Hard Charging Historics Head for Hadrians Wall
A cracking field of retro rally cars will be lining up in Carlisle on Saturday morning for the Historic section of the Pirelli International Rally which has attracted all the top contenders in the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship with the exception of Joe Price / Chris Brookes whose Ford Escort is presumably not recovered from it’s off road excursion on the previous round.
Leading the field away will be the Ford Escort of Nick Elliott / Dave Price who must start as clear favourites, Elliott has won the opening two rounds of the series in dominant fashion, he was quickest on every stage last time out and is a three time winner of the Pirelli backed event, the Kielder stages obviously to his liking. Next up come the Escorts of Jason Pritchard / Phil Clarke and Rudi Lancaster / Guy Weaver, who were separated by a mere second last time out, but they will be looking nervously over their shoulders for at number four comes the ever competitive Steve Bannister, a multi winner on Kielder based events he and co-driver Callum Atkinson will definitely be potential winners if either of the front runners slip up.
Fast Irishman, Stanley Orr heads the class C4 challenge, he finished a fine 4th overall on the previous round but the Carlisle based event will see him chased hard by local man Phil Jobson and the ageless, and ever competitive, Bob Bean. The Hillman Avengers of Eliot Rettalick and Andrew Stokes head the Class C while Class C3 sees the BMW 2002 of Terry Cree up against Simon Pickering’s MK1 Escort.
The Historic Section of the Pirelli International Rally starts from Carlisle’s Borderway Auction Mart at 08:00 on Saturday morning and will be contested over four long stages in the Kielder Forest complex with a service halt near Kielder Water after the opening two stages. The cars will arrive back at Borderway Mart from 1:00pm for the traditional prize giving and champagne spraying ceremony. There are spectator areas with excellent viewing facilities on stages 2, 3 and 4, for details please visit the Spectator Timetable page of the Pirelli International Rally website www.pirelliinternationalrally.co.uk/spectators-timetable/