Why were the stages that are being shown live chosen?
“Barum Czech Rally Zlín is very competitive and spectacular with fantastic public and nice landscapes, but for a live coverage we need to see the cars from the helicopter and we need to receive the onboard camera pictures. The only obstacle to receive this footage are trees. And there are a lot of beautiful trees all around the stages close to Zlín. So our first criteria was to have a minimum of trees covering the stages. With the precious help of the rally promoter, Jan Regner, we’ve found these two stages with not too many branches and leaves over the cars and which are, of course, nice and representative of the kind of special stages for this rally.”
What can viewers expect from the coverage?
“We’ll keep the same concept and editorial line followed for our live coverage of Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse, which was in fact firstly created for the Rallye Monte-Carlo in 2009. The pillars of our live coverage are the onboard camera pictures from the top 10 cars, the helicopter views, live interviews at the finish of the stage and live timing with spilt times to better understand what’s going on and see who are the fastest teams from the first kilometres and all along the stage.
“In Czech republic, for this actual live, the viewers will see a huge amount of enthusiastic spectators, especially in the first part of Slusovice on Saturday, and a tough competition with asphalt roads completely different from what they have seen in Corsica. As the cars can cut the corners there’s often a lot of gravel on the Tarmac and the grip is changing a lot, which makes the tyre choice pretty tricky. And if it rains it makes it particularly spectacular and difficult.”
How many people will work on the live television coverage and, briefly, what will they all do?
“All together we are around 60 people working for the live coverage but also for the usual daily highlights, rally review and Inside IRC magazine that we’ll produce in addition to the live coverage. Roughly, the biggest part of it is made of people from our technical providers, AMP Visual who works this time in collaboration with Czech TV, but also from TV data, our live time keeping provider, followed by the cameramen, the airborne crew, the video editors and the producers and reporters.”
What preparation goes in to filming the event?
“We needed to come twice in Zlín to prepare this live coverage. Jean-Pierre Nicolas, the IRC General Manager, and I have made the first trip to validate with Jan Regner the choice of the stages from a practical point of view – the possibility to have all the technical facilities at the right place in the stages and not too much trees over the road – but also from a sporting point of view to be sure of the interest of the stages. It was also useful to identify the most interesting places where the helicopter will film and which parts of the stages will be shown in priority during the live, depending on the sporting interest and on the beauty of the pictures it can provides.
“The second trip, lead by Brigitte Paquet, head of production, was to organise and prepare properly the production on site with our technical partners, AMP Visual and the Czech TV.”
How many cameras will be used on each stage?
“We’ll have one onboard camera in each of the top 10 cars, a Cineflex on the helicopter, one camera on the flying finish (two on Sunday’s stage) and one camera for live interviews at the finish.”
Are you planning to do anything different with the coverage from Zlín?
“Coverage of each rally is different, especially when it is live coverage. It is different because of the landscape, the profile of the stages, the kind of surface, the story of the competition. And we’ll have to deal – in real time - with what can happen during this kind of competition to show it in the best and most comprehensive way to the viewers. And sometimes we have big surprises! This is why rallying is so unique and magic and provides the most beautiful and intense live show in the motorsport world. But maybe I’m not objective as I like so much this sport. Jean-Pierre Nicolas gave me his virus!”
Eurosport’s LIVE coverage of Barum Czech Rally Zlín:
Saturday 1 September
10:00hrs-11:00hrs CET: SS2 Slusovice 1 (16.20 kilometres)
13:00hrs-14:00hrs CET: SS4 Slusovice 2 (16.20 kilometres)
Sunday 2 September
10:00hrs-11:00hrs CET: SS12 Majak 1 (22.80 kilometres)
13:00hrs-14:00hrs CET: SS15 Majak 2 (22.80 kilometres)