Change of date for popular rally event
ONE of the region’s most-loved rally events will roar into action next weekend – a couple of weeks earlier than usual.
This year, the annual Swift Signs & Shirts Christmas Stages Rally is being held before Christmas, instead of its usual date just before New Year.
However, it’s only the date that changed as the event promises the same eight stages throughout the day.
Next Sunday, December 16, almost 90 cars are due to line-up from 9am to tackle around 45 miles of stages, utilising various routes of the race track and access roads.
Leading the way is seventime winner Kevin Procter from nearby Northallerton, who will be joined by regular co-driver Dave Bellerby in their Ford Fiesta WRC.
But Procter can expect a hard fight on the day, as numerous rivals will be bidding to celebrate an early Christmas present by stealing the top prize on the day.
These are set to include Beverley’s Guy Smith and Patrick Walsh, Tony Bardy and Tony Walker and Peter Stephenson and Ian Windress.
Back again this year will be stunt star Paul Swift and his wife Jessica in their stunning Ford Escort, while journalist and broadcaster Larry Carter and Georgina Smith are also on the list.
Despite the change of date, everything will remain as it usually does, with Stage One kicking-off at 9am.
From there, cars will leave at 30-second intervals and the action will continue all day, with at least the final stage set to run in complete darkness.
Croft’s raised viewing areas will give spectators the chance to see just about all of the action without moving, and food vans will be on hand throughout the day.
The event will feature the usual open paddock area where visitors can get up close to the cars and meet the drivers and teams in between stages.
The event forms the first round of the 2019 North of England Tarmac Rally Championship, which will add an extra level of competitiveness to the day as everyone battles hard.
Tickets are available on the gate priced at £10 per person, and as ever, accompanied children under 15 get in free.
The rally will mark the final event on Croft’s calendar for 2018, but fans of all things racing don’t have too long to wait until the next one.
The 2019 action at the Darlington track will begin in February with the Jack Frost Rally on Sunday, February 17.
The Jack Frost is organised by Darlington & District Motor Club and is held early each year.
This will host the second round of the North of England Tarmac Rally Championship and tickets are available now, priced at £9 in advance but will be £12 on the day.
To book tickets, visit the website: www.croftcircuit.co.uk