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CHRISTMAS STAGES RALLY (Date Change) - (Sat) 2 Jan 10

Posted: January 5, 2010 2:39 PM - 7138 Hits

Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally - Saturday 2nd January 2010 - Croft Circuit


Posted: January 5, 2010 2:39 PM

Event Going Ahead

Posted: January 1, 2010 12:30 AM

Extensive work this week by volunteers on behalf of Northallerton Automobile Club, which has involved the huge task of clearing snow and ice from both the circuit and service area, has meant the Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally on Saturday 2nd January 2010 WILL definitely go ahead as planned.

Entry List

Posted: December 21, 2009 1:00 PM

Top 10
1. Kevin Procter/Dave Bellerby - Subaru Impreza WRC
2. Paul Bird/Kirsty Riddick - Ford Focus WRC
3. Billy McLelland/Helen Brown - Mitsubishi Lancer
4. Chris Wise/Tracey Taylor-West - MG Metro 6R4
5. Phil Gallagher/Mick Gallagher - MG Metro 6R4
6. Alex Taylor/Jack Shepherd - Subaru Forrester
7. Keith Davison/Henry Richardson - Darrian T90
8. Chris Myers/Matthew Whattam - Mitsubishi Lancer
9. Martin Farrar/Andrew Ward - Subaru Impreza
10. Dave Hemingway/Pud Wood - Ford Escort Mk2

Full Entry List:


Posted: December 21, 2009 12:59 PM

Despite an enforced date change into the New Year, the Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally, which takes place at Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire on Saturday 2nd January 2010, has once again attracted a top quality entry.

Included in the entry list is a World Championship driver, a European Championship driver, a bright pink MG Maestro, a car with 'ice cream van' chimes and someone who, it is reckoned, is the actual 'Stig' on BBC TV's popular Top Gear show...!

With Northallerton Automobile Club once again assembling a capacity 95-car entry for the annual festive feast around the North's premier motorsports facility just south of Darlington, the emphasis is on quality as much as quantity as a number of international stars are set to do battle over the 40 miles of stages.

Heading the entry is last year's winner Kevin Procter from Leeming Bar who will be again at the wheel of his Subaru WRC. The multi-talented all-rounder won the last-ever Rallycross Superprix at Croft a couple of months ago in the same Ford Focus he has been contesting the European Rallycross Championship and along with fellow rallycrosser Dave Bellerby (Northallerton) on the maps, the pair will be a tough act to beat.

Former National Champion Paul Bird from Penrith is the red hot favourite to take the victory in his latest factory version Ford Focus WRC08 in which he plans on contesting the FIA World Rally Championship in 2010. Kawasaki World Superbike Championship team owner Bird, one of the very few FIA Seeded drivers in the world, did the Spanish round earlier this year and arrives at Croft looking for a record-breaking third win since the event has been held at Croft and he will be co-driven by Scottish Champion Kirsty Riddick.

Hoping to add to their double victory on the Jack Frost Stages at Croft in both 2007 and 2008 will be Pickhill crew Chris Wise and Tracey Taylor-West whereby a Christmas Stages victory would look good on their CV in their recently rebuilt MG Metro 6R4 and Leeds brothers Phil and Mick Gallagher also will be in action in their iconic 6R4 in which they took victory at an event near York last weekend.

More famed for his precision driving and stunts at packed stadiums throughout the world and indeed his television appearances in adverts, films and on Top Gear, some of which have him rumoured to actually be 'The Stig', Darlington's Paul Swift will be at the wheel of the historic-specification Ford Escort Mk1 which he will share with co driver Andrew Lees.

Ayrshire driver Billy McLelland and co driver Helen Brown are expected to be in the mix in their Mitsubishi Lancer and other local drivers challenging for class honours will be Michael Glendinning from Newcastle (Ford Escort Mk2), Whitby's Nick Cook (Ford Escort Mk1), Keith Davison from Stockton (Darrian T90) and Richmond driver Mark Constantine (Vauxhall Corsa).

Pontefract driver Dave Hemingway will once again be entertaining crowds as he usually does the stages with his Ford Escort Mk2 playing 'ice cream van' chimes, but no such nonsense from fellow Yorkshiremen Chris Myers (Mitsubishi) and Martin Farrar (Subaru) who will be challenging for outright honours.

Some of the more unusual cars include front runner Alex Taylor in a Subaru Forrester, Alastair Hutchinson's LPG-powered Renault Clio, the Renault 5 Turbos of Alastair Brown and Tony Jameson-Allen and Martin Cockerill's lurid pink MG Maestro...

"We were disappointed to have to move from the traditional Christmas Bank Holiday date because of the High Court ruling but despite this, we have got our biggest ever entry for the Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally," enthused Clerk of the Course Ian Jackson. "To have the likes of top World Championship drivers is testament that people enjoy the event and the uncertainty of the weather is another factor. With this level of quality right the way down the field, it is a mouth-watering prospect and one that I think everyone is really looking forward to."

Other local drivers expected to do well on the event include West Rounton's Nigel Keen (Ford Escort), the Lotus Exiges of Catterick autograsser Martyn Tinker and Sinderby's Bill Bates as well as John Gaskin from Chop Gate in his Subaru.

Durham youngster Andrew Fawcett will make his debut in the Specsavers-sponsored Vauxhall Nova and Teesside brothers Paul and James Dolan will be in action in their Mitsubishis, as will Pickhill's Geoff Simpson in a latest Evo 10 version, and Brompton's Paul Atkinson is another to keep an eye on in his 1400cc Nova.

Following Procter in changing disciplines for the day are a number of other top British Rallycross drivers who are taking to the stages. Gosforth driver David Binks joins fellow Tynesiders Michael Boak, Phil Chicken and Brian Jukes whereas a trio of Northallerton drivers, Darren Grimston (Ford Escort), Jonathan Bean (BMW 325) and Larry Carter (Peugeot 206) have all been in rallycross action at Croft recently.

Utilising all of the tarmac roads around the popular North East venue, a massive crowd is once again expected as the first of the cars gets underway at 09.05 with the first of eight stages which will run into darkness.

Admission costs £8.00 per adult with accompanied children under 15 admitted free and gates open at 8.00am. Entry lists costing 50p are available from the Scout Tent with all proceeds going directly to Northallerton Scouts.


Posted: November 5, 2009 5:14 PM

The popular Specsavers Christmas Stages Rally, originally scheduled for Monday 28th December 2009 at Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire, will now take place on Saturday 2nd January 2010 instead.

The organiser, Northallerton Automobile Club Ltd, was recently informed by Croft Circuit of the required change and following consultation with the committee, rather than cancel the event which attracts some of the leading competitors in the country, it was decided that both scrutineering and documentation, as well as the rally itself, will now take place just five days later than planned.

The change of date was due to the ramifications of the High Court Injunction served on Croft earlier this year, which now restricts the facility to a maximum of just forty days of 'noisy' track activities a year.

The necessity in having to alter the date from its popular Christmas Bank Holiday Monday slot, will be a major disappointment to thousands of fans who were expecting to attend but the event will return to the traditional date next year.

Clerk of the Course, Ian Jackson of Northallerton AC, said: "It's unfortunate as well as disappointing and it has caused us a few headaches as all plans were in place for the 28th December what with officials booked, regulations printed and permits sought etc. However, with some hard work on our's and Croft's part, rather than just cancel the event, we can work round it this year and hopefully, still attract a good entry and decent crowd and get back to our normal date next year."

Croft Circuit Manager, Tracey Morley, commented: "Despite alterations to the running order for the Rallycross event last weekend, unfortunately the last two noisy days of the restricted forty, as imposed by a High Court ruling earlier this year, have now been used up, which meant that the circuit was unable to hold this event before the New Year."

Club Website

Posted: November 5, 2009 5:13 PM

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