First classic closed road rally
Inaugural motorsport event under new law to see classics take on moderns
Chelmsford Motor Club (CMC) will invite classic cars to take centre stage in England’s first closed road motor sport event, following new legislation.
Classics of all ages will be able to participate in the event in Essex on 22 April 2018, as long as they are up to Motor Sport Association (MSA) standards.
Tony Clements, CMC’s events director, says: ‘We haven’t opened for entries yet, but I know of many eligible Ford Escort MkIIs for example, which I’m sure we’ll see at the event. We’ve been working on getting permission for the rally for three years. Ours is the first simply because we’ve been organising it the longest.’
The still unnamed 45-mile event will take place near Clacton-on-Sea. It will be a one-off competition, rather than a part of any championships, at least for its first year.
Closed road events such as the Robert Albert Clark Rally in Scotland and the Croft Hill Climb in Northern Ireland have proved to be incredibly popular, but until recently, such events were not allowed on English roads. The passing of the Deregulation Act 2015, following years of campaigning from the MSA, has changed this.
MSA chief executive, Rob Jones, says: ‘The granting of this MSA permit is a landmark moment for British motorsport; we campaigned long and hard to achieve closed-road legislation and now the first event is within sight.
‘We have been working closely with Chelmsford Motor Club and will continue to do so, to help ensure that the local area benefits from a safe and successful event that paves the way for others to follow.’
Chelmsford Motor Club regularly organises singlevenue Targa Rallies like the Wethersfield Targa, at Wethersfield Airfield in Essex.