Organisers of the Rally of Scotland have unveiled the route for the event that will play host to the final round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in November,
Special stages one and two and the Ceremonial Start will begin in the grounds of Scone Palace, Perth, the former coronation site of Scotland's kings and queens, on the evening of Thursday, 19 November. Other venues include the Service Parks at Blair Castle on Friday 20 November and the centre of Stirling on Saturday 21 November.
The Ceremonial Finish, which will be free of charge for spectators, will take place on the spectacular Stirling Castle esplanade, allowing rally fans and families alike to get up close to the cars and drivers.
Seasoned rally followers will welcome the inclusion of both new and established gravel road special stages on Saturday, including Achray, Fairy Knowe and the longest stage of the event, at 35km, Loch Ard. Some of these iconic rally stages make a welcome return to the motorsport calendar after an absence of almost two decades.
“Securing the final stage of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge for the next three years was a fantastic achievement for Scotland and the route for 2009 will do justice to our heritage and spectacular scenery,” Paul Bush OBE, chief operating officer at EventScotland, the national events agency, said. “Spectators will not only be able to witness three action packed days of live motor sport action but also some of the nation's most iconic landmarks.
“The live broadcast on Eurosport will also ensure that our reputation as a world class host for motor sports and as a destination for culture, history, spectacular natural landscapes and vibrant cities will be communicated far and wide.”
Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organiser International Motor Sports Ltd, said he was thrilled with the route that had been put together.
“I am delighted to be able to announce the route for the inaugural Rally of Scotland which we feel sure will provide an appropriate challenge for some of the best rally crews in the world,” he said. “We are also proud to be launching our ticket offer for Scotland's - and the UK's - first round of the IRC, which provides fantastic value for money to view world-class rally action in this most spectacular of settings.
“To be able to take our sport to some of Scotland's grandest locations is a great privilege. The settings of Friday's and Saturday's special stages (20 and 21 November) are steeped in history as the rally passes through regions made famous by Scottish hero William Wallace and featured in Shakespeare's Macbeth. Now they will be the backdrop where both British and international rally drivers will do battle for IRC points.”