Left: Clerk of the Course, Fred Bent
Fred's plans are well in hand to make the 5th Rally of the Tests the best yet.
Throughout the fifties the RAC Rally of Great Britain, the original "Rally of the Tests", invariably visited Scotland. Therefore in our effort to remain true to the spirit of the period our 5th Rally of the Tests will this year venture north of the border to start from the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
The rally HQ is the lovely Dalmahoy Hotel to the south west of the city and those of you with an interest in golf can enjoy a round at the hotels course or tone up for the forthcoming challenge in the Gymnasium and swimming pool.
We will begin the serious motor sport competition on Thursday evening with three tests at the Knockhill racing circuit before returning to the Dalmahoy for the traditional pre event dinner. It is an early start on Friday morning for the longest day of the event so perhaps a very late night in the bar is not the best preparation!
From Edinburgh we will be travelling south east through the Lammamuir Hills on to Duns, the birthplace of the Legendary Jim Clark, Charterhall (frequently visited by the events of the 50's) and for those of you considering matrimony the Old Smithy at Gretna Green! The route crosses into England during the late afternoon and all competitors will tackle further tests in Cumbria. The Clubmen then head to the overnight halt at the North Lakes Hotel Penrith whilst the Masters loop into the fells of eastern Lakeland for their evening section of time controls and a final regularity.
On Saturday morning the route turns to the south west into the beautiful southern Lake District. Following the wheel tracks of our rallying fore-bearers we head to the south east along the twisty roads of North Lancashire, up and over the steep slopes of the Pennines and on into Yorkshire. We are hoping to arrange a late afternoon halt at Holmfirth, the location for the popular TV series "Last of the Summer Wine". Perhaps a glimpse of Nora Batty's wrinkled stockings will be too much for some and they could join the Clubmen who will peel off to the Palace Hotel, Buxton as the Masters route takes the remainder of the entry through the Peak District before they too can relax.
We begin the final leg with a tour through the leafy lanes of Cheshire and Staffordshire before picking our way through the pretty villages of the Black Country. Some of the venues in the morning will be familiar to previous "Testers". However be assured that the tests will not be the same (!) and Masters competitors will face in addition to maneuverability tests and regularities a time control section. The rally leaders at the final control, the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, may not be the crews that led the field from the Buxton re-start!
Following on from the success of last years event we have once again built more time into the schedule to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the rest halts and share the day's adventures with fellow competitors and with what we have planned there will be plenty to talk about!
Once again we'll have awards for the best hat "The Top Hat Trophy " and also the "Whistle and Flute Cup" awarded for sartorial elegance. So start hunting out that period gear - buy it early enough and you could also wear it for Goodwood!
Entries are now open and there is already considerable interest from both past and new competitors, we have a good number of European entrants so don't delay - call us and take advantage of the early entry fee.
Clerk of the Course and Route Designer
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