HERO – Rally of the Test

This year RAC Rally of the Tests sees a return to a more challenging format.

Starting at Garden Park near Chester the rally went the way around classic rallying terrain over three days to finish in the historic spa town of Harrogate. To keep the navigators on their toes, the rally had more “on the move” plotting as the years before. But it was generally straightforward with long road sections to get sorted and on the maps.

Starting in the manicured surroundings of Carden Park, near Chester, 95 competitors from all over the globe set off , the traditional start to what has become a “must-do” event in the historic rallying world. Spanning three and a half days, crews will travel no less than 780 miles 29 tests, 21 regularity sections and 2 Time Control Sections set in the dark.

The first full day of the RAC Rally of The Tests lives up to its name with five tests situated in the picturesque Cheshire countryside to start the day. The first regularity section took place in another RAC Rally of The Tests favorite, Cheshire Show Ground, the section uses the numerous tracks and roads that bisect the fields that host the Show Ground. A great lunch at Haddon Hall preceded what was to be a long afternoon and evening, the first cars leaving Haddon Hall were only due to the final control of the day at Redworth Hall.

Day two of the RAC Rally of The Tests dawned with a distinct chill in the air, this was another long day in the saddle with 280 miles to be covered, the second day saw us took in some new territory for the event as we entered into the north part of the Lake District.

A welcome stop at Hartside Café which is an extremely popular place, the views from here west are stunning and allow you to gaze across the Lakeland fells with some uninterrupted views. The final action of the morning took place at the Lake District Wildlife Park where a test in a farmyard saw a distinctly muddy feel to the section. This preceded a fine lunch at Armathwaite Hall, one of the Lake District’s and possibly UK’s finest hotels.

The final day of the RAC rally of The Tests dawned with another crisp and clear morning to greet crews as they departed for the final action of the event. This was a classic RAC Rally of The Tests. One that challenged crews and forced errors from those who lost concentration, the consensus is that the balance of the event was just right and heralded a return to the more competitive events of years past.

Ralf Stamm
FIVA Steward to the Event

More pictures here