His­toric rally set to get big­ger, bet­ter and harder when it re­turns in ’17

Motor Sport News - - Le Mans Preview - By Paul Lawrence

Plans are now de­vel­op­ing for the re­turn of a big­ger and bet­ter Roger Al­bert Clark Rally in 2017.

The R.A.C. was can­celled for both 2015 and this year amid a lack of en­tries af­ter crews were dis­ap­pointed with the com­pact route on of­fer.

Event man­ager Colin Hep­pen­stall has given de­tails of early plans for the ex­panded rally, which will be longer and tougher than pre­vi­ous edi­tions, with a pro­vi­sional date of Novem­ber 9-12, 2017.

“The out­line is a four-day for­mat of­fer­ing be­tween 200 and 225 stage miles us­ing for­est dis­tricts around the coun­try, with stages of a length to chal­lenge the com­peti­tors,” said Hep­pen­stall. “It is hoped that for­est dis­tricts in Wales, York­shire, Kielder and the Scot­tish Bor­ders will be used. It is our in­ten­tion to make this event open to all ve­hi­cle types and it will be avail­able on both sub­jec­tive route notes and maps.”

Hep­pen­stall added that ini­tial plans for a 100-mile event in Kielder this Novem­ber have been shelved, but said that the pos­i­tive re­sponse to that event had been a fac­tor in the planned re­turn of the multi-day rally.

How­ever, the fi­nan­cial out­come of can­celling the 2015 rally has been a ma­jor fac­tor in the de­ci­sion process.

“The can­cel­la­tion of the 2015 rally cost £16,000 and the Roger Al­bert Clark Rally Mo­tor Club needs time to con­sol­i­date its fi­nances, not only for the cham­pi­onships and event it is pro­mot­ing in 2016 but also for the fu­ture in 2017 and be­yond,” said Hep­pen­stall.

Photos: Paul Lawrence

R.A.C. will run over four days

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