Never before in its 54-year history has the British Rally Championship seen such a closely fought contest as it did in 2012.
The introduction of new rules and regulations this year – not least becoming a two-wheel-drive only series – helped level the playing field by placing more emphasis on driver ability, and it worked brilliantly, culminating in a four-way shootout for the title and the last rally of the season finished in a dead heat!
Highlights of this drama-packed year have thankfully been committed to DVD in the form of Duke Video’s latest offering – British Rally Championship Review 2012 – and if rally fans haven’t already, they should be asking Santa for a copy for Christmas.
Essentially, it is just a compilation of the half-dozen 35-minute programmes that originally aired on Sky Sports during the course of the season, which is no bad thing as these were fairly comprehensive and told the story of each event rather brilliantly.
It also means that there is just under four hours of rallying action to feast your eyes on, with plenty of in-car footage showing the maestros display their prowess on gravel, tarmac and mud, and in ever-changing weather conditions.
From Mark Donnelly and Tom Cave setting the early season pace, to series returnee Keith Cronin getting back to his winning ways during a series of epic battles, every vital moment of this year’s championship has been included.
It is ridiculously thorough, and yet, never does it border on becoming dull thanks to some superb editing. You could quite easily digest the whole thing in one sitting, something I can attest to.
And with car trader turned presenter Mike Brewer fronting the piece, and former rally ace Robbie Head providing expert analysis, there is never a whiff of pretentiousness in the air and the coverage caters for rally novices and aficionados alike.
The only criticism I have to make is that a few extra features wouldn’t have gone amiss. Riding on-board with Donnelly for a stage of the Jim Clark International Rally is great to watch and left me wanting more.
A minor gripe in the scheme of things though, because with heaps of sideways action and a generous amount of interviews with the key players, British Rally Championship Review 2012 offers fantastic value for money and does justice to what was an incredible season.
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Duke Video
DVD Release Date: 29 Oct 2012
Run Time: 218 minutes