Among the latest entries for the headline event for FIA-homologated cars at the Rally Show at Chatsworth sponsored by Kick Energy on 5-6 June are a pair of Renault Twingo R2s prepared by Autosport Technology and driven by Finns Matti Rantanen and Jarkko Nikara.
Nikara is the 2009 Pirelli European 'Star Driver' and recently finished second in the R2 category on the first round of the British Rally Championship, the Bulldog Rally, while Rantanen had a busy 2009, finishing fifth overall on the Rally of Finland, eighth on the Jim Clark Rally and was the outright winner of the Finnish 'Star of Stars' Shoot-Out.
Meanwhile, from north of the border, the Palletforce Rally Team will be bringing a brace of Ford Fiesta R2s to Chatsworth. Scottish Junior Rally champion John McCrone will be driving for Rally Team Scotland at the Rally Show, after winning the 2009 Hankook MSA Scottish Rally Championship prize drive and taking up a fully-supported drive on the Rally of China. His team-mate is Richard Moore, who will also be driving a Fiesta R2, whilst Dave Holland, marketing director of Palletforce, has entered his Ford Escort RS in the 'All-Comers' event.
For the past two years, there has been a problem with the 'watersplash' road breaking up during the event, but Chatsworth has now agreed to completely rebuild it and, thanks to the advice of Malcolm Wilson - who has had similar problems with the M-Sport test venue in Cumbria - binders and cement powder will be used in the reconstruction to greatly increase the resistance of both the surface and foundation. Rally Show director Malcolm Neill is delighted with the news.
"We have been working hard with Chatsworth to resolve the problem, which was particularly bad in the appalling weather we had in 2009," he said, "We are satisfied that this will be a great improvement to the Chatsworth stage. This year, however, as an additional precaution, the watersplash will only be opened up for the Sunday of the event."