WRC cham­pion back on UK rally stages Pho­tos: Paul Lawrence, mck­lein-im­age­, LAT

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Jack Benyon

World Rally Cham­pion Stig Blomqvist will re­turn to the stages in the UK for the first time since 2011 when he com­petes on Track­rod Rally York­shire His­toric Cup.

Blomqvist – who last com­peted in a UK rally on the Colin Mcrae His­toric For­est Stages Rally five years ago – will drive a Opel As­cona which is true to pe­riod.

“It’s not an ex-works car but it was built by the Opel im­porter with a bit of help. It’s a proper his­toric, a pe­riod car,” said the car’s owner Chris Birk­beck.

“I’ve used the car at Good­wood for the last cou­ple of years, we’ve just been chip­ping away at it, im­prov­ing it and tidy­ing it up.”

Birk­beck – who runs a BARS cer­ti­fied rally school in York­shire – will pre­pare the car on the event. Blomqvist didn’t use one in pe­riod as he was com­pet­ing in Saabs, Tal­bot Sun­beams and Audis when the As­cona was at the front end of the WRC.

The Swede is com­pet­ing to help Birk­beck pro­mote a new ice driv­ing school in Swe­den.

“We’re open­ing a rally school, which I know has been done by peo­ple be­fore but this is right up in the Arc­tic Cir­cle. There’s lots of other at­trac­tions up there, like the north­ern lights. Stig is go­ing to help us launch it and do some one-to-one tu­ition in it.”

The Track­rod be­gins on Fri­day, Septem­ber 30, with the added chal­lenge of night stages on a na­tional event.go­ing into the fi­nal round of the Bri­tish His­toric Rally Cham­pi­onship, Si­mon Tysoe leads the points.

His dad raced the Mini in the 1960s Stig drove other cars in pe­riod but is in an Opel for Track­rod

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