The RAC Rally of the Tests returns to the motor sport calendar in 2016 after a 56-year absence. As the forerunner of modern stage rallying, the RAC Rally brought motor sport to the public of the UK. The resurgence of classic motoring in recent times has brought together Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO), RAC Motoring Services and the Royal Automobile Club to continue the history and folklore that surrounds the UK's most prestigious rally. Starting from one of the original venues of Bournemouth on the 3rd November 2016, the event has been oversubscribed some nine months in advance of the start and will see 100 of the most historic and authentic vehicles compete over three and a half days before reaching the ceremonial finish in Chester on the 6th November 2016.
Classic vehicles hold a special place in people's hearts and memories, and the demand to see these vehicles on the road is expected to be high. Well-known venues have been secured where the public will be able to view the vehicles and see them competing at close quarters. The first to be announced is the RAC Headquarters in Bristol on Saturday morning, 5th November 2016, where after an overnight halt in the city, crews will tackle a driving test which will show the handling and manoeuvrability of these classic vehicles, along with the spirited driving of the competitors.
Several 'works' vehicles of note have entered and amongst these are Paddy Hopkirk's own Mini Cooper 'S' (6 EMO), piloted by Steve Entwistle and Henry Carr, which will be competing against Timo Mäkinen / Don Barrow's Austin-Healey 3000 (BRX 852 B). This vehicle finished second overall on the 1964 running of the event and will be crewed by Jonathan Turner and Ben Cussons.
Peter Read, Chairman of the Motoring Committee at the Royal Automobile Club said: "The Royal Automobile Club has been delighted with the enthusiasm which greeted the announcement that the RAC Rally of the Tests was to be revived, We are looking forward to a great event which will challenge drivers, navigators and cars as the first rally did back in 1932 - and at the same time delight classic car enthusiasts who will enjoy seeing these great cars back in action."
RAC Chief Marketing Officer John Orriss added: "We are thrilled to see the letters 'RAC' once again appear alongside the ever-popular Rally of the Tests. The line-up for this year's event looks incredible with some truly historic vehicles taking part which spectators all over the country will enjoy seeing along the 750-mile route from Bournemouth to Chester, including a visit to the RAC's iconic Bristol building on the edge of the M5. We really can't wait for November to see the first RAC Rally of the Tests in 56 years get underway."
Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Chairman of HERO commented: "It has been a privilege to work closely with both the RAC and the Royal Automobile Club in reviving this epic rally so rich of history and excitement. The RAC Rally of the Tests is already a must-do event and will go from strength to strength offering a superbly British classic car rally"
About the Royal Automobile Club
The Royal Automobile Club was founded in 1897 by Frederick Richard Simms and its distinguished history mirrors that of motoring itself. Ten years later, in 1907, King Edward VII awarded the Club the Royal title that it still holds to this day, sealing the Club's status as Britain's oldest and most influential motoring organisation.
The Club's early years were focused on promoting the motor car and its place in society. Following the successful 1000 Mile Trial in 1900, the Club held the first Tourist Trophy in 1905, which remains the oldest continuously competed for motor sports event. The Club promoted the first pre-war and post-war Grand Prix at Brooklands in 1926 and Silverstone in 1948 respectively, whilst continuing to campaign for the rights of the motorist, including introducing the first driving licences.
In 1999 the Club demerged from the motoring services recovery division and established an independent body, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), to govern motor sport in the UK. The Club then added contemporary facilities and refurbished both clubhouses for the benefit of its growing membership.
The Club continues to award a series of historic trophies and medals celebrating motoring achievements, including the Segrave Trophy, the Tourist Trophy, the Simms Medal, the Dewar Trophy and the Torrens Trophy. Today, the Club retains a diverse membership drawn from all four corners of the globe and offers two stunning and unique clubhouses, a flourishing events programme, unsurpassed accommodation, dining, sports and golfing facilities. It also continues to develop and support automobilism through representation on the Motor Sport Association (MSA), Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and RAC Foundation, while continuing to promote its own motoring events, such as the free-to-attend Regent Street Motor Show and the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which this year take place on 5th and 6th November 2016. A website for the event is live at www.racrally.eu
About the RAC
With more than eight million members, the RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organisations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, insurance, buying a used car, vehicle inspections and checks, legal services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - the RAC offers a solution for all motoring needs. The RAC is committed to making motoring easier, safer, more affordable and more enjoyable for drivers and road users.
The RAC is the motorist's champion and campaigns to support the interests of its members and UK motorists at a national level. This includes voicing concerns about the increasing cost of motoring, particularly the price of fuel and the high level of tax levied on it, advancing levels of road safety, and supporting the needs of all drivers, from young to old.
The RAC's annual Report on Motoring - first published in 1989 - provides a clear insight into the concerns and issues facing today's motorists.
For the very latest news on UK fuel prices, check RAC Fuel Watch or follow #racfuelwatch on Twitter. RAC Fuel Watch is a comprehensive guide to the latest UK unleaded petrol and diesel prices - both at the wholesale level and at the pump. RAC Fuel Watch analyses how prices changed through the previous month and compares the most recent prices with those from three, six and 12 months before.
· RAC patrols fix four out of five vehicles at the roadside and on average within 30 minutes
· RAC vans carry more than 500 parts and tools to get members' vehicles going again
· 92% of members would recommend RAC Rescue to their friends and family
RAC press releases, news alerts and a wealth of motoring research is available from rac.co.uk/press-centre.
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The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) is a classic car club recognised by the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association (MSA - the official governing body for motor sport in the UK, affiliated to the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) and, through its membership of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, is affiliated to FIVA - the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens. A classic car endurance rallying club that dates over eighteen years, HERO has organized more than 150 events (trials and tours) especially for classic cars. HERO also offers a wide range of services such as the Arrive & Drive classic rally car hire program, corporate and bespoke event planning and organisation, storage and transport logistics, a Premier Membership that offers discounts throughout its network of Partners; making it a truly integrated one stop shop platform. For more information, please visit: www.heroevents.eu
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