Posts Tagged ‘rallying’

Bradley Stoke to host finish of world famous classic car rally

Posted on Thursday 8th November 2018 at 8:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a car taking part in the Bradley Stoke stage of the 2016 event.

The landmark RAC Supercentre in Bradley Stoke is to play host to the finish of one of the most iconic rallies in the world, the RAC Rally of the Tests, on the afternoon of Sunday 11th November, from 2pm.

The first of 100 classic cars competing to win the event will arrive at the RAC in Great Park Road at around 3pm. Over the course of two hours, each will take part in a driving skills test in the car park with the winner of the rally being waved across the finish line.

Promising to be a rare spectacle, the rally – which is open to vehicles built before 1st January 1986 – follows a 750-mile route, starting in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on Friday, travelling through the East Midlands and South Wales, and finishing in Bristol.

Along the way, competitors and their co-pilots will take on multiple driving tests and navigational challenges. The 2018 RAC Rally of the Tests will, in fact, feature 20 ‘regularities’ where competitors drive on public roads aiming to arrive at their destination as close to a pre-set time as possible, together with 30 ‘driving skills’ tests.

The rally, which dates back to 1932, started life as a reliability test with competitors driving 1,000 miles. Over the years, it transformed into modern stage rallying with the fastest time being the all-important factor. The RAC Rally became synonymous with stage rallying and the RAC name stayed with the event until 1998 when it became the Rally of Great Britain and, several years later, Wales Rally GB.

In 2001, however, the Rally of the Tests was revived for classic vehicles encompassing authentic regularity and skills tests similar to the original 1930s’ RAC Rally. In 2016, the RAC name was returned to the event, now run by the Historic Endurance Rally Organisation (HERO), as a result of a sponsorship arrangement between RAC Motoring Services and the Royal Automobile Club.

Spectators are welcome to come along free of charge to see the final test and finish of this year’s rally at the RAC Supercentre in Bradley Stoke from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. This year, there will be a chance to get a close-up look at the cars taking part, which include eight cars from the 1950s, 44 from the 1960s, 28 from the 1970s, seven from the 1980s and one from the 1930s.

More: Cars taking part include Mini Cooper, Austin Healey and Bentley »

Share this article:

Discussion is open - be the first to comment - click here to respond.

UK_Best stuff in your city_468x60

Thrilling stage of RAC rally in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Wednesday 7th December 2016 at 8:14 pm by SH (Editor)

Paddy Hopkirk prepares to wave away a competitor in the Bradley Stoke stage of the 2016 RAC Rally of the Tests.

Scores of cars screeching around a car park in a business zone might sound like something that would interest the police, but the drivers of vintage cars being hurled around the car park of the RAC HQ in Bradley Stoke early on Saturday 5th November had nothing to fear from the boys in blue, for they were taking part in a special stage of the 2016 RAC Rally of the Tests.

The first car to arrive, at around 8am, was the red 1960s Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint of overnight leaders John Abel and Martyn Taylor. They had the honour of being the first car to be waved off by Paddy Hopkirk – the famous Mini rally driver and Monte Carlo Rally winner. He was to honour every single car by flagging them away from the start line with the Union Flag.

The tight, twisting course weaved around the car park and proved a fitting ‘test’ for competitors. The classic Minis proved particularly popular with spectators, while the Mk1 Ford Escorts and Porsche 911s were a dramatic sight.

With cars setting off every minute, action was non-stop and the crowds emerged thrilled and breathless as the final runs were completed around 10am.

The three-day rally, which finished in Chester on Sunday 6th November, was eventually won by Andy Lane and Richard Crozier in their Volvo 123GT.

Photo: Paddy Hopkirk prepares to wave away a competitor. [Credit: Shaun King]

More photos and related links:

This article originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on pages 34 & 35). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

Share this article:

Iconic RAC rally to visit Bradley Stoke on Saturday

Posted on Wednesday 2nd November 2016 at 8:57 pm by SH (Editor)

RAC Rally of the Tests: Austin-Healey 3000 and replica 6 EMO Mini.

The RAC building in Bradley Stoke is to play host to 100 classic cars early on the morning of Saturday 5th November as one of the most iconic and famous rallies in the world, the RAC Rally of the Tests, comes to Bristol.

The first competitors will arrive at the RAC in Great Park Road (BS32 4QN) just after 8am. Over the course of three hours each of the 100 competitors will take part in a driving skills test in the car park before continuing their journey to Stoke-on-Trent.

Paddy Hopkirk with Peall Trophy.

The official re-start of day two of the rally will be carried out by legendary rally driver Paddy Hopkirk, who won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in a Mini Cooper S, registration number 33 EJB. Inducted into the Rally Hall of Fame in 2010, Paddy went on to win the RAC Golden 50, a historical anniversary race held in 1982 to celebrate the 50th RAC Rally, driving a Mini Cooper.

Spectators are welcome to come along free of charge from 8am to 10.30am to get a close-up look at the cars taking part which will include: a 1963 Porsche 356, once owned by British speed record breaker Donald Campbell; a 1964 ‘works’ Austin Healey 3000; a 1959 Volvo PV544 and a Mini Cooper that Paddy Hopkirk drove to win the Pirelli 1990 Classic Marathon – a replica of the famous 8 EMO-reg car that he used so successfully in the 1960s.

More: Rally was first staged in 1932, in the form of a reliability test »

Share this article:

Bradley Stoke Journal 5 & 10-year anniversary (2018).
Oasis Driving School, Bristol.
Ocean Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.