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Latest Event News

2nd December 2013
Owen Murphy - My Roger Albert Clark Rally

I had a short test on Friday morning in the car, did ten miles just to get the feel for it and the car felt perfect! Friday night 1st stage got off to a bad start; about two miles in the car stalled and wouldn't restart for over thirty seconds. Another two miles in we had a small half spin and stall although the rest of Friday night went without issue we suffered from a lack of knowledge in the night and ended up 14th o/a!

Saturday morning we decided a big push was in order and we felt a lot more comfortable in the daylight. We climbed the leaderboard to 8th after the morning and by the end of the day ended up in 5th o/a. The car had again run faultlessly and we started to set some top three times! The lads stayed up late Saturday night and ran over the car top to bottom.

Sunday morning was a different affair and we faced a new challenge as we have never rallied much on ice. We took a more cautious approach in the morning but too cautious. We lost some time to the guys behind but were still comfortably in 5th at the lunch time halt. We had moved up to 4th o/a as another competitor had an accident. We still had a good lead but on the 4th last stage, a long twelve mile stage we got a puncture and had to go three miles on it. We had dropped to 5th again so on the next stage we went on a charge again. Then disaster struck again when we struck a massive rock on the racing line, cracked a rim and got another puncture, having to travel over a mile on it.. Onto the last two stages. We kept up the pace as we reckoned anyone could have problems as we were seeing it first hand and we set another few top three times but had to settle for 5th in the end by seventeen seconds.

Big thanks to John Leahy for the car and prepping it to an incredible standard. We started this project under the radar over a year ago to set up John's new business selling competition Sunbeam parts and to put the Sunbeam up against the best historic cars in Britain. For our first real rally in the car with no knowledge of the stages, no pace notes and a new team formed, I think we all left proud that weekend. Next year we will be contesting the full R.A.C. Rally Championship for Historic Cars in the UK.

Report courtesy of The Avenger Sunbeam Owners Club. 
ASOC News 118 is out now. 40 pages of Avenger, Avenger Tiger, Sunbeam and Sunbeam Lotus goodness. We are relaunching the ASOC Challenge in 2014 for competition cars and Owen Murphy amongst others will be taking part. You need to be a member to be in it and you can enter wherever you are in the world. For more info email

The ASOC website can be found at:


2nd December 2013
Guy Smith announces his return as a Bentley Boy

On the 25th November, Sometime Roger Albert Clark Rally contender, race championship-winner and local racer Guy Smith was announced as one of three British drivers for Bentley’s new Continental GT3 race car. Ten years after famously winning the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race with Bentley in 2003, Guy is returning to the brand where he first made his name. Guy’s first test race with the new car and Team M-Sport Bentley will be the Gulf 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi on 13th December 2013.

After several years of successful endurance racing in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with Dyson Racing, including winning the 2011 Championship and a close runner-up finish the following year, Beverley-born Guy is now set to race in Europe for 2014 using the all-new Continental GT3 machine. Guy had the honour of giving the car its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, and has since completed over a thousand kilometres of development testing.

Commenting on his new drive, Guy says:

“Driving for Bentley again feels like coming home. The car feels fantastic, and we’ve worked hard over the last few months to be ready for the competition. I’m thrilled to going be going racing in Abu Dhabi in December and am already looking forward to the 2014 season.”

Developed between Bentley and race specialists M-Sport from the road-going Continental GT grand tourer, Guy’s new car packs 600 bhp whilst weighing in under 1300 kg. He will share the drive with countrymen Andy Meyrick from Cheshire and Steven Kane from Northern Ireland, both of whom Guy has raced with in the past. Together, they form the new breed of Bentley Boys, named after the team of free-spirited drivers that led Bentley to Le Mans glory five times in the 1920s.

For 2014, Guy will race with Team M-Sport Bentley in the European Blancpain Endurance Series in the marque’s official return to motorsport. His background in endurance racing over the last ten years will serve him well, with the series including a 24-hour race in Spa and a 1000km at the notorious Nürburgring in Germany.

We are delighted for Guy but hope that he can still come back to his Ford Escort for another bash at the Roger Albert at some point in the future!

15th November 2013
Finisher's report  from Paul Griffiths

When Paul Griffiths from Chester and the Historic Rally Preparation team from Wrexham arrived at Pickering for the start of this year’s event Paul had not driven the car since the Severn Valley Stages in June and with only meeting Richard Wardle, his co-driver for the first time at signing on, the team had no idea on where the event would lead.

The first stage in Dalby was nearly the end when three miles in the crew came across a broken Lancia Stratos stuck across the track on a very fast part of the stage. The damage to the front suspension and steering sustained on the Escort when they had to go off the road to avoid the Lancia was better than having a head on impact with it but it did put the crew off for a few miles! Fastest overall on stage three and then fastest on stage six was a good way to finish the night and 6th overall set the crew up in a good position for the Saturday.

Two fastest stage times on the first two stages of the day put the crew in a good position and then on to Croft. Paul said “I can never be quick around Croft no matter how hard I try ,i don’t know what I do wrong”.

Hamsterley and Pundershaw went well although Paul and Richard did have to borrow some fuel for the second run in Pundershaw -so thank you to the kind team who gave us some.

Day three and lying 2nd overall due to a clean run and the cars in front going out was more than the crew could have thought possible. The crew had a clean run through the last day although ice on the gravel roads was a battle but the new Pirelli tyres were working really well.

Paul said “I’m over the moon with the result, it’s far above what I thought possible at the start and to have seven fastest stage times overall is great. I would like to thank Colin and the whole team who run the event, also my co-driver Richard, who I only met at the start, he did a great job; Pirelli Tyres for their help and Martin from Historic Rally Preparation for a fantastic car. I can’t wait till next year”.

Image courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382


14th November 2013
Pritchard fails to finish but doesn't fail to impress

Jason Pritchard was denied the opportunity to challenge the eventual Roger Albert Clark winner Steve Bannister after pushing the Yorkshire man all the way in the opening stages of the tenth running of the famous event.

Over the opening two legs of the weekend, Jason Pritchard and co-driver John Millington chased Bannister hard in the North Road Garage Mk2 Escort run by Viking Motorsport but a crest in the Pundershaw stages claimed the young Welshman and Pritchard crashed out of the Rally whilst occupying third spot.

Pritchard impressed from the start and showed immense skill and concentration, especially as this was his first ever rally on maps, his first time in the car with co-driver Millington and the first time rallying in the dark for three years:

“Gutted doesn’t even come close to how I feel” the 25-year old said after the Rally, Pritchard also immediately thanked everyone who helped him take part:

“I want to express my huge thanks to everyone who made it possible for me to compete on this event. To challenge Bannister so closely was a fantastic achievement and I wish I could have tested him right up until the end. I loved every bit of what I managed to do, the organisation was brilliant and I have never seen so many spectators on a rally in the UK.

“All the team at Viking Motorsport did a fantastic job again and I'm gutted that we didn't get the result the team deserved for all the effort that was put in. I want to also praise John for a brilliant job on the maps, I really don't know how he does it but he was fantastic and we had brilliant fun in the car.”

Pritchard had put out a call for help before the Rally in regards to financial support and said he can’t thank everyone enough who generously helped him in his quest to compete:

“I'm sorry again to everyone who was backing me this weekend; I am devastated I couldn’t reward their generosity with a finish. Thank you to North Road Garage Builth Wells Toyota, FCS Laser Mail, Brightwells Classic Car Auctions, Cook's Garden Centre, Pirelli, Midway Security, Collins Design and Build, Pontrillas Develpoments and MP Foulkes.

“Thanks to everyone who has helped this year and I am now trying to sort deals to compete again next year – where I aim to come back quicker and stronger.”

Pritchard finished day one in third place and was right on the pace from the word go, all the first stages on Friday were in the dark and Pritchard adapted to the difficult conditions well to finish 56 seconds off the lead.

The first two stages on Day 2 were the spectator stages in Duncombe Park and Pritchard endured some of the well-known slippy stages and on one of the concrete sections the car slipped but Pritchard managed to slow the car down enough for the corner but stalled the car resulting him in losing 5-10 seconds.

The Welshman made up for this on the second pass over the stage and with no mistakes he kept the stage clean and in just over four miles, Pritchard went 23 seconds quicker than his first run and managed to increase the pressure on the leaders.

The next two stages went well and Pritchard enjoyed competing on tarmac in a rear wheel drive for the first time:

“Stage 9 was my first run around the Croft race circuit and it was also my first time driving a rear wheel drive car on tarmac, I had the fastest time for this stage and really enjoyed the experience, as a youngster I watched both my Dad and Uncle drive MK2's on tarmac so I had knew I had to push hard around there and I loved every minute of it.”

During Stage 11, on the Hamsterley stage,  the top three drivers (Bannister, Robinson and Pritchard) all produced the same time of 5.54 indicating how close this rally was starting to be and the excitement that the remaining days and stages would bring.

Unfortunately this exciting battle drew to unexpected end as Pritchard fell foul to a crest on stage 12 at Pundershaw:

“The stage was just over 12 miles and I knew a good clean run would result in a quick time as the stage was so long, we were in a really good rhythm from the word go and was trying everything to take some time off the leading pair.

“When we got to about 6 miles in, there was a fast section with a left right kink and then a 300 straight, we went through the kink but we didn't know after the crest that there was a 40 degree right hander as not every corner is shown on a map. We came over the crest too fast and I attempted the corner and almost got around as there was a small layby on the outside but when this ended we hit the ditch and spun and sustained too much damage to continue.

“We were devastated and I’m so sorry to everyone who supported me on this rally that we couldn’t get them a finish. I would like to thank all the spectators there who rushed to make sure both me and John were ok and who moved the car to a safe place.

 “It is one of those things when rallying on maps 9 times out of 10 you can get away with it but this time we didn't.”

 On the second pass of this stage, Matthew Robinson who was sitting in second position also crashed out and like Pritchard escaped unhurt.

“Unfortunately Robinson who I was battling with for positions, also went off on the very same corner! I was glad to hear both crew members were unhurt and it was such a shame because it was turning into an epic battle between the three of us.

“I would also like to congratulate Steve Bannister for the win, a fantastic performance and well done!”

Jason is now heading out to the East African Rally to work with Viking Motorsport, he is leaving tomorrow and back at the start of December. The event is being run every two years and started in December 2003. This year’s event has a record 60 entries and no less than 16 different countries are being represented in the 2013 event.

Jason is now on Twitter and you can follow him at @JasonNRG

Please visit Jason’s new website at

For more information or to arrange to speak directly with Jason, please contact:

Matthew Williams
07789 722 561

12th November 2013
My rally – by Mark Dickinson

I apologise for the length of all this, but I was there at Peace Gardens in Sheffield when the RAC was launched over 10 years ago. It has been a dream to compete ever since and this year we finally managed it. The whole weekend was just magic, everything people told me and more.

First the excuses:
I had never driven the Rover in a stage rally, never driven it on forest tyres and the last time I drove it at all was the XPart endurance road rally in February 2012. My navigator is one of my best mates and a very quick driver, but he has navigated just once in the past, back in 1996. The car is still in enduro spec apart from vented front discs and no interior trim, so basically a totally standard 1400 Rover except uprated suspension. The service crew had never seen the car five days before the rally.

So we entered in the spirit of 'well it's an adventure, let’s see how far we get'. It was therefore amazing to finish and some of our times aren't that bad, considering all the above, the ice on Sunday morning, a puncture and a broken shock absorber on Sunday and the desire just to get round. I drove well within myself, very defensively (which at times was frustrating), but still had a few 'moments' on the ice and at Duncombe Park where we nearly rolled.

I know and fully understand everyone wants to see the top boys, and we were hardly exciting to watch, but for us getting round was our equivalent of winning.

After all the formalities on Friday and chatting to loads of friends, we set off into the night. Our event started by catching a Healey two miles into SS1. We then followed him for another two miles before he could move over. We caught the other Healey on the second long Dalby and again followed him for what seemed like ages including through The Woodyard. Altogether this cost us nearly a minute, but that’s rallying. The rest of the night went ok and was great fun until I went off on Staindale 2. Only cost 20 seconds or so and we were back on. There was a delay before we started SS4 due to Barry Jordan’s off. The car looked a mess, so it was good to chat with them and see they were OK.

Saturday was mint, Duncombe Park and Croft were great fun and the weather was fantastic. Bit of a worry after Duncombe Park 1 when Banner pulled in behind us in the queue for our second run. I asked when he was due in and he said 'now'. The prospect of him 30 seconds behind us was a bit daunting but thankfully we all went through again before the top boys did their first run. Maybe that's why I bounced between banks and nearly rolled!!

The rest of Saturday was memorable in that we were about fourth on the road, so saw and heard the glorious Stratos off the line at each stage start, but otherwise uneventful until we arrived in Carlisle to find the petrol tank was holed. The lads did a great job and sorted it (the temporary repair lasted until the run back to the finish) by working until almost midnight. Great to meet Rob Lees again and have a chat.

Sunday was all about the ice, which was treacherous. I have never driven on ice before, and the grip was so unpredictable. I couldn’t drive with any confidence and must have looked a right pratt driving so slowly looking for the bad bits!! We also had broken rear suspension so we went steadily but still nearly went off a number of times. We then got a puncture, but luckily only a couple of miles from the stage end. However the Sunday stages were great, especially Craik.

We were now thinking we might actually finish, and were counting off each stage, and eventually we saw the yellow and then red boards at the end of the last one. First to greet us was Colin (he got everywhere!!!) which was nice. Then we met the chase car team, and then after the run back to Brampton, the rest of the crew. It all got a bit emotional for us all, so it was good timing when we were asked to queue up for the ceremonial finish, which was magic. Then a shower of champagne from Olly and the event was over. We ended up sixth overall on the open rally, which would have equated to 22nd on the historic event.

Well done to all who finished and commiserations to those who didn’t, especially Robbo and Sam, who, along with Jason Pritchard and John Millington, really took the fight to Steve. How they go that fast is beyond me!

Many thanks to the other competitors around us and their respective service crews, especially Rob Evett and Simon Lassam who deserved to beat us for the class win, Dave Watkins and Paul Train and John Everard and Mark Sharpley for the camaraderie, help and fun.

Thanks also to the organising team, especially Colin and Nicola who all made us feel really welcome and all the marshals who as always did a great job.

Also thanks to PIAA, Mr Tyre and Questmead for their help.

Finally, a huge thanks to our little team. Alison, Lissy, Olly, Mike, Neil, the other Mike, Joe and Ken for making it an unforgettable weekend. If anyone wants a real challenge and a wonderful experience, this is THE event to do.

11th November 2013
Roger Albert Clark Rally 2013

Steve Bannister and Kevin Rae took their second Roger Albert Clark Rally victory after another glorious three days of rallying through Yorkshire and the Scottish borders.

‘Banner’ was peerless in his Ford Escort Mk2 over 160 miles of special stages made even tougher by ice on Sunday morning. Two drivers took the fight to Bannister but were both caught out by the same deceptive crest in Pundershaw.

“After the fight with Marty McCormack last year and losing on the last stage, this has made up a little bit,” said Bannister as he repeated his 2007 victory. “This is the best event of the year for historic cars, so it is great to win it again.”

The tenth anniversary of the rally was another huge hit with competitors and thousands of spectators. Friday evening featured six stages in the Dalby complex, while Saturday’s route headed north into Kielder before an overnight in Carlisle. Sunday was the sting in the tail with 70 competitive miles in the border forests.

Over the opening two legs, Matthew Robinson/Sam Collis and Jason Pritchard/John Millington chased Bannister hard but the same crest in Pundershaw claimed them both, Pritchard rolled out on the first run and Robinson on the second time through the 12-mile stage.

Instead, Paul Griffiths and Richard Wardle clinched second from Seamus O’Connell/Paul Wakely as Tim Pearcey/Neil Shanks fought back to fourth after losing time with a low-speed roll in the Duncombe Park stage on Saturday morning.

Other major winners included Belgians Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard who won Category 2 in their Ford Escort and veterans Bob Bean and Malcolm Smithson who again topped Category 1 in their Lotus Cortina.

After early suspension problems at Duncombe Park, Martyn Hawkswell and Nick Welch finally emerged to win the Open Rally and complete a hat-trick of wins in their Ford Escort Mk2.

Nick Jarvis and Craig Thorley set the early the pace and escaped from a high speed off at Croft with only minor panel damage to the back of the car. However, their rally ended with mechanical problems on Sunday and Hawkswell went back ahead having fended off the combined challenge from the Escorts of Barry Stevenson-Wheeler/John Pickavance and Dave Hemingway/Simon Ashton.

Reporting and images courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382


11th November 2013
Bannister wins!

An expectant crowd gathered in Brampton to see if Steve Bannister could lay the ghost of last years defeat by taking the honours in 2013. They were not disappointed as the Yorkshireman known to his fans as the ‘Malton missile’ after his home town crossed the finishing line some four minutes twelve seconds ahead of his nearest rival Paul Griffiths also driving a Ford Escort. Steve becomes only the second driver in the ten year history of the event to win twice.

Full report to follow.



No. Driver Nat Co-driver Nat Car Class Road
Total Diff. from
Prev. First
Roger Albert Clark Rally
1 32 Steve Bannister GB flag Kevin Rae GB flag Ford Escort MK11 D5   2:49:07    
2 12 Paul Griffiths GB flag Richard Wardle GB flag Ford RS1800 Escort D5   2:53:19 0:04:12 0:04:12
3 14 Seamus O'Connell GB flag Paul Wakely GB flag Ford Escort MK2 BDA D5   2:55:55 0:02:36 0:06:48
4 6 Tim Pearcey GB flag Neil Shanks GB flag Ford Escort RS1800 D5   2:56:47 0:00:52 0:07:40
5 8 Owen Murphy IRL flag James O'Brien GB flag Talbot Sunbeam Lotus D4   2:57:04 0:00:17 0:07:57
6 21 Darren Moon GB flag Phil Clarke GB flag Ford Escort RS 1800 D5   2:57:34 0:00:30 0:08:27
7 18 Charlie Taylor GB flag Steve Bielby GB flag Ford Escort D5   2:58:10 0:00:36 0:09:03
8 3 Matt Edwards GB flag Will Rogers GB flag Ford Escort D5   2:58:27 0:00:17 0:09:20
9 20 Guy Woodcock GB flag Graham Dance GB flag Ford Escort RS2000 D3   2:58:57 0:00:30 0:09:50
10 7 Rob Smith GB flag Alun Cook GB flag Ford Escort RS E5   3:00:05 0:01:08 0:10:58
11 1 Stefaan Stouf BEL flag Joris Erard BEL flag Ford Escort RS1600 C5   3:01:32 0:01:27 0:12:25
12 24 Theo Bengry GB flag Les Forsbrook GB flag Ford Escort Mk 2 E5   3:02:00 0:00:28 0:12:53
13 25 Chris Browne GB flag Ali Cornwell-Browne GB flag Ford Escort RS1600 C5   3:02:10 0:00:10 0:13:03
14 22 Peter Smith GB flag Patrick Walsh GB flag Ford Escort MK1 C5   3:02:18 0:00:08 0:13:11
15 16 Phil Squires GB flag Mick Squires GB flag Ford Escort RS1800 D5   3:03:05 0:00:47 0:13:58
16 38 Peter Egerton GB flag Jamie Edwards GB flag Ford Escort E5   3:14:05 0:11:00 0:24:58
17 61 Chris Skill GB flag Garry Middleton GB flag Ford Escort 1600 Sport D2   3:15:07 0:01:02 0:26:00
18 51 Bob Bean GB flag Malcolm Smithson GB flag Ford Lotus Cortina B4   3:17:14 0:02:07 0:28:07
19 53 Darren Grimston GB flag Tony Walker GB flag Ford Escort Mexico C2   3:18:44 0:01:30 0:29:37
20 44 Kim Baker GB flag Paul Heath GB flag Ford Escort Mk1 C3   3:22:00 0:03:16 0:32:53


10th November 2013
Sunday Results to SS19 Craik 2

The battle continues with Banner holding his lead over second placed Paul Griffiths at 4 minutes 19 seconds:


1 32 Steve Bannister GB flag Kevin Rae GB flag Ford Escort MK11 D5   2:18:06    
2 12 Paul Griffiths GB flag Richard Wardle GB flag Ford RS1800 Escort D5   2:22:25 0:04:19 0:04:19
3 14 Seamus O'Connell GB flag Paul Wakely GB flag Ford Escort MK2 BDA D5   2:24:16 0:01:51 0:06:10
4 8 Owen Murphy IRL flag James O'Brien GB flag Talbot Sunbeam Lotus D4   2:25:38 0:01:22 0:07:32
5 6 Tim Pearcey GB flag Neil Shanks GB flag Ford Escort RS1800 D5   2:25:50 0:00:12 0:07:44
6 21 Darren Moon GB flag Phil Clarke GB flag Ford Escort RS 1800 D5   2:26:21 0:00:31 0:08:15
7 18 Charlie Taylor GB flag Steve Bielby GB flag Ford Escort D5   2:26:33 0:00:12 0:08:27
8 41 Andrew Haddon GB flag Mark Crisp GB flag Ford Escort MK2 E3   2:26:41 0:00:08 0:08:35
9 20 Guy Woodcock GB flag Graham Dance GB flag Ford Escort RS2000 D3   2:27:00 0:00:19 0:08:54
10 3 Matt Edwards GB flag Will Rogers GB flag Ford Escort D5   2:27:47 0:00:47 0:09:41
11 1 Stefaan Stouf BEL flag Joris Erard BEL flag Ford Escort RS1600 C5   2:28:20 0:00:33 0:10:14


10th November 2013
Saturday Review

The story of day two, and the battle at the head of the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally, was played out in two runs through the daunting Pundershaw stage on Saturday afternoon. By the time the survivors arrived at Carlisle, Steve Bannister and Kevin Rae had a lead of almost four minutes.

But the day had started differently in front of a huge crowd in Duncombe Park as Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis pulled back a couple of seconds from Bannister. On the asphalt of Croft Robinson dropped a little time as Jason Pritchard and John Millington showed themselves as candidates for the lead contest.

But it was Pundershaw that really shook things up. As a hailstorm swept across the 12.5 mile stage, Pritchard was caught out by a deceptive crest and rolled out of the rally. On the second run, now in full darkness, Robinson did much the same thing and, at a stroke, the opposition to Bannister was out.

Just to prove a point, Bannister was fastest on both runs through Pundershaw to end the leg with a lead of 3m58s. Barring a major problem, he’s not going to be caught on Sunday.

Up to second, despite a tricky day went Paul Griffiths and Richard Wardle by 44s from Tomas and Eurig Davies. Seamus O’Connell and Owen Murphy made it two Irish drivers in the top five.

In Category 1, Bob Bean and Malcolm Smithson edged their Lotus Cortina ahead of the Volvo PV544 of Ian Beveridge and Peter Joy, while in the Open Rally Nick Jarvis and Craig Thorley head birthday boy Dave Hemingway and Simon Ashton by just over a minute.

Reporting and images courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382


9th November 2013
Leader board After SS13 Pundershaw 2


9th November 2013
An interesting second day

Well, that's an understatement! For most of the day today there has been an intense battle between event leader, Steve 'Banner' Bannister and second placed Matthew Robinson with the gap between them in low double digit seconds with a similar gap to third placed Jason Pritchard until Matthew and Jason both went off in Pundershaw leaving Steve with a lead of 3 minutes 58 seconds over newly promoted second place man, Paul Griffiths.  As the crews came into service at Carlisle we managed to get a few moments to talk to some of the crews.

Stefaan Stouff and Joris Erard are still hoping to make it a top-five finish after losing time today with a broken exhaust manifold which has caused their engine to be considerably down on power.  Overnight service should see the problem rectified and hopefully see them climb the leaderboard again tomorrow.

A jubilant Charlie Taylor was very happy with his performance so far after some work on the rear suspension in the lead up to the rally has seen the heavy rear tyre wear reduced and improve the traction.  His ambition now is to prove that his seeded position was too low.  He stands in seventh place overnight from a start position at eighteen.

As their pretty Lancia Fulvia was being checked over, Steve and Tony Graham recounted some of their experiences of the last twenty-four hours.  They had a scare in the Yorkshire forests yesterday evening when they were without brakes for over seven miles after a brake pipe was squashed and subsequently burst losing all brake fluid.  Although some time was lost, a further four minutes was lost at Croft due to a navigational error which saw the crew miscalculate the number of laps required around the circuit and consequently being penalised for the error.

As we left the service area at H&H Broadway Mart, the scene was reminiscent of the classic service areas that we remember from the seventies and eighties.  Some crews sitting down to a much needed leisurely meal whilst others toiled to fix tired, broken cars whilst tyre technicians scurried between the huge tyre trucks and the teams hunkered down in the service park.  Great days!

Tomorrow morning sees the media team head out to Hawick where we hope to bring you more news, pictures and video from 'probably the best rally in the country'  - If a certain lager company did rallies this would probably be the one...


9th November 2013
Roger Albert Clark Rally – day one report

The opening leg of the Roger Albert Clark Rally is usually a tough start and this year’s leg in the darkness of the Dalby complex proved no exception. While some bids took a massive knock, others had good runs and when the media department headed for bed at around 1am the hard-working timekeepers were still resolving a timing query that affects the overall lead.

Steve Bannister and Kevin Rae set the pace on the first Dalby stage by a whopping 20s, but Matthew Robinson and Sam Collis quickly overcame a wrong tyre choice to charge the next five stages and chip away at Bannister’s lead.

The query was over Bannister’s time on the second Dalby stage when Bannister appeared to lose 26s to his rival. Bannister’s co-driver Rae believed the time was wrong by around 28s, so either Bannister leads by 16s or Robinson is 12s ahead. All will be revealed by the time leg two starts from Pickering on Saturday morning.

Whatever the situation, Robinson has driven superbly to run the local legend so close and it is certainly all to play for over the next two days.

Jason Pritchard and John Millington settled into a fine third from Tomas and Eurig Davie, while Meirion Evans and Iwan Jones were a cracking fifth on only their third gravel rally.

In the Open Rally, Barry Stevenson-Wheeler and John Pickavance took an early 21s lead from the fellow Escort Mk2 of Dave Hemingway/Simon Ashton, while in Category 1 Ian Beveridge and Peter Joy forged their Volvo PV544 ahead by just 11s from the Lotus Cortina of Bob Bean/Malcolm Smithson.

Out of luck was Jeremy Easson who suffered propshaft failure on the Datsun 240Z and Steve Perez had an off in the Lancia Stratos. The BTR crew is working overnight to try and repair the car for Saturday.

Reporting and images courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

8th November 2013
Stage One Positions

Results are now posted for the first stage of the much anticipated 2013 RAC Rally.  Banner leads!

7th November 2013
Support Event Timings

A number of people have asked about the timings for the Peregrine Print Night Rally, the Clubman's Challenge and the Return Challenge.

We hope the following table helps your planning.  Please note that the Peregrine Night Rally competitors will leave Pickering before the main field.

5th November 2013
Map Practice

Owen Murphy and James O'Brien were out in their Subaru Forrester management car on the Cork Motor Club Startrek Navigation Trial on Saturday night as a map reading practice for this weekend's RAC Rally in John Leahy’s ex-Russell Brooks Sunbeam Lotus.

Great result with 7th overall and best on the last time card. The picture shown was taken on their first drive in the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year.


4th November 2013
Bannister enters RAC

Steve Bannister has placed a last-minute entry for the Roger Albert Clark Rally after successfully completing Sunday’s Malton Stages.

The Yorkshire legend put his entry in this morning (Monday 4 November) for his Ford Escort Mk2 with Kevin Rae on the maps. He is expected to run first on the road in the main element of the field.

Bannister won the overall event in 2007 and lost the 2012 rally on the last stage to Marty McCormack after the closest battle in the history of the event. He previously won the Open section of the rally three times in a row from 2004.

“Steve has been a loyal supporter of the Roger Albert Clark Rally and we’re delighted to receive his entry,” said rally manager Colin Heppenstall.

Bannister’s speed in his native Yorkshire forests makes him a strong candidate to set the pace on Friday evening’s opening leg in the darkness of the Dalby complex.


4th November 2013
Pritchard Ready and Raring To Go For The RAC Challenge

Jason Pritchard is looking forward to a new challenge next weekend as he competes for the first time without pace notes at the Roger Albert Clark Rally.

The RAC is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and the Rally is named after Roger Albert Clark. The event will start from the showground at Pickering on Friday and drivers will battle it out in Dalby forest during the first evening.

Saturday’s rallying takes in double runs at spectator stages at Duncombe Park and Croft before a stage in Hamsterley, there will then be 25 stage miles in the main block of Kielder on the way to an overnight halt in Carlisle.

Sunday will see drivers tackle over 70 stage miles and Jason is confident of going well over the three days:

“I'm seeded at car 4 which I was surprised to see as there are so many quick drivers who have competed on this event a number of times. All these guys have impressed at this event before and they are seeded behind me, because this is such a long event, anyone in the top 20 who has a clean run could be in with a chance of the win."

“I’m really hopeful we can get a good run and that luck is with us over the three days. This is a new type of rallying to me and the only event that runs with no pace notes, I see this as my biggest challenge of my career to date as I always commit 100% to my pace notes."

“My co driver only has a map in front of him and that doesn't show every little corner or any crests on the roads, so you have to drive with more caution and concentration.”

The 25-year-old from Builth Wells will be joined by John Millington as his co-driver, John is the only person who has won the event 3 times (once with Malcolm Wilson and twice with Gwyndaf Evans) and Pritchard will hope to draw upon his experience to produce a solid performance.

Pritchard will contest the event in his North Road Garage Mk2 Escort run by Viking Motorsport and it will be the first time that he will drive the car in competition on tarmac:

“I feel very humbled to be working with Viking Motorsport and John Millington for this event, it is something very special and I'm incredibly lucky to have such a skilled team around me."

“The pre event planning and organisation has opened my eyes and it is clear to see why they are professionals within this sport.”

Pritchard made a call for support to compete in this event and he hasn’t been let down, a fantastic response has seen him gain new sponsors as well as his old sponsors showing support and that they have faith in his ability to perform at his best:

“I have been given a brilliant opportunity to be behind the wheel of the car this weekend and this wouldn't be possible without the continued help from a number of key companies and sponsors. I would like to personally thank North Road Garage Builth Wells Toyota; FCS Lasermail; Viking Motorsport and Pirelli.

I would also like to thank some new sponsors for this event who have been a huge help in getting me to the event, Brightwells Classic Car Auctions; Cook's Garden Centre; Midway Security; Collins Design & Build; Pontrillas Developments and MP Foulkes.

I must also thank my family and friends that have contributed so much to my rallying and who have helped me to be able to compete on this rally, I can't say thank you enough to everyone and I promise I will do my best for you this weekend.”

4th November 2013
New car for McDowall

Scottish charger Allan McDowall will contest the historic section of the Roger Albert Clark Rally for the first time this year after building up a Ford Escort Mk2 specifically for the event.

McDowall and Yorkshire co-driver Gavin Heseltine were among the stars of the 2012 event with an attacking drive in their Opel Kadett. Unfortunately, their challenge for victory in the Open Rally ended with a major off on the last day. With the Opel badly damaged, McDowall set about building a BDG-powered Escort Mk2.

The new car, registered ‘BDG 965’, made its debut on the Woodpecker Stages at the end of August and has since contested the Trackrod and Galloway Hill Rallies in readiness for the RAC.

McDowall is expected to be among the leading contenders on the RAC and will start at car number nine in among the established historic crews. He has been rallying for 30 years and was 2005 ANCRO Clubmans champion and 2011 BTRDA Silver Star champion.


31st October 2013
Snowy's story

The Ford Escort rolled by Noel Edmonds on the 1974 Tour of Britain will return to competition as a Mk1 with Phil Jobson on the Roger Albert Clark Rally.

More recently ‘SNO 700M’ has run as a Mk2 with a 1600cc Rover K series engine, but Jobson has now re-shelled the car as a Mk1 with a 2-litre Pinto in full historic trim for class C3. “It was time ‘Snowy’ reverted back to her original format as a Mk1,” said Jobson.

‘Snowy’ as the car is now known, was first run as a Group 1 Mk1 RS2000 by Ford for Radio 1 DJ Noel Edmonds and his then wife, Gill. On the 1974 Tour of Britain they rolled on Epynt and the bend that caught him out has forever since been known as Edmonds.

It was then bought by Cal Withers from Withers of Winsford and re-shelled as a Mk2 for the 1975 RAC Rally. The last three owners have all been from Cumbria: Arthur Norman ran it on the RAC, ‘Fats’ Liddle ran it for a number of years in the early 1980s and now runs Subarus in Australia, and Neil Routledge regularly won his class in it as the Solway DAF 1600cc crossflow car in the County Motors Championship in the mid 1980s.

Jobson bought ‘Snowy’ in 1987 and has run it most recently fitted with a 1600cc Rover K Series engine, winning the Scottish 1600 title in 2003 and the BTRDA class B10 in 2010.

“During last year’s R.A.C. Rally we spent the Saturday replacing the engine with a 1600cc crossflow engine, exhaust system, fuel system and so on in order to run on the Sunday, after stopping 300m into the first Friday night stage. We hope to complete this year’s event without such dramas,” said Jobson. In Mk2 trim, the car has competed on the last six Roger Albert Clark Rallies.

30th October 2013
Bean to the fore

Bob Bean will once again have the honour of leading the cars away into the Roger Albert Clark Rally. The redoubtable 75-year-old Yorkshireman and co-driver Malcolm Smithson will be first on the road in their Lotus Cortina as they head the first group of cars, while Belgians Stefaan Stouf and Joris Erard (Ford Escort Mk1) will carry number one. Bean has competed on more than 30 RAC and Roger Albert Clark Rallies in more than 50 years of rallying.

Bean will head the opening group, made up of the Category 1 historic cars plus the up to 1600cc cars from Category 2 and 3. In addition, any up to 1400cc modern cars in the Open Rally will run in this group, which is bigger than ever before with a total of 15 cars.


After a short gap, Stouf will head the main field running as car 1 as the only former event winner in the entry. Stouf and Erard won the snow-bound 2010 rally and will be making their first UK appearance of 2013 on their favourite rally. However, they will be under pressure from the start in a field packed with quality, and at least 10 potential overall winners will line up.


29th October 2013
Prepfab returns

Look out for Richard Lepley's Prepfab Motorsport UK-France team which will return once again to the Roger Albert Clark Rally in 2013 with a team of four cars; Richard himself in an Escort RS1800 with ex winner Andy Richardson co driving; Stefaan Stouf in an Escort RS1600; Tim Mason in a Porsche 911 RS and Jeremy Easson in a Datsun 240Z. All of these cars will be looked after by Prepfab Motorsport as usual.

Richard is driving the Escort RS 1800 which he used on Boucles de Spa this year where he was comfortably in the top 10 until he broke his scaphoid once again. Now fully recovered he is looking forward to the RAC.

Richard said;

"Its actually not an ideal car for a bad weather Roger Albert as it has an asphalt specification285bhp slide injected BDG. If its dry it will be fantastic with an incredible sound, but in the ice, snow and wet's a little difficult. I would have preferred to use one of our911s to try to chase Tim Mason round but each one we build gets sold before its finished!! But I’m here for fun and we'll see what happens. Its just nice to come back to the UK and see old friends and old stages I have fond memories of. This rally epitomises this for me"

The weekend of the Roger Albert Clark Rally will be busy for Prepfab;

"We are at the Cologne motorsports show unveiling a new Prepfab FIA RSR 911 on the Monday evening when we get back to France, so its straight to Germany early hours for this, a tough weekend’s work!"

26th October 2013
Fish and Chips anyone?

The organisers have been asked to let you know that on Friday 8th November when the Roger Albert Clark Rally plunges into the Dalby Forest complex in the dark, Thornton Dale Fisheries will be open from 4.00 PM until late specially for the event.

Located just 1 mile from the main forest entrance just follow the signposts and the fisheries are located next to the pedestrian crossing in Thornton Dale (for sat nav, enter post code YO18 7LG).

We are told that the fisheries are happy to take telephone orders on 01751 474502 so that your order will be ready for you to takeaway.

24th October October 2013
Event Guide Updated

The Event Guide has now been updated with the latest information on the 2013 RAC Rally and will continue to be updated in the weeks leading up to the event.  If you have chosen to download a copy of the guide please check regularly to ensure that you have the latest version.  As of 24th October 2013 the current version is:


This is the file name to be downloaded and the version number also appears on the cover of the guide if you're unsure which version you have.

We hope you find this guide useful but remind you that for all the very latest event information you should always refer to this website:

  • Event Guide for the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally is also available here for download in Adobe PDF format

21st October 2013
Irish star for RAC Rally

We hear regular complaints that there are just too many Escorts in our Historic rallying events. No complaints of it being boring, just repetitive, but one man is on a crusade to change all that, London based Waterford man John Leahy. John owns the well known ex-Russell Brooks/Andrews Sunbeam Lotus and for a number of years has invited celebrities to drive the car at various promotional events.

For the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally John has taken a big step forward in offering the car to leading Irish gravel driver and Cork man Owen Murphy. Murphy, 26, was the 2011 Irish Forestry champion, and in his Mitsubishi Evo 9 finished runner up this year only missing out by one point to a WRC Focus and could just be the dark horse in the three day event and the first person to put a non-Escort on the podium.

The talented Murphy, a former winner of the prestigious Billy Coleman award for young Irish drivers, has tested the Sunbeam at Walters Arena before tackling the Neath Valley Stages RAC Championship round this year to gauge the competition in readiness for the RAC. Though Owen has not been seen in the UK forests for some years he has in the past competed in the various British one make series so Kielder and Dalby will not be unfamiliar. He has a huge advantage with the vastly experienced James O'Brien on the maps. O'Brien, famous, or should it be infamous for his somewhat unusual pace note reading when co-driving for multiple International rally winner Andrew Nesbitt, is no stranger to UK gravel with experience as far back as with Austin McHale in the halcyon days of the BRC. They are not out just to make up the numbers.

Every major component the iconic ex-works Sunbeam has been rebuilt prior to the Roger Albert Clark Rally with famed former WRC engine builder Phil Davidson having ministered to the 250 bhp motor. To ensure that Murphy and O'Brien can focus totally on a top result Peter Scott, former leading Irish professional co-driver and now a Yorkshire resident for many years, has been brought in as Team Manager for the event. His recent experience of the stages used for the Roger Albert Clark Rally will be invaluable.

Backing for this outing comes from Hankook Tyres and Leahy's Construction information management company Zutec Technologies Limited (A world leader in BIM for Construction) and also from a new company set up by Leahy to remanufacture Lotus Sunbeam parts to enable more drivers to choose a car other than an Escort and be competitive.

20th October 2013
Rallye Sunseeker Historique

A benevolent serendipity meant that the RAC Rally Media team were able to visit their most southerly event of the year last weekend when we dropped in on Rallye Sunseeker based in Poole, Dorset.  A very early start to the day saw some pre-dawn rain but after that, despite some threatening dark clouds, we were blessed with fine and warm weather.  It has often been said that the south is an ‘overcoat warmer’ than the north so maybe that’s true after all.

Thanks have to go to the very friendly Rallye Sunseeker Media Team who managed to organise passes for us at relatively short notice and for presenting a friendly face on a still-dark Saturday morning.  I did think about retelling the old joke about how well Poole Harbour had recovered after the devastating attack that took America into the Second World War, but thought better of it…

At the morning’s start we managed to have a word with some of the crews, including Richard Hill, fresh from his second place on the recent Trackrod event and we congratulated him on receiving his class winner trophy at last weekend’s WWRS RAC Rally Championship awards evening.  It turned out that when the day was over he and co-driver and Pat Cooper would have gone one better than his Trackrod placing by taking first in C2 on Rallye Sunseeker and taking the overall Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship title in their Ford Escort MkI.  After a magnificent tussle they led former triple Champion David Stokes in a similar car all day, claiming a perfect nine category stage wins, six of them overall.

Amongst the starters at the Creekmore service area I talked to a nervous Mike George, co-driver to Mike Barratt in his very smart Sunbeam Stilletto.  When asked about their aspirations for the day, Mike revealed that this was in fact only his second rally and that the first hadn’t gone too well when a gearbox breakage three miles into the first stage had put them out of the rally.  They did get a bit further this time.  They finished the rally eighth in Category 1 just behind Nick Pinkett’s Saab 96.

At the start there was a great deal of interest in the coming battle between the two very tidy Category 1 Porsche 911’s of Rikki Proffitt  and Dessie Nutt.  This was proved well founded as the two were tied on identical times after the first four stages and it all looked set to go Proffitt’s way, until his car stopped in the day’s final stage. In Category 3, Ernie and Will Graham (Escort RS) appeared to be heading for victory, after Gareth James and Steffan Evans (Escort RS1800) suffered an ignition failure on SS2 which cost more than 40secs, but James had other ideas. He pushed hard for the rest of the day, claiming a hat-trick of overall historic stage wins in the day’s final three stages, to win the category by 14.7secs.

Thanks to everyone at Rallye Sunseeker for their hospitality.  This is one we’d like to visit again.

For a  taster of the action take a look at this snippet of video provided by the Bournemouth Echo (apologies in advance for the advertising at the beginning…)

20th October 2013
Pre 2013 RAC Information and Training Evening

The Roger Albert Clark Rally is the second largest attended rally in the country so I will have some useful advice on spectators, as gone are the days where you could leave a mark...

I have to say the Roger Albert must have the best behaved spectators in the land and certainly has the largest following. Now in its tenth year, the event as we would expect has seen its share of thrills and spills, all handled proficiently by the volunteers who keep our sport alive.

To help keep this event at the top of its game, we are running an Information and Training Evening on:

Wednesday 30th October at the Delacy Motor Club “Rally House” from 8pm till 10pm.

The Rally House can be found at Old Great North Road, Brotherton, WF11 9EF;
Map Reference 105 / 484258;
GPS Coordinates: N53.72725 W001.26809

Brian Avery and Graham James will just have returned from doing the full route assessment and Brian will have up to the minute information as to the current condition on the stages and first-hand knowledge of any possible changes.

Also, I could not leave an opportunity like this without giving you our new ‘First on Scene’

Who should attend this night? marshals, competitors, officials, officials hangers on, spectators; the evening is open to all. Perhaps you would like to marshal but don’t know how to get started so come along if you’re interested in doing so.



Richard Ashton

Who are you calling a mug?

The organisers are still looking for volunteers to help run the 2013 RAC Rally.  If you haven't signed up yet maybe this little gift will help persuade you.  Every marshal on the event will get a ten year anniversary commemorative mug like the one on the right. 


Then download the marshals registration form here or email Joy Hewson, the staffing officer and get your name down to help on the best historic rally in the country.

Remember, without your help this event could not run and the commemorative mug is in its small way our way of saying thank you.

Pritchard calls for support in quest to turn dream into reality

Jason Pritchard is calling on companies and individuals to help support him in his quest to turn a dream into a reality. The young Welshman with a wealth of success and experience in the world of rallying is aiming to compete in this year’s Roger Albert Clark Rally (RAC) held over the 8th – 10th November. 

The RAC is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and the Rally is named after Roger Albert Clark. Clark was a world-famous rally driver who was the first competitor from his country to win a World Rally Championship (WRC) event when he triumphed at the 1976 RAC Rally

The 1976 victory is significant and holds special memories for Jason and the Pritchard family, alongside his co-driver Stuart Pegg, Clark triumphed that year in a MkII RS1800 Ford Escort RS.  

The car with its prominent number plate (POO 505R) and the famous Red Cossack livery, is for British fans, probably the most famous MkII Escort ever made. The car is a big part of Jason’s life, his father Eian used to compete in the Escort and the young Welshman draws a lot of inspiration from the car and its history: 

“I sometimes pinch myself when I try to imagine my Dad rallying in the legendary Ford Escort that Roger Clark famously drove in 1976. He has owned the car for 27 years and its history is a real inspiration in my career. To think my Dad was rallying across the country in the car the year I was born makes it even more important for me to compete and do well in the RAC, especially during the Rally’s 10th anniversary. 

“I have grown up with this car and to compete on this Historic event is a dream of mine!” 

The RAC, the historic rally event, was established to recreate the route of the "classic" RAC Rally and competitors are limited to vehicles released prior to 1982. The event traces a route through stages in Scotland and northern England which are no longer part of the modern itinerary. 

The set-up and style of the Rally excites the 25 year-old, who has just finished his first year competing in historic rallying, where he won his class and finished second overall in the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship:

“The RAC Rally today is the closest event to how rallying was run back in the 70s and 80s, the cars competing are all historic spec and there are no pace notes for the driver to read. All they have is an Ordinate Survey Map to read to the driver whilst sitting in a rally car on a special stage is a very impressive skill.

“This would be a new challenge for us all and one I can’t wait for. The car I hope to be using has won this event in the past with Gwyndaf Evans driving and Viking Motorsport running the car, so the team know what it takes to win the event. I will be heading to the Rally with a positive attitude and even though I’m still in my learning year, I want to try and repeat this success!”

In order to compete at the event to the very best of his and the car’s ability, Jason is calling on companies and individuals across the country to support him and his North Road Garage team. The event is hugely popular across Europe and crews from right across the area compete, along with spectators from the continent adding to the significance of the event.

In 2012, there was a huge television audience watching the Rally on Motors TV and after only a few weeks of the event featuring on iRally an estimate 750,000 had watched the coverage.

“I’m looking for support from anyone who can help me compete in the Rally; any contribution can go such a long way. The length of the Rally and entry fee, fuel, tyres and accommodation means it will cost 3 times the amount to do this one Rally as it would for one Championship round.

“It would be a dream come true to compete in the Rally and any support offered would result in making this dream come one step closer”


Matt Edwards 2013 R.A.C Rally #RACSponsoramile

2013 R.A.C Rally Championship 'Series 3' Winner Matt Edwards will once again aim to take to the start of the Roger Albert Clark Rally in little over a month’s time in his Swift Group and Holton Homes backed Mk2 Escort.

Fresh from an emphatic and popular maiden Historic Rallying victory on last weekends Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire, during which comparatively inexperienced Edwards withstood the pressure of local legend Steve Bannister, the reigning Welsh National Rally Champion and former BTRDA 1400 Series winner will be looking to set the record straight after a heart breaking first stage engine failure on the 2012 event.

Since then, the determined 29yr old has faced a well documented challenge to achieve reliability in his then 'self-run' car, most notably achieving the 'Spirit of the Rally Award' on the Hamsterley Stages Rally having suffered another first stage retirement on the first round of the newly formed series, yet battling on to make the start of the next event. Then came the 'Hard Charger Award' for a gutsy and determined performance to 4th overall on the Carlisle stage amongst esteemed competition; despite exhaust trouble throughout the day which the crew fixed themselves after every stage, epitomising the character of the duo.

With the support of Geoff Jones Motorsport and continuous improvement in the car, the pace of the Llandudno based driver has since gone from strength to strength, culminating in a well deserved victory in Yorkshire, arguably Matts finest performance to-date.

The 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally is the 10th running of a classic 'marathon event, taking in 160 stage miles in Yorkshire and Scottish Borders forests over 3 days, a fine test of man and machine, yet one of the most popular events on the rally calendar for both competitors and spectators, and now this is your chance to be a part of it!

Matt and Co-Driver Will Rogers require your help to make the start of the event, and as such are launching #RACsponsoramile scheme to help them achieve their budget, and put sufficient fuel in the car and tyres on it to maintain a competitive pace for the duration of the test.

The cost per mile to achieve this is £30 per mile for 160 miles, and hence are offing the opportunity for individuals and businesses to be involved at a very cost effective level.

All #RACSponsoramile supporters will see their name or logo on the Rally Car and Support vehicle for the duration of the event, as well as receiving regular Facebook and Twitter updates before and during the event as it unfolds.

Furthermore, '3 mile' supporters will receive an in-car DVD of the rally and behind the scenes footage in the lead up to the event, whilst 5-10 mile supporters will in addition see their name on the in-car footage for a stage length matching the level of their input, plus receive an invite to a pre 2014 season test to sample the excitement of the iconic Mk2 Escort for themselves

*Finally, 10+ mile supporters will also receive either an invitation to a Rally Experience Day with Matt at an authentic rally venue. There they will drive a Fiesta ST Rally car and enjoy a high speed passenger ride, or receive a voucher for £150 towards a day’s tuition with Matt in their own car at a test venue of their choice.

The 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally Starts from Pickering on 8th November, hence the team has had little chance to dwell on the recent success and is already making plans and preparation towards their goal. Edwards and Rogers are expected to be amongst the leading challengers on this 10th Anniversary event which attracts entries from all over Europe.

Matt is grateful for the support of Swift Leisure, Holton Homes, Hankook Tyres, Millers Oils. Questmead Brakes and Geoff Jones Motorsport.

More information on the RAC Rally can be found at
Matt can be contacted on Facebook and @MERallysport or via to discuss the possible levels of involvement.

Related Media Links
Trackrod Historic Rally Final Stage In-Car Footage:
Trackrod/R.A.C Champ Press Releases:
Post 2012 R.A.C Video Blog:

Rally Experience Day Limited available dates, no cash alternative.
£150 Voucher towards testing within 3Hrs Travel. Normal Price inc Expenses £250

Press release: Thursday 26 September 2013
Austin Healey 3000 for Roger Albert Clark Rally

The unmistakable noise of an Austin Healey 3000 in the British forests will be one of the highlights of the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally (8-10 November) after Dutchman Mark Schmidt added his name to the ever-growing entry list for the 10th anniversary event.
The inclusion of an entry from one of the most iconic rally cars of the early 1960s is wholly fitting for the event that re-creates the atmosphere and sense of adventure of the RAC Rallies of the 1960s and 1970s. Driven in period by legends like factory driver Timo Makinen in particular, the roaring ‘big’ Healeys were front-running cars at a time when the RAC Rally developed into a forest stage event.
Schmidt’s 1962 Healey is part of a four-car team from the Netherlands and he says he is really looking forward to returning to the Roger Albert Clark Rally after retiring from the 2012 event.
“I have been a finisher in the Six Hours of Spa race and the Boucles de Spa rally with the same car more than once,” he said. “I have 30 years of active Healey racing and now I am rallying the same car in international events.”
While the ubiquitous Ford Escort Mk2 will be the pace-setting car in November, the entry for the Healey adds further to what is shaping up to be a fine entry of Category 1 (pre ’68) cars. With classic 1960s cars like the 2-litre Porsche 911, the Lotus Cortina, the Saab 96, the Mini Cooper S and the Alfa Romeo Junior all due to be in action, fans in the forests are in for a real treat of both sound and vision.

Press release: Monday 16 September 2013 
2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally support events unveiled

Three individual rallies will support the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally, (8-10 November) and will offer some of the most cost effective forest rallying in Britain this season, with entry fees from as low as £7.43 per mile.
The support rallies all offer competitors a chance to be part of what many people regard as the best rally of the season, as well as the opportunity to tackle classic stages in Yorkshire and the Scottish borders.
“I’m keen to see local crews come and join us to sample the flavour and atmosphere of the Roger Albert Clark Rally,” said Rally Manager Colin Heppenstall. “I have tried to make the support rallies as user friendly as I can with compact routes and very attractive entry fees.”
The three support events for the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally are:

The Peregrine Print Rally
33 stage miles; entry free £250 (cost per mile £7.58)
Based at the Pickering event headquarters, the Peregrine Print Rally will take in classic Yorkshire forest tests in a very compact route on Friday. The chance to tackle night stages in Dalby makes this a rare
opportunity for crews looking for a very good value rally. The Peregrine Print Rally will finish at Pickering on Friday night after 33 stage miles and minimal road mileage. These cars will run first on the road, ahead of the main Roger Albert Clark Rally.

The Clubman’s Rally
37 stage miles; entry fee £350 (cost per mile £9.46)
Based near Newcastleton, the Clubman’s Rally runs through Sunday over stages in Kershope, Newcastleton, Riccarton and Craik as well as the new Florida stage before finishing in Hawick. The rally starts at 10am on Sunday and finishes at 2pm.

The Return Challenge
37 stage miles; entry fee £350 (Cost per mile £9.46)
The Return Challenge runs on Sunday, starting from Hawick and taking in stages in Craik and Wauchope as well as the Florida stage before concluding in Kershope. The first car will start at 2.30pm on Sunday and finish at 5.30pm. As an added incentive, the organisers are offering a significant reduction in the entry fee for the Return Challenge if competitors also enter the Clubmans Rally, offering 74 stage miles for just £550 (cost per mile £7.43). A £200 refund will be issued if competitors retire on the Clubman’s Rally and cannot compete on the Return Challenge.
For more details about the Roger Albert Clark Rally, and its support rallies, keep watching this website.

9th September 2013
Central Servicing Package for the R.A.C.

We just wanted to remind you that CA1 Sport is offering a very attractive professional central servicing package for competitors of this year’s R.A.C.

James Stait and Julian Birch used CA1 Sport for central servicing their Sunbeam Lotus’s on the 2012 R.A.C. James Stait commented: “The CA1 Sport team led by Alan Causey were a real bonus during last year’s event. My management crew were kept very busy on the road with various breakdowns, and they were relieved to hand over to CA1 Sport during central servicing. The two management car crews and CA1 Sport both worked well together, with the CA1 Sport mechanics prepared to step in and help where necessary on the more technical stuff as well as taking the lead on the basic servicing needs.”

“We did look take a long look at the costs, but coming up from the South we realised that the fuel costs bringing our own outfit would have put us in a similar position, and we certainly couldn’t have matched the level of professionalism or facilities provided by CA1 Sport. Above all, though, they were just great to work with, and for me, enhanced the whole experience. I will certainly be using them for this year’s event.”

CA1 Sport is run from Carlisle by Martin Wilkinson and has been involved in motorsport servicing for many years, and has customers in many championships including WRC2, the BRC, MSA Rally Asphalt Championship and the Irish Tarmac Championship.

The package includes:

  • Attendance at all central servicing venues (Pickering, Croft, Carlisle, Hawick)
  • A large truck with a compressor, full servicing equipment and consumables, as well as storage of competitor spares and tyres
  • Experienced & friendly mechanics
  • Canopy & groundsheets for each car
  • Heated catering marquee with refreshments for competitors, management car crew, friends, family and sponsors

Cost: £795 plus VAT (based on 4 cars)

If you would like to know more, please contact Martin Wilkinson on 01228 591459 or mobile 07988 631976.

20th August 2013
First overseas entry for Roger Albert Clark Rally
Within minutes of the regulations being published, the first entry arrived from the Netherlands for the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally (8-10 November). Ford Escort Mk2 driver Bas Jansen was quick off the blocks to be the first driver to enter the tenth anniversary running of the event.
Jansen is eager to return to the rally in his Pinto-powered class D3 Escort Mk2 and expect to be joined by at least another three crews from Holland. He will be co-driven by Ruud van den Houdt.
“Last year we finished in 22nd place and second in class in the magnificent Roger Albert Clark Rally,” said Jansen. “We are really keen on coming back: we are coming from the Netherlands and are looking to enter at least four cars.”

17th August 2013
Links to Regulations and Entry form corrected

Apologies to those of you who tried to find the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally regulations and entry form by clicking links on the 'Competitors' menu dropdown and found the 2012 documents instead. This error has now been rectified and the 2013 documents should now be easier to find.  We hope that you were not too inconvenienced.



2013 Roger Albert to start from Pickering Exhibition & Leisure Village

We visited the Pickering leisure village last week and spoke to the staff there about the on-going improvement works in the building and around the grounds. As we drove in the first thing we noticed was the tarmac road leading to the main building. There is now an increased hard standing adjacent to the main building with the access road also now tarmac, as is the one which leads to the rear doors, which will as usual be access for our scrutineering and documentation.

The building itself has had a substantial amount of work completed since last year. It now features an upstairs mezzanine floor with office space, function rooms and meeting rooms. The aim of the owners is to make this one of the premier event and meeting venues for the region.

As far as the R.A.C. Rally is concerned the outside space appears much more stable, now that underground drainage has been added. As usual there will be fantastic space for the whole rally to assemble in November. The first test of the improvements will be on the Trackrod Rally 27th-28th September 2013. We here at the R.A.C. Rally look forward to welcoming everyone to the start of the 10th anniversary rally.





14th August 2013
Regulations for 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally now published

Welcome to the 10th anniversary running of the Roger Albert Clark Rally, A lot of people did not expect the event to last this long, but we are here to stay in the motorsport calendar.

Once again the event starts from the Pickering Exhibition and Leisure Village formally known as Pickering Showground. The event will then once again return to Dalby on the Friday night for six stages and nearly 35 miles of stages visiting the famous woodyard twice to give spectators good viewing opportunities.

The Saturday overnight halt in Carlisle will see the event visit the H&H Borderway Mart at Jct 43 off the M6, which offers 100% hard standing for service crews.

Sunday sees the event visiting Hawick once again after the successful running of the 2012 event format, and sees 10 Stages being run during the day.

Once again all the Support Events which are being organised and promoted by De Lacy Motor Club Ltd and managed by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club Ltd can be found in their own regulations.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Pickering on the 8th November for another friendly event.

The Organising Team.

14th August 2013
Wraps come off the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally
Details of the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally have been unveiled as championship regulations are published ahead of the tenth anniversary running of the rally on 8-10 November.
More stage miles on Friday evening, more Kielder mileage on Saturday and a big sting in the tail are the key route features of the 2013 event.
For the tenth anniversary rally, the event will start from the showground at Pickering on Friday and cover 35 miles in Dalby forest during the first evening. Saturday’s leg takes in double runs at spectator stages at Duncombe Park and Croft before a stage in Hamsterley and 25 stage miles in the main block of Kielder on the way to an overnight halt in Carlisle.
Sunday’s leg of over 80 stage miles will be similar to the 2012 route, which drew widespread acclaim as a tough day in the Scottish borders before the ceremonial finish at Brampton near Carlisle.
“We want to build on the success of last year’s compact format,” said rally manager Colin Heppenstall. “The regulations are now out and we have a discount entry fee until the end of August. We’ve had a lot of interest already and a lot of new foreign crews have been making contact with a view to entering.”
Heppenstall says that a new layout for the Duncombe Park stage will be very spectator friendly and that the cars will arrive at Croft much earlier on Saturday than before, with the first stage from around 11am following a major service area. The full route is:

Friday 8 November
Start from Pickering Showground at 18.01
SS1 Dalby 1
SS2 Newclose Rigg 1
SS3 Staindale 1
SS4 Dalby 2
SS5 Newclose Rigg 2
SS6 Staindale 2
Finish at Pickering Showground at 22.27

Saturday 9 November
Start from Pickering Showground at 09.01
SS7 Duncombe Park 1
SS8 Duncombe Park 2
SS9 Croft 1
SS10 Croft 2
SS11 Hamsterley
SS12 Pundershaw 1
SS13 Pundershaw 2
Finish at Carlisle at 18.13

Sunday 10 November
Start from Carlisle at 07.46
SS14 Kershope 1
SS15 Newcastleton 1
SS16 Florida 1
SS17 Riccarton
SS18 Craik 1
SS19 Craik 2
SS20 Wauchope
SS21 Florida 2
SS22 Newcastleton 2
SS23 Kershope 2
Finish at Brampton at 17.15


750,000 views on iRally for R.A.C. Rally and Championship
Over 750,000 views on iRally is the outstanding result to date in 2013 for the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally and the 2013 West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship.
Three-quarters of a million views confirm the rally and the championship as the most viewed coverage of historic rallying, and show the value of the partnership with iRally. Coverage of the opening event of the 2013 season, the Mid Wales Stages, broke the 200,000 mark when it went live in mid-March.
The free iRally App is available for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices and offers an incredibly popular rally video channel. The entire R.A.C. Rally Championship will be available on iRally this year through the standard-setting TV programmes produced by David Winstanley of
“These figures show that interest in historic rallying is running at an absolute high,” said Greg Strange of iRally. “When we add the coverage of this weekend’s DMACK Carlisle Stages, we will be getting close to one million views.”
Championship manager Colin Heppenstall is equally delighted with the results: “We want to make coverage of our events as freely available to as many people as possible. iRally is certainly delivering on that commitment.”
For more about iRally, please visit, or download the App free from the App Store or Google Play

Change of address

Please be advised that as of the 14th June 2013 our new address will be

2 Munroe Avenue
East Kilbride
G75 8WA

Tel 01355 276483 (from 26th June 2013)

The existing landline telephone number(01224 790724) will only be available until Thursday 13th June after which date it will be disconnected.  If you need to contact us please use the mobile number (07765 222847) or contact us by email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Tyre manufacturers in agreement over rally tread patterns

Three leading tyre manufacturers have voluntarily agreed not to propose certain tread patterns for forest rally use after they were deemed too ‘aggressive’ during a meeting of the Stage Rally Tyre Working Group at the Motor Sports Association’s offices in Colnbrook.

DMACK, Dunlop and Yokohama each submitted a provisional list of future gravel rally tyres but removed their respective Mud, DZ74R and A031 tyres following discussion. Hankook and Michelin were also present, while Khumo and Pirelli were unable to attend.

It was confirmed that a Forest/Gravel Rally Tyre List of acceptable tyres for UK stage rallying will be issued for guidance in the 2014 MSA Yearbook and enforced from 2015. The manufacturers also agreed the template for a document detailing such tyres, which will help event scrutineers to check eligibility.

Mike Broad, Stage Rally Tyre Working Group chairman, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in these meetings for the constructive discussions that are helping us to make progress. The manufacturers understand that we are working to secure the future of rallying and appreciate that this entails reducing the impact of tyres on the forest environment.

“Competitors can rest assured that we are not going to be taking away any major tyres at short notice. They should check that any tyres they have in storage comply with the guidance that will be issued in the 2014 MSA Yearbook, and if not they have until the end of 2014 to use them.”

Media Day at Croft Circuit

On Tuesday 23rd April during the Croft Circuit Media Day two stalwarts of the Roger Albert Clark Rally gave up their day to showcase the event to the assembled media when they brought their cars to the race venue.  Peter Smith had a rare outing in his Porsche 911 and Steve Magson brought along his newly refettled Vauxhall Chevette for it's first outing since his unfortunate last stage roll on last November's RAC Rally.

The media day was an opportunity to have journalists and guests sample the circuit and the delights of the rally car hot seat whilst being driven by experienced drivers.  Meanwhile, for the drivers the day was a chance to have a leisurely drive in the country - NOT!

From both inside and outside the cars it was evident that these chaps are ALWAYS competitive.  The pictures below give just some indication that fast times were being set and tyres tortured.  In fact at the end of the day the tyres on both these cars were showiung signs of punishment with Steve Magson going so far as to say his were 'mullered'.

If you have never seen rally cars on a race circuit then put Saturday 9th November 2013 in your diary and come to Croft to see the whole Roger Albert field pound the tarmac.




               Photographs courtesy of Tony Anderson

Roger Albert Clark Rally returns to Croft Circuit in 2013

At the Croft Circuit Media Day today (23rd April 2013) it was confirmed that the iconic Roger Albert Clark Rally will be back for a third consecutive year in 2013 when it returns to the North Yorkshire venue as part of its three-day route on Saturday 9 November.
The ‘Roger Albert’, named after Seventies rallying legend Roger Clark, recreates the famed Lombard RAC Rallies of the Sixties, Seventies and early Eighties, running on classic rallying stages across North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cumbria and the Borders.
Two-wheel-drive cars only are permitted meaning it’s all about some of the sport’s legendary makes and models notably Mk1 and Mk2 Ford Escorts, Porsche 911s, Lancia Stratos (pictured), Vauxhall Chevettes, Opel Kadetts, Saab 96s and many more.

For those who recall seeing the likes of Clark, Mikkola, Vatanen, Pond, Alen, Blomqvist, Waldegaard and many others in action on the original events the Roger Albert provides an opportunity to roll back the years and re-live one of rallying’s golden eras.
Indeed the event is recognised as one of the best in the world for historic-specification rally cars and 2012’s entry list came close to boasting 100 drivers – a number with World Rally Championship experience.
Tickets for Croft’s RAC Rally stage will go on sale shortly on the website at the advance price of just £8 per adult. As ever, admission for accompanied children aged 15 and under will be FREE. The public can also call the main circuit office on 01325 721815 for further details plus visit the RAC Rally website
Croft’s race track has been part of the RAC’s route for the past two years with two stages – each a double run of the circuit – in quick succession. More details of this year’s format will emerge in the coming months.
Croft Circuit manager Tracey Morley commented: “We are very privileged to be welcoming the Roger Albert back in 2013. It is one of Britain’s biggest and best attended national motor sport events of the year so to be a part of it again is a real feather in our cap.
“The cars mean so much to so many people. The quality of teams and drivers entering the event now is so high it is just like travelling back in time to the Seventies and Eighties – as proven by the incredibly high number of spectators who turned out for last November’s event.”

Colin Hepenstall, RAC Rally Manager, added: “We are delighted to be returning to Croft – it is has become an essential part of our event. Access is made easy for the public and the fact it’s a permanent motor sport venue ensures excellent viewing and facilities.

“Our competing crews love it as well – the circuit is genuinely enthusiastic about bringing top-class motor sport to the North East, plus it poses a different challenge to the more traditional forest stages which is in keeping
with the spirit of the original RACs. Its location also makes for an ideal stop-off and service area for the teams as we venture out of the North Yorkshire forests up towards Northumberland and across to Cumbria on the Saturday evening.”

Sun and Concrete - On the Streets of Long Beach with Guy Smith

Competing in the Roger Albert Clark Rally could be considered a holiday jaunt for Guy Smith, seen in the video below at his day job with Dyson Racing in the United States.  The palm trees go by very quickly at 170 mph here in California! The American Le Mans Series moved  to the shortest race of the year last weekend and Guy qualified on the front row for the ALMS race on the streets of Long Beach with a solid second on the eleven turn, 1.968 mile course alongside one of southern California’s more famous beaches.

Guy races a Lola B12/66 Mazda LMP1 coupe for the Dyson Racing team in the American Le Mans series having joined the team full time in 2006. Since then, Guy has partnered Chris Dyson in the Thetford/Norcold entry, and claimed consecutive fastest race laps at Road America and Mosport. in 2012, Guy ended the season second in the American Le Mans Series P1.

Guy was looking forward to a classic Long Beach street fight. “We are in a good position with this car this year. We are in the fight,” he said. “Last year was the first time we ran the larger front tyres and it was a learning experience. This year we have a car that works the tyres and once you have tyre temperatures, then you are concentrating on fine tuning the car and improving the balance. Your focus is on going quicker as opposed to figuring out the basics of how to drive the car.”

Unfortunately the race was short lived when the car was retired thirty minutes into the race after making contact with the wall in the turn 11 hairpin going onto the front straight whilst Guy's team mate Chris Dyson was at the helm.

“At this point, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what happened. We will look at the data, go over the car and evaluate what exactly took place,” said Chris Dyson. “We had just gone green after the first yellow of the race. I was in second place and running well when the car did not turn in and just pushed into the wall at the hairpin.”

On the streets of Long Beach with Guy Smith:


Marshals needed for DMACK Carlisle Stages

The route for the new DMACK Carlisle Stages Rally, (Saturday 22nd June 2013) a brand new event for 2013 running over challenging forest stages in the Kershope and Newcastleton region on Saturday 22 June has now been finalised.

Organised by the same team that brings you the Roger Albert Clark Rally, the new gravel event will start and finish in Longtown near Carlisle and take in 45 stage miles across eight stages in some of the region’s best-loved forests.

Tyre company DMACK will be the title sponsor for the new event, which is round three of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship.

Although a large number of you have already volunteered to help by marshalling this new event we still need more of you to help ensure the safe running of the rally.

We are a very friendly team which prides itself on not only being welcoming to the competitors but also being friendly to everybody involved with the event including the spectators.

If you are able to help by enrolling as a marshal or radio marshal and would like to be part of our team please contact
Joy Hewson our Chief Marshal as soon as possible.  Joy can be contacted at:

Forum Move Now Complete

Thank you all for your patience during the transition from the old forum software to the new.  There have been a few teething problems where we have been flooded with SPAM postings but (fingers crossed) this is now under control and the new forum is open for business.

If you have already registered then thank you and please continue to post your news, requests and messages as you would have done on the old forum.  If you haven't registered then please take the time to do so now and we'll be pleased to have you as members of the forum.

All the 'Forum' links throughout this website should now link to the new forum or you can click the button here on the right to try it out.  If you find a link that doesn't work properly then we apologise in advance and please let us know of any errors.

Championship Newsletter No.5 now available

Championship Manager, Colin Heppenstall has today issued the fifth championship newsletter for the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship.

In the newsletter, Colin thanks Chris Tomley and his team at Newtown and District AC for working so hard to run the recent Rally Marketing Mid Wales Stages and reports that the event was successful. He says that eight months of work by many people finally came to fruition on Sunday 3 March, and that he is delighted by the way the event was received.

"I am delighted to report that it was a runaway success. We had a fabulous entry, tremendous competition and wonderful stages all combined with a true spirit of camaraderie and good humour around the championship. We could not have wished for a better start and my congratulations go to all the series and class winners".

More details are available in the newsletter which is available to Club Members through the 'Members' area of this website.

Click here to visit the members area directly.

Elliott wins first WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship round
Nick Elliott and Dave Price were the big winners on the opening round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, yesterday’s Rally Marketing Mid-Wales Stages (Sunday 3 March).
The Cheltenham crew took victory by just 3.7s after a glorious battle of the Ford Escort Mk2s with Marty McCormack and Phil Clarke. “He’s too quick,” said Elliott of his rival after a battle that ebbed and flowed across five epic stages. Into third came Ryan Barrett to make it two drivers from Northern Ireland in the top three.
With records crowds of spectators packing into the stages and a real buzz around the opening event of the WWRS R.A.C. Rally Championship season, it could not have been a better start to the championship. A fabulous atmosphere among the crews and fierce competition on some of the finest gravel stages in the country was a truly winning combination.
Elliott and McCormack went head-to-head for the first time and Elliott thought that an overshoot on SS2 Myherin had wrecked his day. But he battled back and took time from McCormack on the 16-mile Hafren stage. McCormack flew the final Pikes Peak stage and clawed the gap back to less than four seconds after a wonderful contest. However, victory went to Elliott both in overall terms and in the Rob Smith Rallying Series Three.
On a day when the pace was ferocious, Barrett and Barry Ferris had a great run on unfamiliar stages to take third as just 20 seconds covered the next five Escort Mk2s. In among them should have been Geoff Jones and Andrew Edwards, but a first stage puncture cost them a chance of rivalling Barrett for third. Instead, Tomas Davies/Eurig Davies, Jason Pritchard/Dale Furniss, Will Onions/Dave Williams and Kevin Davies/Eurig Davies packed out the top seven, with Pritchard going exceptionally well on his first rally in an Escort.
Fresh from contesting the previous day’s Malcolm Wilson Rally in their Ford Escort, Peter Smith and Patrick Walsh won class D3 in their Opel Kadett. “It was all good until the last stage when we lost the rear brakes,” said Smith. However, they had been chasing the Escort Mk2 of Guy Woodcock/Cliffy Simmons until cam belt failure ended Woodcock’s rally on the penultimate stage. Lynden Jones and Bryan Glass won class D2 in their Talbot Sunbeam Ti.
In the Capital Construction Series Two, Chris Browne and Ali Cornwell-Browne drove a mighty rally to take the spoils. “I’ve been smiling all day,” said Browne as they finished clear of class C3 winners Iwan and Aled Rees in their Escort Mk1. However, the Welsh crew had to push hard to stay ahead of class rivals Dick Slaughter and Geoff Dearing, with only five seconds in at the finish.
Robin Shuttleworth and Ron Roughead had a trying day on the way to taking class C2 in their Escort Mk1. Starter motor failure forced them to keep the car running or bump start it through the day and a spin or overshoot could have ended their rally.
The new Holton Homes-backed ‘pre ’87 Series Five fell to the BMW 325 of Simon Wallis/Graham Wride, who reported a trouble free run on fantastic stages, while Nev Jones and Chris Davies bagged the Martin Jones Transmissions Series Four for FIA Appendix K cars. In Series Seven, for other pre ’87 cars, Dylan Davies and Llion Williams came home in front their Escort Mk1, though Mark Spencer and Steve Pugh chased hard in their Mk2 and could have been even closer had they found more suitable rubber for the early stages.
“The car was as good as gold and the driver was average,” said Alfa Romeo Junior driver John Everard after taking victory in the Walker Diecastings Series One. Their main rivals were Chris and Jo Tooze in their Singer Chamois, but an electrical gremlin stopped the engine four times in Hafren and they collected a maximum. However, Tooze was more than pleased with his first event in the car. “That’s one of the best days on gravel I’ve ever had,” he said.

Reporting and images courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

Rally Stickers on tour continued...

...and as we start looking for a 2013 winner, a great early contender from Dave Hemingway taken at the Walt Disney World Speedway, located in Orlando Florida.  Can you spot the Roger Albert Clark Rally 2013 event sticker?

We want to see more like this.  The more obscure the setting the better.  The only criteria is that the picture must contain a clear image of the event sticker and that it has to be a sticker for this year's event like the one below:

We'll think of a suitable way to reward the best entry so start now and let us have your photos of the Roger Albert Clark Rally stickers on tour...

Rally Stickers on tour...

As a few RAC Rally 2013 stickers are starting to finding their way to homes around the world, now is the time to remind you that we want to see where they end up. 

Don't be shy, send us pictures of Roger Albert Clark Rally stickers visiting unusual and far-flung places.  Last year they were seen as far away as the USA, Canada and the antipodes. 

Here's an example from Ian Pawson who's sticker ended up at at Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) in the very north of New Zealand.  Where will yours be seen?


Roger Albert Clark Rally Event Forum to be retired

For some time now we have been looking for a suitable replacement for the website Event Forum that we have been using since 2007.  As more and more visitors to the RAC Rally website are iPhone and iPad users it is no longer tenable to have a forum that is disabled for a significant number of visitors.  It is with some regret therefore that we have decided to retire the existing forum and move to a platform that is accessible to all users.

We are just about ready now to move it to a live status but before we do we would like you to take a look and register yourselves as users.  Try adding posts to see how it works before we remove the 'old' forum. 

For the moment please use this link: to the new forum.

Thanks for your patience as we move over to the new forum.

 Steve Higgins, Media Officer, Roger Albert Clark Rally

McCormack enters WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship
What was already a stellar entry list for the opening round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship just got even better with confirmation this evening (Monday 18 February) of an entry for Irish ace Marty McCormack for the Mid Wales Stages (Sunday 3 March).
Partnered by Phil Clarke in his Ford Escort Mk2, McCormack will return to historic action just over two months after an incredible victory on last November’s Roger Albert Clark Rally.
He will be one of the leading drivers in a field that now totals 36 BDA/BDG-powered Ford Escorts from an entry of more than 60 cars. The opening round of the new championship has drawn the best quality field ever seen in historic rallying in the UK.
McCormack and Clarke were the stars of the Roger Albert Clark Rally when they scored a dramatic victory after a titanic battle with the similar car of Steve Bannister and Kevin Rae. Although advancing his career in modern rallying remains the first priority, McCormack had already pledged to enter a couple of rounds of the WWRS R.A.C. Championship.
“I certainly planned to do a couple of rounds in the championship and then definitely do the Roger Albert Clark Rally again in November,” said McCormack.
“Having Marty on the entry list really is the icing on the cake for the championship,” said championship manager Colin Heppenstall. “It is going to quite a spectacle on the fabulous stages of Mid Wales.”

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

Colin Heppenstall issues third Championship Newsletter

Championship Manager, Colin Heppenstall has recently issued the third championship newsletter for the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship.

In the newsletter Colin brings club members up to date with the latest news on the championship as we head towards the new opening round, the Rally Marketing Mid Wales Stages on Sunday 3 March. Colin announces that as of 11th February there were 46 entries confirmed and we believe there are at least another 14 due to get us to our ambitious target of 60 cars. We could even be over 60, but that is the number we promised to the event organisers and we are nicely on target.

A month after the Mid Wales Stages is the Rally North Wales (formerly the Bulldog) and Colin re-confirms that our 53-mile event will be run all on Saturday with a schedule that will get all our crews through the final stage in daylight.

Colin also gives a glimpse of what to expect from the fourth round of the Championship, the DMACK Carlisle Stages (Saturday 21 June) to be organised and run by the same team that brings you the Roger Albert Clark Rally.

Tyre company DMACK will be the title sponsor for the new Carlisle Stages, round five of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship, on Saturday 22 June. Organised by the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club, the new gravel event will start and finish in Carlisle and take in 45 stage miles across eight stages in some of the region’s best-loved forests.

The provisional route for the DMACK Carlisle Stages starts with a four-mile stage in Chamot Hill, followed by a four-mile stage at Arthur’s Seat and eight-mile stages in Newcastleton and Kershope. After service back at Carlisle, the four stages will be repeated and the route will include a total of 90 road miles.

As well as catering for contenders in the WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship, the DMACK Carlisle Stages will be open to all other cars and is ideal preparation for anyone planning to enter the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally, which runs across similar forest stages.

Regulations for the event should be available at Rally North Wales (6 April), which is round two of the WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship.

DMACK Carlisle Stages details will be posted via the championship website:

More details are available in the newsletter which is available to Club Members through the 'Members' area of this website.

Click here to visit the members area directly.

WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship TV schedule confirmed

The 2013 television schedule has been confirmed, with a massive 90 hours of coverage on Motors TV, which started with a special ‘R.A.C Rally’ night on Sunday 10 February.

Each round of the championship will be reported in a dedicated stand-alone 90- minute programme, while a mid-season review and a two-hour end-of-season review will mean at least 15 hours of prime coverage. With each programme likely to air around six times, the total exposure for the championship will be up to 90 hours.

In a real festive bonus for rally fans, the two-hour season review programme will be screened on Christmas Day, starting at 9pm. The event reports are all scheduled for 9pm on Saturday evenings, with the first one on Saturday 16 March as the report of the Mid Wales Stages goes out less than two weeks after the rally.

Support for coverage of the 2013 WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship comes from TV partners Swift Leisure, Jordan Road Surfacing, Skipton Ford, Sherwood Engines, Robinson Road Planing, Rally and Competition Equipment, Lloyd-Thomas Opticians, Amigos and

David Winstanley of has been appointed to film all seven rounds of the championship and is planning to bring all the action from the stages as well as the very best in-car footage.

The provisional TV schedule is:

Saturday 16 March at 9pm (Rally Marketing Mid Wales Stages)

Saturday 20 April at 9pm (Rally North Wales)

Saturday 25 May at 9pm (SG Petch Tour of Hamsterley)

Saturday 13 July at 9pm (DMACK Carlisle Stages)

Saturday 31 August at 9pm (Neath Valley Stages)

Saturday 19 October at 9pm (Trackrod Rally)

Monday 25 December at 9pm (season review)

The dates for coverage of the Red Kite Stages and the mid-season review will be confirmed once the revised date for the Red Kite has been confirmed.

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

Superb take up for WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship
The competitor response to the opening round of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship has been superb, with 40 cars already entered for the Rally Marketing Mid Wales Stages (Sunday 3 March), and at least another 20 entries due over the next two weeks.
The entry list to date makes impressive reading, and is topped by five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae and historic pacesetter Nick Elliott in Ford Escort Mk2s. They face a gaggle of similar cars for leading historic contenders including Will Onions, Tomas Davies, Tim Pearcey, Paul Griffiths, Alan Walker, Rob Dennis, James Potter, Warren Philliskirk, Andrew Haddon, Will Rowlands and Phil Squires.
Meanwhile, former British Rally Championship contender Jason Pritchard will make his historic debut in an Escort Mk2 from Viking Motorsport and Rob Smith is forsaking his regular Vauxhall Chevette to join the Ford Escort ranks. Due to be announced on Wednesday (13 February) is the identity of another star driver in a Vauxhall Chevette, who could give the Escort pack something to think about.
Adding further spice to the Category 3 field is the Sunbeam Lotus of Guy Anderson, while Guy Woodcock, Paul Fry and John Baker (Ford Escort Mk2s) take on the Opel Kadett of Peter Smith in class D3. In D2, the Talbot Sunbeam of Lynden Jones is a welcome addition to the championship.
In Category 2, the Escort Mk1s of Chris Browne and Craig Salter will go up against the stunning Lancia Stratos of Steve Perez, while class C3 is shaping up for a great contest among Ford Escort Mk1 drivers like Dick Slaughter, Nick Jarvis and David Kirby and the BMW 2002 of Terry Cree. In class C2, Matt Fowle will take on the similar Escort Mk1s of Robin Shuttleworth and Stuart Cariss.
Among the early entries in other championship categories are Peter Gunson (Lotus Cortina), Simon Wallis (BMW 325) and Mark Spencer (Ford Escort Mk2).
With nearly two weeks to go until entries close, the new championship is well on target to hit the 60-mark for the Mid Wales Stages and could go higher as more and more crews commit to the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship.

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally on iRally
The 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally will feature on iRally in what is hoped will be the start of a major partnership between the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club and the hugely popular rallying App.
The free iRally app has been a runaway success with 560,000 users downloading the App in the three years since it was launched. It covers the iPhone, iPad and Android devices and offers an incredibly popular video channel, where some films can hit over a quarter of a million views.
The initial partnership will make the coverage of the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally available for free viewing from Monday 11 February. The footage will be provided by David Winstanley of Typically, films are available for about a week.
If the user response is positive, the agreement will be rolled out to cover all rounds of the 2013 West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C. Rally Championship, the first such arrangement for a historic rally championship. Initial feedback from users suggests that coverage of historic rallying is proving very popular.
“This is a very exciting development for both the rally and the championship,” said rally manager Colin Heppenstall. “I am very hopeful that this will open up a major new audience for us and our TV partners and sponsors.”
Greg Strange, Editor of iRally said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Roger Albert Clark Rally, which this year will run for the tenth time. The event has become a great rallying tradition, and iRally is delighted to be showing the 2012 video this month.”
For more about iRally, please visit, or download the App free from the App Store or Google Play

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

R.A.C Rally Night on Motors TV opens 2013 season
A superb TV package will add to the ever-growing profile of the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship, when the coverage starts with a special ‘R.A.C Rally’ night on Motors TV on Sunday 10 February.
The evening’s rally action will start at 7.30pm with a 90-minute programme covering the fabulous 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally when Marty McCormack and Steve Bannister enacted a mighty battle for victory which was only resolved on the final special stage. Then, at 9pm comes another 90-minute programme covering the Red Kite Stages, the opening round of the R.A.C Rally Championship.
Support for coverage of the 2013 R.A.C Rally Championship comes from TV partners including Swift Leisure, Jordan Road Surfacing, Skipton Ford, Sherwood Engines, Robinson Road Planing, Rally and Competition Equipment, Lloyd-Thomas Opticians and
“Talk about starting with a bang,” said David Winstanley of, the organisation appointed to film all seven rounds of the championship as well as the Roger Albert Clark Rally. “The quality of entry for the Red Kite guarantees stunning footage and the ‘R.A.C Rally Night’ will be a real treat for fans.”
Each round of the championship will be covered in detail in a 90-minute prime-time programme on Motors TV with multiple repeats and there will also be an end-of-season review programme to give the championship over 50 hours of TV coverage. The move to 90-minute programmes allows Winstanley and his team to give good coverage to each of the seven series within the championship. In addition to the TV coverage, each event will be featured on YouTube, with a mini-report uploaded as soon as possible after each event.
“We are very pleased to work with David Winstanley,” said Frederic Viger, head of programming at Motors TV. “Historic rallying is so spectacular and has a massive following. The ratings are very good.”

R.A.C boom time at Autosport International
It was boom time for both the Roger Albert Clark Rally and the West Wales Rally Spares R.A.C Rally Championship during Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC (10-13 January).
As the show entered its final couple of hours, rally and championship manager Colin Heppenstall reflected on four days of hectic activity with unrivalled levels of competitor and spectator interest in both the rally and the championship. By the close of the show, 36 championship registrations had been taken and at least another 20 are due before the start of the opening round, the Red Kite Stages on Sunday 20 January.
Pride of place on the stand went to the Ford Escort Mk2 that Marty McCormack and Phil Clarke took to a famous victory on the ninth Roger Albert Clark Rally. McCormack was on hand to sign autographs on Saturday as hundreds of fans stopped by the stand to chat about the sensational 2012 rally and pick up some early information on plans for 2013.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the response to the championship and the level of interest,” said Heppenstall. “As well as the amazing reaction from the current historic crews, I’m delighted with the interest from people looking to run pre ’87 cars. The championship gives these cars an opportunity to come back out and that is going to happen: not immediately, but certainly later this year and into 2014.”
Meanwhile, the reaction to the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally remains remarkably strong. “The feedback is that the new format was a real key to the success of the 2012 rally,” said Heppenstall.
Details about the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally (8-10 November), the WWRS R.A.C Rally Championship and the Carlisle Stages (22 June) were all available from members of the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club.

In less than a week, the new R.A.C Rally Championship will start with 55 contenders on the Red Kite Stages (Sunday 20 January). “I’d like to thank all the competitors for supporting the opening round and the team at Amman and District Motor Club for their hard work in organising what is going to be a great day’s rallying,” said Heppenstall. More details are available from

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

Volvo Amazon Stage Rally Car For Sale

Dave Reynolds has been in touch with us to say that his Volvo Amazon is up for sale due to changed personal circumstances. With such an exciting season ahead this car is a professionally developed, competitive car and ready to run in BHRC Category 1.

The car has been prepared as follows: 

Flexible 1800 engine on Webers, close ratio gearbox, Volvo LSD, minilites, alloy tank, Facet pumps, adjustable braking ratio, central handbrake, alloy guard, F/glass bonnet & boot.

Complete with forest and tarmac tyres; MSA Logbook and HRVIF Documentation. Ready to go.

The car has been run successfully in the BHRC, with best results being two third places and two fourth places overall in Category 1 so anyone out there who needs a ready-prepared car for Category 1 then this could be for you.

Dave is looking for £14,950 ovno and for further information he can be contacted on 07952 757048.


Five rally cars on show at Autosport International 

Five cars representing both the Roger Albert Clark Rally and the West Wales Rally Spares RAC Rally Championship are on show at Autosport International at the Birmingham NEC (10-13 January). 

Pride of place goes to the Ford Escort Mk2 that Marty McCormack and Phil Clarke took to a famous victory on the ninth Roger Albert Clark Rally. Joining the Escort on show are the Datsun 240Z of Robert Close, the Ford Escort Mk2 of Dave Hemingway and the Vauxhall Nova of Nigel Barrett. On an adjoining stand will be the Alfa Romeo Sprint GT of John Everard. 

Details about the 2013 Roger Albert Clark Rally (8-10 November), the WWRS RAC Rally Championship and the Carlisle Stages (22 June) are available from members of the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club, headed by Colin and Nicola Heppenstall. 

Championship eligibility scrutineer John Cooper will be there on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to answer technical questions, and championship registration will be available to visitors. 

Meanwhile, the acclaimed DVD of the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally will be available for purchase from David Winstanley of Rally TV. The two-hour DVD of the rally, titled ‘Coming of Age’, was filmed from six camera and numerous on-boards and comes with a free two-hour on-board DVD for £20. 

The 2013 West Wales Rally Spares RAC Rally Championship starts on the Red Kite Stages on Sunday 20 January and event regulations are available from:



Roger Albert Clark Rally at Autosport

The Roger Albert Clark Rally team will be at Autosport International in just over a weeks' time. The team will be on hand on stand 6814 to talk about the Rally and the new-for-2013 RAC Rally Championship so come along, visit the show and make sure you take the time to come and talk with us about historic rallying!

Autosport International takes place at the at the NEC, Birmingham, from the 10th to 13th January.

Featuring every level of Motor Racing - from Karting up to Formula 1- the Autosport International show brings together the world of motorsport under one roof.

Catering for both professionals and motorsport fans alike, Autosport International incorporates two Trade-only days (10 & 11 January) followed by two Public days (12 & 13 January) dedicated to motorsport enthusiasts.

The ever popular Rally Feature will be celebrating the achievements of Britain’s 2001 World Rally Champion, Richard Burns with six of his cars on show. And don’t miss the chance to see Sir Jackie Stewart, Allan McNish, Derek Bell, Jake Humphrey and many other motorsport personalities being interviewed on the Autosport Stage and F1 Racing Display.

This year, the Live Action Arena will be featuring amazing record-breaking stunts, racing from Rallycross, BriSCA F1 and much more. You can also take part in the action on the Karting track, the Caterham Driving Experience and new for 2013, you can get behind the wheel of a remote control GT4 car and compete on a 300m2 race track and see a selection of 48 of the world’s best remote control (RC) drivers compete in the BRCA championship.

All tickets allow free entry to The Performance Car Show: powered by which features a wide range of exotic and high-performance supercars. Please take a look at the DIGITAL LEAFLET where you can learn about the exciting show features.

For more information and latest news visit the show website

Enchappement Classic Coverage

French Journalist Pierre Gary flew in from Paris to cover the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally and found more than he expected.  At the Pickering start he told us that he was used to covering major events in Europe but was not expecting the sights and sounds that greeted him on the Roger Albert.  He has now shared with us his report for French magazine Enchappement Classic and he certainly has done us proud with a six page spread on the history of the event and an illustrated review of the rally. 

Take a look here for an overview of Pierre's coverage

Thank you Pierre and we look forward to seeing you again this year with lots more of your countrymen taking part!

2012 Details now Archived

Please note that the news items pertaining to the 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally have now been archived but are still available to view from the 'Archive' tab on the menu bar.

2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally - Coming of Age!

The 2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally will be remembered for all the right reasons.

An almost perfect rally route combined with an almost perfect rally performance from two crews, Martin McCormack and Phil Clark, and Steve Bannister and Kevin Rae with the result being undecided until the very last stage.

David Winstanley had six stage side cameras on this event as well as access to numerous onboard cameras. This two-hour DVD comes with a free two hour onboard DVD.

So if you only buy one DVD this year, then make sure it's this one!

Available to order now, priced at £20 from

Please note that this DVD will not be released until 17th December but your PayPal account will be charged on ordering.

As a taster, David Winstanley has just released this teaser video.  Having seen this I now want the whole DVD.

Dear Santa...


Paul Lawrence talks to Kim Baker

At the end of day two the results after SS 15, Pundershaw 2, show that Kim Baker and Sasha Herriott the Roger Albert Clark Rally's first all-female crew are in eleventh place in the Open event. Paul Lawrence caught up with Kim earlier in the day. Listen to what she had to say here.

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence,
e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382


Bob Bean Rides Again

Bob Bean entered his very first RAC rally in the year England won the World Cup if any of you can remember back that far!. Known in rally circles as ‘Yumping Bean’  Bob has taken part in 38 RAC rallies and is believed to be the oldest driver holding a rally competition licence in the UK. The combined age of the crew and the car is 184 years!This crew both of whom have been drawing their state pension for a number of years are members of the “9 out of 9 club”. That is a crew who have tackled the Roger Albert Clark Rally every year since it started. Their venerable Ford Cortina, now in its forties, is a favourite of the crowds.

Bob speaks to Paul Lawrence at scrutineering.  Listen

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

McCormack Speaks!

For many the dark horse of the Roger Albert Clark Rally this year, Martin McCormack speaks to Paul Lawrence about the rally and his chances of victory.  Listen to what he has to say here.

Reporting courtesy of Paul Lawrence, e-mail:  or Tel: 01952 510382

Forty years on...

As the ninth, Roger Albert Clark Rally gets under way from Pickering on Friday; we are marking the 40th anniversary of Roger Clark winning the 1972 RAC Rally of Great Britain, breaking the twelve year domination of the event by Scandinavian drivers.

Roger Clark co driven by Tony Mason left York Racecourse on the 2nd December that year as one of 192 starting crews to tackle four days of special stages to claim the ultimate rallying prize of the day.

As reigning British Rally Champion, Roger was about to start his 10th RAC Rally of Great Britain driving perhaps one of the most famous Ford Escorts ever, LVX942J sponsored by Esso Uniflo, affectionately known as “Esso Blue”. Roger and
Tony came home three and a half minutes ahead of Stig Blomquist driving his familiar Saab 96 and the rest is history.

We are lucky to have Tony Mason flag away the starters on Friday and doubly lucky to have access to the resmastered footage of Roger and Tony's triumph, courtesy of Greg Strange and iRally. Hopefully this weekend we will see another great event to match the excitement of 1972.





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