A significantly revised route, new stages and a reduced entry fee are the main points from the unveiling of the 2009 Roger Albert Clark Rally.
Now firmly established as a must-do event on the British rallying calendar, the Roger Albert Clark Rally re-creates the classic RAC Rallies of the 1960s and 1970s, covering four days in November and taking in classic gravel stages in Yorkshire, Kielder, Scotland and Cumbria.
The sixth running of the event will maintain the event's reputation as a real test of man and machine, with a forest stage on Friday evening (13 November), a daunting 13-stage leg on Saturday, stages in the Scottish borders on Sunday and the now-traditional Kielder sting-in-tail on Monday morning (16 November).
"Building upon the success of previous years, we have taken the opportunity to condense the route to reduce competitors costs while still offering great value," said rally manager Colin Heppenstall from De Lacy Motor Club. “Two new venues have been included into this years route which has allowed us to change the format of some of the stages to offer greater variation."
The four-day adventure will start at Pickering Showground in Yorkshire for documentation and scrutineering on Friday. The competition then begins with a long stage in Langdale forest in the dark of Friday evening. On Saturday evening crews will have their first taste of Kielder, with new to the event stages in Shepherdshield and Chirdonhead.
The total road route has been trimmed by 130 miles, while stage mileage is trimmed by just 20 miles. The entry fee has been reduced by £230 to £1650 for entries received by 30 June.
Five individual support events will run alongside the main rally, including the Kall Kwik Rally on Saturday, the De Lacy Night Rally on Saturday night, the Clubman's Rally on Sunday (Ae complex), the Greystoke Challenge on Sunday afternoon and the Kielder Challenge on Monday.
Fans of the rally are now being urged to support the event by joining a new motor club that is being set up to promote the event. With the blessing of Roger Clark's family, the Roger Albert Clark Rally Motor Club Ltd will give competitors, marshals and spectators a unique opportunity to support the event, which draws thousands of fans into the British forests each November.
"The intention is for the club to be internet-based, with an annual meeting once a year, and three or four meeting during the year at various locations," said rally manager Colin Heppenstall.
Club membership will be just £10 and all fees will go into the promotion of the rally. The application for the club to be affiliated to the MSA will be made by the end of June.