HERO fold will surprise many regular followers of the road rally scene.
The CRA was set up by Philip Young, after he organised the Pirelli Classic Marathon in 1988, which in those days ran under the umbrella of the HRCR which held the permits, and enabled the HRCR to enjoy a period of meteoric growth in membership.
Philip said afterwards that he was rather sad in some ways that it had come to this, “but the good thing is that the events go on.” It means that the Classic Marathon 25 years old next summer-going once again to Cortina- the Poppy Rally, Three Legs of Man, and the Rally of the Tests, which Philip Young founded before handing over to Jeremy Dickson, will now all come under the umbrella of the new CRA-HERO setup.
HERO was set up in the late nineties by John Brown as an organisation to hold the permits for LE JOG and Corse Retro, previously held by the HRCR.
John Brown told old STAGER: “This is abit of a surprise, but we all have to move on. HERO grew out of the longer-distance events I was running in the nineties, starting with LE JOG in 1993.” To begin with,these were run under HRCR permits. By 1998, differences of opinion saw Brown go his own way.
John added: “I invented the name Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation as a fit for the acronym HERO.The first event run under the name was the London to Cape Town Classic Reliability Trial of 1998. From the non,events run by me under the HERO name included the Classic (later Scottish) Malts Trial and Tour,LE JOG Trials and Tours, London Lisbon Trials and Tours, the 2001 Inca Trail Classic Reliability Trial and 4×4 Adventure Drive, the 2003 Arctic Winter Trial and 4×4 Adventure Drive, and the HERO Irish Trial and Tour. In 2004, I started organising separate 4×4 Adventure Drives under the name of HERO 4×4 xplore, a brand I still own. Part of our logo remains the HERO badge I designed.
“The last HERO event I organised was LE JOG in 2004, after which I first franchised the plain HERO brand and event names to Peter Nedin, selling it to him out right a few years later.”