The prestigious British Rally Championship was decided in favour of Finland’s Jukka Korhonen and Marko Salminen in Poole last Saturday in their Citroen DS3 R3T.

Behind the scenes final year Sports Management students of the School of Tourism were undertaking an economic impact survey on behalf of the organisers of Rallye Sunseeker, the final round of the 2013 British Rally Championship.

Such surveys are vital to the organisers and competitors as a justification for sponsorship deals and to gain the support too of the local community.

Lecturer in Sports Management research supervisor Paul Boyce said, “Consultancy projects such as this allow the application of academic areas, such as research methodology, to the benefit of real-life industrial partners. We have been very lucky over the years to have had the close co-operation of the Rallye Sunseeker organisers, headed by Event Director Rick Smith. He has personally gone out of his way to make it possible to poll spectators, competitors and officials to establish accurately what such a large event contributes to Poole as well as the region’s economy.”

Dr Bruce Grant-Braham, head of the School’s Motor Sport Research Group is also Chair of Poole Tourism. “I wear two hats,” he said. “Whilst it is absolutely great to see our students getting so involved, Rallye Sunseeker is a core element in extending Poole’s tourist season into the shoulder periods. I look forward to receiving the results in the near future which will demonstrate to Dorset’s local authorities and the wider tourism industry how an events-based marketing strategy can work and what it can tangibly generate. Dorset would have been much quieter this weekend if Rallye Sunseeker had not been in town. I can’t believe, how many Finns I met over the weekend!”

On the overall benefit of student consultancy projects, Lecturer Andrew Callaway, who is Consultancy Project Coordinator in the Centre for Event and Sport Research said, “We are pleased to be running a dozen student led projects this year. They all act so professionally working on real projects that make a difference to the organisations involved. These range from Rallye Sunseeker through to how to develop a National Governing Body and setting up and running major events for them. They all put their research and theory into practice in a big way, they all get something out of this learning experience, and, as a helpful by-product it looks amazing for them from an employability angle as well.”


The champion’s Citroen DS3 RT at speed in Dorset’s Forests with Finnish flags in the background!



Jukka Korhonen and Mario Salminen celebrate in Finnish-style on Poole Qu

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