The Historic Rally Festival was launched to the media (yesterday) at Weston Park in Shropshire with rally cars from all years demonstrating sections of the historic RAC rally course.
The event, which will be the first of its type in the UK with a MotorsportUK permit, is a multi-venue demonstration event with Telford’s QEII Arena playing a key part in the weekends action across Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th October.
Mike Broad, co-driver to the late Russell Brookes was on hand to remind everyone what a fantastic stage Weston Park was and highlighted his experience of the water splash in the works Astras.
Mike recalled: “Weston Park was a tricky stage in the early days as we had to do it blind. It was narrow and the grass was very slippery. We had to do it on gravel tyres. I have some great memories but also some not so fond ones which include stopping in the Vauxhall Astra in the middle of the water splash. In those days the co-driver stuck to paper and the driver had to get dirty, so Malcolm Wilson who was driving had to get out!”
Rally cars will arrive at the arena on Saturday 24th October for live scrutineering at around 12noon and subject to COVID-19 guidelines there will be a ceremonial start with cars waved away from the start ramp around 17:00.
All the action in Telford’s award-winning Town Park will be free to spectators and hark back to the days of the 1980s when Telford was the focus for the RAC Rally.
Service and Scrutineering will take place in the QEII Arena which is a very short walk from Telford shopping centre and Southwater development with shops, bars, restaurants and ample parking for visitors.
Sunday will be centred on Weston Park, the cars will set off from Telford at 08:00 and soon after will blast out of the woods and through the start line onto the old RAC rally stages of Weston Park.
Cars will be released at 30 second intervals with eight stages in Weston Park and three service stops back at the QEII Arena. The final car goes through Weston Park at 17:00 and finishes in Telford just after 17:40.
After the first two stages have been run, they will be reversed for stages 3 and 4. Stages 5 and 6 will be slightly different to the morning stages and after all the cars have been through will then be reversed for stages 7 and 8.
There will be commentary and a wide range of street food across key sections of Weston Park to keep you up to speed and fuelled for the day.
There will also be the unique opportunity to stay overnight in the House at Weston Park and wake up at the heart of the action ready for the stages to start on Sunday morning. Luxurious bedrooms and a full English breakfast on Sunday morning are available for£225 per double room.
All tickets for Weston Park will need to be purchased prior to the event with no on the gate sales. Advanced tickets are restricted in numbers and are now available at £15 until Friday 16th October and then £20 until 12noon on the 24th October. To book accommodation in the House at Weston Park please call 01952 852100 or e-mail email@example.com .
Colin Sweeney, CEO of the Weston Park Foundation commented: “We are really looking forward to welcoming the Historic Rally Festival to Weston this autumn. As an iconic RAC Rally venue, the cars, drivers and spectators will feel right at home. The team at Rallying History have put together a fantastic line-up of cars and drivers and we are really excited to see them put through their paces once again”
Warner Lewis, Historic Rally Festival Event Organiser commented: “It was fantastic to finally run some rally cars through the park after months of preparation and delays due to COVID. We are delighted that the event will be running on the 24th and 25th October and to see Weston Park all set up for rallying once again. This has been a long held ambition to run this type of event in the UK and to have the support of Motorsport UK has been superb.”
One of the confirmed guests, is Louise Aitken-Walker, the first British female driver to win a world title and she will be taking part in the event driving a Peugeot 205 similar to the one she drove back in the day. Louise’s co-driver will Pauline Gullick, a lady well known in rallying, having been involved for over 50 years and who regularly reads the pace notes for rally legend Jimmy McRae.
The Historic Rally Festival has also nominated its chosen charity, Rallying For Down Syndrome, set up to raise awareness of Down Syndrome, with £2 from every event T shirt going to the charity. To order your T shirt click here
Tickets are now available from Weston Park
Photo Credit: Richard Armon