2005 Revival Rally - 24-27 Nov 05

Posted: November 20, 2005 6:05 PM - 1946 Hits

Lombard Revival Rally 2005

The 2nd Lombard Revival Rally is flagged away from Cowley, Oxford, on Thursday night, for the start of four demanding days and nights with an authentic route which revives the traditional spirit of the Lombard RAC Rally.

Posted: November 20, 2005 6:05 PM

Nearly 140 entries, all built to the new 1400cc Formula launched recently by the Motor Sports Association (the UK governing body), underline the growing popularity for what is the only totally fresh initiative in recent years for Britain's rally scene.

A total of 38 crews are wearing distinctive red door numbers as past competitors of the original Lombard rallies. They include former winner Neil Wilson, driving his own Ford Puma, who won in 1985 as co-driver alongside Henri Toivonen; and Britain's oldest rally regular, 78-year-old Willy Cave. "You should never give up, and you are never too old; one day I will win this event," says the man who was in the Standard Pennant team with Paddy Hopkirk when they finished third overall in 1954.

The youngest competitor is 14-year-old Robert Lloyd, navigating his father in a Volvo which cost £300, probably the cheapest rally car in the line-up.

They all face a gruelling 1,200 miles around the UK, with 12-hour days. "This could not be more different from the World Championship rallies of today," says Neil Wilson. "We do our own servicing, we have no advance practice, no pacenotes, and we get 52 off-road venues, timed to the second, including famous forests, country parks, hillclimbs, circuits, every kind of surface, night after day, day after night. . . The atmosphere is brilliant, just like the Lombards of old."

Cars set out on the Abingdon Circuit prologue on Thursday 14 November; on Friday, they drive via Silverstone to Nottingham, where at 16.30 - just as darkness falls - drivers face an authentic re-enactment of the city-centre Wollaton Park stage from the 1985 road-book, before ending the night several hours later at Chester. Leg three leaves Chester on Saturday and heads via Radnor Forest to end the day in the Forest of Dean and Caerwent before the rest halt at Newport. On Sunday, the final leg, there are no fewer than 19 venues, including Esgair Dafyd, Eppynt and Sweet Lamb, before finishing at the Great Orme in Llandudno.

Several manufacturers are supporting cars, this new Endurance Rally formula being the only branch of the modern British club scene to attract factory interest. Mercedes are supporting an A-Class, one of the more unsual entrants, with Vauxhall, Daihatsu and Suzuki also involved. Britain's local motor clubs and nearly 1,000 marshals form the backbone of the event organisation, which has been steered by the Endurance Rally Association.

"We are delighted to be back," says Neil Edwards of Lombard, "and every car is a clubman. The winning names go onto the original trophies alongside Carlos Sainz from 1983; we are just picking up where we left off in every respect, with a concept that is bang up to date, with all cars environmentally friendly and all cars we can identity with, in showroom standard condition. It will be highly competitive, with every car on the same Colway tyres, and everyone on much the same horsepower. Something unique and rather special in British rallying is now unfolding."

The Lombard Revival Rally is supported by Colway Motorsport Tyres.

Topics: Revival Rally 

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