19 September 2011
Best of British at most spectacular Rallyday yet
Rain fails to stop play as Kris Meeke, Matthew Wilson, Jimmy McRae, Gwyndaf Evans, Russell Brookes, Brian Culcheth, Phil Collins and Ben Collins, aka The Stig, entertain the crowds at Rallyday 2011.
Rallyday enjoyed another hugely successful event on Saturday 17th September, with the UK's premier rally car show at Wiltshire's Castle Combe Circuit again offering its usual mix of stars, cars, action and displays.
Topping the bill for the eleventh edition was Britain's two top current WRC drivers, Kris Meeke and Matthew Wilson, both driving two of the new-for-2011 next generation of WRC cars. Meeke was in action in the MINI John Cooper Works WRC car ahead of the team's fourth outing of the season in France, while Wilson, who competes in the WRC for the M-Sport Stobart Ford WRT, was charged with driving the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC car.
“It is always good to go to occasions like this where there is a concentrated group of cars representing all the years throughout the sport. It is a really fun day out for people to come and see everything close up. It is nice to be able to show them what the MINI is capable of too,” Meeke said.
“I missed the Rallyday last year and so it is great to be back,” added Wilson. “I always like it. It is a relaxed day and good fun. You can put on a bit of a show and it makes it an interesting day. There is no pressure.”
Meeke and Wilson were joined at the event by Top Gear's former Stig, Ben Collins. Collins was there to raise funds and awareness for the Race2Recovery campaign, which has set itself a challenging goal: to compete in, and finish, the 2013 Dakar Rally and in the process, raise £2m for wounded British servicemen and their families.
Collins did a live interview with the team of injured servicemen on the main Rallyday stage and he also took a few people for a ride in one of the Qt Wildcats on show in the new dedicated 4x4 Rally Raid Zone.
“It is great to be here at my local circuit, very near to where I live in Bristol and it is good to be here with the Race2Recovery team,” Collins said. “It is a really cool day and it looks like the spectators are having good time.”
Also attending was former works WRC ace, Harri Rovanperä, who gave MML Sports' new R4 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X its UK debut. Rovanperä competed with the team back in 2005, albeit in its former guise, as the works Mitsubishi squad.
Rallyday not only showcases new cars though but also those from yesteryear, and one such collection was the Sierra Cosworth 25th anniversary display, with former British Rally Champions Jimmy McRae, Russell Brookes and Gwyndaf Evans,
along with Stuart Turner, there to share their memories with the crowd of this iconic car.
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