GREAT MADEIRA AND INTERNATIONAL EVENT
Although the world is found in constant geo-political upheaval and uncertainty, more and more countries and regions are betting heavily on motor sport as a means of projecting and promoting tourism. And that bet is very strong in order to put their Rallies at the top of the World Championships.
That being the case, for Clube Sport Madeira, the organization of the Madeira Wine Rally 2017 is of great importance and has enormous significance, bearing witness to its history, the brand image and the international prestige that we have won with the International Automobile Federation over the years. We have the great responsibility to take another edition to the roads of the Madeira Wine Rally in a clear demonstration that we deserve to continue to belong to the elite of the World Rallies.
We all know that in order to maintain our rally in the current European Championship format, we would need substantially higher Regional Government support and a guarantee that the transportations of cars by sea would be carried out by means of a ferry-type vessel.
Let's hope that, within a few years, these necessary conditions will be met again in order to return to the Top of the FIA Rally, as quality, motivation and ambition are not lacking. Nor will we lack the Institutional Support of the National and International Federative Entities.
It is human nature but also a madeiran way of being and to express oneself, to only value what we have when it is lost to us. And so goes the same regarding the Madeira Wine Rally. Those who once accused us of betting on a non-competitive and dying European Championship are now the first to criticize us, for being out of that same Championship and having been "relegated" to the Rally Cup. They forget very easily, that we have been able to keep the Madeira Wine Rally on IRC for four editions as the only event whose organization did not require any financial compensation from the Free Promoter, which was and continues to be quite high.
We have been at the forefront of the IRC, as we are now at the forefront of the TER - Tour European Rally, a sports project involving several rallies from the former European Championship and different Touristic Regions. On the other hand, the FIA Observer Reports continue to score our Rally as one of the best rallies in Europe and the World on asphalt. The event has not lost its brand image and its competitiveness and it is enough to review the interest of pilots and brands to confirm that we continue to be a reference event worldwide.
For these reasons, to the Organizing Committee of Madeira Wine Rally 2017 as well as the Regional Government of Madeira, our "Main Sponsor", it is essential to continue to organize this International Event. We need to demonstrate to all our partners that our Rally continues to be the biggest sporting event held annually in Madeira and the one that most touristically promotes the Island and our famous wine, being cherished and lived by all Madeirans. And it is, without a doubt, the Event that most stimulates the regional economy, as it reaches all the municipalities on the path of the famous "Voltas à Ilha", moving thousands of Madeirans and tourists who go to our mountains and stand in our beautiful and blossoming roads, as well as our hotels, restaurants and hospitality industry, throughout our Island.
For the European Rally Trophy - Zona Ibérica – in the 2017 edition, which replaces the European Rally Cup, the National Championship and the Rally Madeira plus the Tour European Rally, we have decided to maintain the same organizational structure, program, and itinerary of the previous year, as well as continue to meet the requirements of the FIA and the current Regulations of the National Championship and "Coral" of Rally Madeira.
The Organizing Committee of the Madeira Wine Rally 2017 will do everything to ensure that the standards of quality, organization and safety remain high, as well as assuring the presence of foreign competitors in races in the rally and on the roads of Madeira, which together with the main national drivers and the very competitive pilots of Madeira, will surely guarantee a great show and a fierce sporting competition until the end, as fortunately it has happened in recent years.
We thank all Official Sponsors and Companies who maintain their financial support, even in times of economic downturn, and to all who collaborate with the Event Organization. Without the commitment and contribution of so many, it would not be possible to have in our beautiful "Pearl of the Atlantic" another edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the 58th Edition of the Tour of Madeira Island on the Roads this year.
To all the participants, competitors, organizers, police forces and militarized, we renew our thanks.
Our meeting is scheduled for the first week of August so we may watch another big competitive sporting event. Our success depends on the safety, posture and behaviour of each viewer. We count on all of you!
The Rally does not belong to Clube Sport Madeira, it belongs to Madeira. Without envy and slander, with pride and determination, let us defend what is ours. As always!
To all a good rally!