The traditional England versus Scotland rally challenge will have a host of changes in 2009 when the Pirelli MSA Gravel Rally Championship goes head-to-head with the competitors from the Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship over 20-21 March.
The first major change will be the running of further stages in Scotland within the Wauchope forest complex. The National A event will tackle four tests, two of those on the Friday night, offering competitors the opportunity to tackle Kielder in darkness, reviving memories of classic RAC stages of old. The remainder of the route will take place in the vast Kielder and the ever popular Harwood complexes.
The location of rally HQ also changes. After nine years of being hosted by the Royal British Legion in Jedburgh, the event is moving to the newly refurbished town hall on Abbey Place, right next to the start ramp. This will allow the event to be more centralised in the heart of the town and will also allow better access for both competitors and spectators alike.
The 2009 event is also something of a landmark for the two organising clubs as it marks the tenth anniversary of the successful co-promotion of the event by Hawick & Border Car Club and Whickham & District Motor Club.
"2009 marks a major achievement for both clubs with the tenth anniversary of the co-promotion and it has been a pleasure to work with the team since 1999," clerk of the course Paul Hughes commented, "The event has gone from strength to strength over the past ten years and this year will be no exception with the exciting changes we have in store, especially with the running of the Friday night stages. Of course we have also been fortunate to have fantastic support from John McClory of Brick & Steel Construction for eight of those ten years and his contribution has been invaluable."