FAMILY-FRIENDLY GENERATIONS RALLY RETURNS IN SPECTACULAR STYLE

  • Second running of Rally the Globe’s acclaimed award-winner
  • One of the most significant events on the historic motorsport calendar
  • Three days of wonderful driving adventures for all ages based in magical Northumberland
  • Rookie winner as Talbot AV105 and Ford Escort RS2000 crews claim top prizes
  • Firing passions for forthcoming escapades in Europe, America and Asia

Building on the huge success of last year’s pioneering award-winner, Rally the Globe’s second Generations Rally has been hailed as an even greater triumph than its much-acclaimed forebear – recipient of the Best Competitive Event prize at the 2022 Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards.

As initiated 12 months ago specifically to ignite passions for historic motorsport among a younger audience of future participants, entries were aimed at driver/navigator crews from different generations.

Sticking further to that winning formula, the compact event (24-26 March) was again based at a single venue hotel with three days of Speed Tests and Regularity Sections offering newcomers a gentle introduction before building up to trickier challenges as their experiences escalated.

Once again the novel concept was extremely well-received with a full capacity entry of 75 crews featuring an amazing array of cars that spanned seven decades of glorious motoring history. These ranged from a phalanx of vintage Bentleys from the 1920s, through classic Aston Martin, Jaguar, Mercedes, MG, Porsche and TR sportscars of the 1950s and 1960s right up to more recent Alfa Romeo, Ford RS and Lancia classics from the 1970s and 1980s.

While the vast majority of the competing crews hailed from the UK, others had travelled from Ireland, Germany, Poland and Switzerland to savour what is already established as one of the best organised and most significant highlights on the historic motor sport calendar.

Having based the inaugural Generations Rally in the picture-postcard English Lake District, Rally the Globe found an equally scenic and special base for its follow-up event.

Competitors were accommodated at the impressive Slaley Hall Hotel located on the cusp of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the action focused on the spectacular and traffic-free driving roads through the Northumberland, Cumbria and County Durham countryside. The mixed sunshine and showery weather in the north east of England might not have been quite as welcoming as the warm spring sunshine experienced in the Lakes, but it did nothing to dampen spirits.

With pre-event Friday morning scrutineering and documentation completed, the oldest car on the entry list – a 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 manned by father and son Charles and Thomas Bishop (photo below top) – was first to be flagged away from the hotel’s courtyard by Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s renowned Rally Director. Either side of a coffee break at Naworth Castle, a packed afternoon included two Speed Tests at Hexham Racecourse, two Regularities close to Hadrian’s Wall plus a map-reading based Passage Control section.

After Friday’s tasty appetisers, Saturday gave all-comers a little more to get their teeth into with a generous serving of stunning Northumbrian coasts and magical castles along with three Speed Tests and five Regularities as well as a number of key Route Checks and Passage Controls. A hard-earned lunch was enjoyed at The Alnwick Garden in the shadow of Alnwick Castle, better known to Harry Potter disciples as the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Sunday morning’s concluding six sections were all set closer to base in the beautiful woodlands and rustic bliss of the Durham Dales with a well-deserved coffee and bacon roll break in the hall of Raby Castle.

As the curtain came down on some memorable competition through some superb landscapes, it was the 1974 Ford Escort of Paul Taylor and his god-daughter Sophie Haslam (photos top and below bottom) which took top honours in the Classic category.

Incredibly – and validating the ethos of the Generations Rally – it was Sophie’s very first event… but possibly not her last. “I think I’ve benefited from a huge dose of beginner’s luck,” she said modestly before adding: “and the three stopwatches on the dashboard really helped as well!”

The equally competitive Pre-War Category was won by the somewhat more experienced pairing of Michael Birch and Emily Anderson in their distinctive green 1934 Talbot AV105 (photo below row seven).

In addition to the coveted overall and class awards, a pair of discretionary prizes were also presented. The Against All Odds trophy went to Cathie and Max Clark whose determination to compete resulted in them buying a little blue MG Midget to replace their originally entered Mini which was not going to be ready in time.

The Spirit of the Rally award went to Alan and Ed Stansfield who were so inspired when spectating at last year’s Generations Rally that they wasted no time preparing a 1983 Ford Capri (photo below row nine) so they could join this year’s starters.

With the prizes presented, Gallagher reflected on yet another five star Rally the Globe success. “The weather might not have been quite as kind to us as last year but everything else slotted into place beautifully and it was wonderful to see so many people from such a wide range of ages having such a great time,” enthused a delighted Gallagher. “We set out to enthuse those still in the teens and twenties about our sport. Once again, our Generations Rally was a massive triumph and unequivocally did just that.”

Clerk of the Course, Mark Appleton, was equally delighted with the high praise heaped on what he and Route Coordinator Martyn Taylor had created. “The idea was to put together an event which was a good introduction to endurance rallying but which also gave the crews a real sense of achievement,” he explained. “The route has been brilliant, Martyn found some fantastic venues and it’s obvious that everybody has had a really fabulous time.”

Such has been the positive feedback from all those who participated that Rally the Globe has already announced the date for a third staging of its super-successful Generations Rally. Sticking to what is clearly such a winning formula, next year’s third running will take place over the 22-24 March weekend but will move to a new base in rural Cheshire thus offering returning competitors a very different backdrop.

In the meantime, the lauded Rally the Globe team has a very busy and exciting year ahead with three more over-subscribed escapades on the 2023 calendar. Next up is the Vintage Shamrock in Ireland (8-11 May) followed by the Carrera Riviera which runs from Deauville to Cannes in la belle France (4-15 June) and, finally, the epic Alaska to Mexico Marathon (27 August-26 September).

Those highlights are swiftly followed in the New Year by another truly extraordinary driving adventure: the Road to Hanoi Marathon (27 January–23 February). While all the 2023 events already boast a full or near full entry, a few places do remain open for what promises to be an incredible journey through the wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.

GENERATIONS RALLY WINS PRESTIGIOUS RAC AWARD

Rally the Globe are absolutely delighted to have been crowned the winners of the Competitive Event of the Year Award for the Generations Rally 2022, at a glitzy awards evening at the Royal Automobile Club’s Historic Awards in London.

The judges said:

“Rally the Globe’s Generations Rally 2022 was well-conceived, organised and executed. It was designed to encourage mixed-generation teams of all ages and levels of experience to enjoy their vintage and classic cars of all shapes and sizes on legendary roads in some of the most beautiful parts of Northern England. As an introduction to classic rallying, it was superb.”

As an organisation which has just passed its fourth birthday, and has spent two of those years under the shadow of a pandemic, we are honoured to have recognition not just for the event, but for Rally the Globe as a club and the fantastic team of many talented and experienced individuals who worked together to deliver the Generations Rally, both behind the scenes and on the ground. We are also grateful for the support of all of those who entered the event and threw themselves whole-heartedly into making it an incredible success. 

Graham Goodwin, Chairman, said “To be shortlisted for this award was a real treat and a confirmation of the innovation and experience than runs through Rally the Globe. To win the award is the icing on the cake and is a lovely confirmation that we are making a serious contribution to the sport of historic rallying. We have come a long way in a short space of time, but we are not complacent. Watch this space!”    

Mark Appleton, Clerk of the Course, added “The idea for the Generations Rally was hatched in the very early stages of Rally the Globe’s journey as a way to share our wonderful sport with younger family members and we’re over the moon to win this award. To receive plaudits such as these in the prestigious surroundings of the RAC, that has nurtured and influenced the development of motorsport and motoring itself, makes it all the more special.  The Generations Rally and RtG is going from strength to strength and we can’t wait to welcome crews to the second edition in a few months’ time.”

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists at what was a fantastic celebration of historic motoring.

 

Photography © – Rob Cadman

‘PERFECT’ WEST COUNTRY CLOVERLEAF BUILDS EXCITEMENT FOR GREATER ADVENTURES IN 2023

• End-of-season celebration on the moors of Devon and Cornwall
• Four days of driving competition and convivial camaraderie 
• Whetting appetites for future escapades exploring America and Asia
• Soaring demand sees some 2023 entry lists already at full capacity

Last week’s splendid West Country Cloverleaf (24-27 October) has not only brought the curtain down on a sparkling programme of Rally the Globe events in 2022, but also whetted appetites for even more exciting automotive adventures to come.

In the wake of the pandemic, this year’s cleverly arranged calendar commenced close to home with the innovative Generations Rally set in the English Lake District and was swiftly followed by ever more adventurous forays as international travel has returned to normal.

The super-successful Carrera España, set largely in the mountains of Northern Spain, paved the way for Rally the Globe’s epic Ypres to Istanbul Challenge, which traversed eight different countries as crews competed from the Belgian rally capital in Flanders to the Bosphorus and the gateway to Asia.

Building on these triumphs, preparations for two even longer distance Marathon category endurance events are well advanced. With enthusiasm for four-wheeled global exploration restored, the first of these – the North American based Alaska to Mexico (27 August – 26 September 2023) is already sold out, with a reserve list. The second – the Road to Hanoi (27 January – 23 February 2024) – is filling up fast.

In the meantime, Rally the Globe’s 2023 diary also includes a repeat of the Generations Rally (24-26 March), the Vintage Shamrock (8-11 May) being organised together with Irish Racing Green and the Carrera Riviera (4-15 June). The first of these is already full with a reserve list, while only a few places remain on the entry lists for the other two.

Paving the way for forthcoming pleasures, the West Country Cloverleaf was based at Hotel Endsleigh – the Duke of Bedford’s former fishing and hunting lodge taken exclusively for three nights – with competitive Tests and Regularity sections set in the rolling moorlands and idyllic countryside of Devon and Cornwall.

Entries were restricted to members of the not-for-profit-club, and a full capacity 19 field featured a wide mix of vintage and classic cars (all dating back to pre-31 December 1976) ranging from the 1925 Bentley Supersports of Graham and Marina Goodwin up to the 1973 Datsun 240Z of Andrew and Shirley Laing. An eye-catching array of Aston Martins, Jaguars and Fraser Nashes were also on the roster alongside other automotive icons. Providing wonderful diversity these included a pair of Porsche 911s, a Triumph TR3A, two Fraser Nash-BMW 328s and a very distinctive Chrysler 75 Roadster.

After the completion of morning technical checks and paperwork, the opening day included competitive sections in the autumnal Blackdown Hills, at the Exeter Chiefs rugby ground and in the wilds of Dartmoor.

Day two was again set exploring rural Devon and featured five more challenging Tests and two Regularities as well as a surprise end-of-day trip to the Dingles Fairground Museum where the crews were free to spend some old-fashioned quality time on the dodgem cars, ghost train and waltzers!

The third day was the longest – and sunniest – of the rally. The spectacular 153-mile route included four Tests and three Regularities staged largely on the Cornish side of the border and ventured via the rocky tors of Bodmin Moor to the craggy headlands of King Arthur’s magical kingdom.

The final morning took crews back over a now foggy Dartmoor and via some further Tests at the Mansell Raceway to a prizegiving lunch at the Castle Hotel in Taunton.

Following the ‘fun first’ tradition of Rally the Globe’s more relaxed Cloverleaf events, there were no individual winners. The rally, instead, had been divided into teams. These random groupings then competed for the top spot based on the total number of penalties accrued en route and times gained by each individual team member.

After four days comprising 15 Tests and eight Regularities, those topping the timing charts were the experienced quartet comprising Andrew and Ann Boland (1960 Jaguar XK150S), Charles and Kit Graves (1958 Jaguar XK150), Neil and Peta Oatley (1967 Lancia Fulvia) and Keith Graham and Susan Hoffmann (1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL). Full results are available via the RallytheGlobe.com website.

More importantly, all the crews were unanimous in their praise for the sortie to the west country. Five star feedback has included: ‘Thanks to the Rally the Globe team for a brilliant Cloverleaf’, ‘What a fabulous event and lovely crowd to enjoy it with’ and ‘fantastic event, great team, great fun and great people’.

Clerk of the Course, Mark Appleton, was equally delighted. “It was the perfect end to the year,” he enthused. “We have been building up the adventure with increasingly ambitious overseas rallies, so it was nice to come back home for what was in many ways a celebratory event for our members. We struck gold with Hotel Endsleigh which gave us an amazing base to explore the more remote parts of this beautiful corner of England.”

Appleton is even more pleased to see the spiralling popularity of Rally the Globe’s unique style of premium driving experiences for owners of vintage and classic cars dating back to 1976 or earlier.

“Many of our forthcoming events such as the repeat of Generations and what’s sure to be an epic Alaska to Mexico Marathon are already at full capacity with waiting lists now open. Others such as the Vintage Shamrock and Road to Hanoi are filling up fast, too,” he reported. “The future is both busy and bright!”

Indeed, with so many great events in the pipeline Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s well-respected Rally Director, has had little time to savour the successes of the West Country Cloverleaf. He has already arrived in the USA to complete preparations for next summer’s incredible North American adventure, which will take crews from the snow-capped mountains of Alaska to the tropical beaches of the Baja Peninsula.

GENERATIONS RALLY SHORTLISTED FOR TWO INDUSTRY AWARDS

We are delighted that our Generations Rally has been shortlisted for Motorsport Event of the Year at The Historic Motoring Awards, and also for Competitive Event of the Year at the Royal Automobile Club’s Historic Awards.

In 2021, our Cloverleaf series narrowly missed out after being named as one of the finalists for the Historic Motoring Awards Motorsport Event of the Year.

This year, our Generations Rally 2022 is on the category’s shortlist, as well as being on the RAC’s shortlist too, and we couldn’t be more pleased to be in with a chance of winning an acclaimed industry award. 

The rally in March saw 73 cars line up at the start line in the Lake District, for 3 days in glorious sunshine (no, really!) competing with their family members. All crews were made up of members from two different generations, with the youngest competitor being just 13 years old and the oldest being over 80. 

The route covered the Yorkshire Dales, Lake District and Pennines and gave those who were new to this type of event the chance to learn and hone their navigating and driving skills across the long weekend.

We are up against some tough competition for both of these award again this year, but we very much look forward to the winners being announced in London on 16 November for The Historic Motoring Awards and on the 24 November for the RAC Historic Awards.

RALLY THE GLOBE ADDS FURTHER GLOSS TO SPARKLING SHAMROCK

  • Exciting new partnership with Irish Racing Green 
  • Award-winning vintage rallying showcase shifts up a gear
  • Pre-registration open for next event in May 2023

Rally the Globe is delighted to announce that it has been invited to partner Irish Racing Green in the organisation of the Shamrock Vintage Challenge, a much-loved annual event for pre-war cars which has been hailed as putting the fun back into rallying in Ireland.

First staged in 2018, The Shamrock is the well-received brainchild of three vastly experienced and enthusiastic individuals: Mickey Gabbett, Michael Jackson and Shane Houlihan.

Their combined passions for driving legendary cars competitively on Ireland’s remarkably scenic and traffic-free roads have produced one of the popular sport’s most desirable and enjoyable of all historic rallies. Indeed, in just its second year, the lauded event was awarded the coveted ‘Spirit of FIVA’ award by the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens.

Last year’s Shamrock attracted a full 50-car entry with participants travelling from all round the world with their evocative Alvises, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Frazer Nashes, Rileys, Talbots and other early motoring icons not only to compete but also to savour the renowned hospitality of the Irish.

Such has been the success of the Shamrock’s unique character and flavoursome appeal, that the founders floated the idea of a partnership  with Rally the Globe in order to ensure that the event will continue to go from strength to strength.

As a specialist – though not-for-profit club – Rally the Globe will provide their professional touch in key areas such as pre-event promotion, route book production, on-event logistics and mechanical support, while the Irish Racing Green team will continue to supply the inspiration and in depth knowledge to produce remarkable routes, varied tests and that extra spark that has come to define the Shamrock.

“It’s really a win-win scenario,” confirmed Jackson. “We will be there sharing the wonderful Shamrock spirit that we’ve created while maximising Rally the Globe’s proven expertise in the actual management of the event. What’s more, we know just how much Rally the Globe shares our passion for the Shamrock as so many of its leading lights have competed wholeheartedly in previous years.” 

Indeed both Rally the Globe’s Chairman Graham Goodwin (photo above) and Chief Operating Officer Mark Appleton were top six finishers back in May this year, while Rally Director Fred Gallagher (photo below bottom) competed in 2019. Gallagher also hails from Belfast, so is no stranger to the many, many delights Ireland has to offer.

“For so many great reasons, I’m thrilled that Rally the Globe has been asked to play such a significant role in the future of what has quickly become one of the truly unmissable fixtures on the vintage and classic car rallying calendar,” enthused a delighted Gallagher.

“The Shamrock may have only run three times but it has already, quite rightly, earned itself a massive reputation. The countryside is beautiful, the open roads are epically uncongested, the pubs are fantastic with proper Guinness and the Irish hospitality is world famous – all the right ingredients for the perfect old-school rally.” 

“It’s great kudos for Rally the Globe that Irish Racing Green approached us about establishing this new partnership,” added Goodwin. “As I experienced for myself earlier this year, they have created a huge hit enriched with wonderful Irish quirkiness and now, together, we will build further on what’s already been achieved.”

The springtime date for next year’s Shamrock – 8-11 May – has already been announced and all those keen to secure a place on the coveted 2023 start list can pre-register their interest via links on both Rally the Globe and Irish Racing Green websites.

Although there are hopes to expand entries a little, numbers will be limited by available accommodation and, with Rally the Globe events often reaching full capacity, participants are encouraged to register early.

YPRES TO ISTANBUL CHALLENGE HERALDS THE RETURN OF EPIC DRIVING ADVENTURES

  • Incredible European escapade puts trans-continental rallying back on the map 
  • Victories for classic Porsche 911 and vintage Bentley crews
  • 20 days of amazing competition across eight countries
  • Paving the way for great upcoming events exploring America and Asia

Billed as taking competitors from Belgium’s rally capital to the edge of the Orient, Rally the Globe’s latest incredible driving adventure has been widely applauded as the club’s most significant success to date.

The epic Ypres to Istanbul Challenge (13 June-3 July), which finished with a well-earned prize-giving ceremony aboard a boat cruising on the Bosphorus on Sunday, was not only Rally the Globe’s longest ever event but also – more importantly – heralded the return of great, trans-continental motoring escapades for vintage and classic cars after the lifting of pandemic-induced travel restrictions.

The welcome European adventure also acted as the perfect trailblazer for next year’s Alaska to Mexico Marathon and the Road to Hanoi Marathon which follows early in 2024. Illustrating the pent-up enthusiasm among participants for these amazing, life-enhancing experiences, the former already has a full entry list with a reserve list now open and limited places on the latter are also filling up swiftly.

Fuelling these passions, the Ypres to Istanbul Challenge traversed eight countries and included nearly 80 competitive sections on the spectacular 5,500kms/3,500-mile route. As a ‘Challenge’ category event these were staged on both asphalt and gravel surfaces, often exploring the more remote areas of these regions.

The action started with both Regularity and Speed tests on the well-rallied roads in Flanders with poignant reminders of the battles fought between 1914 and 1918, including a moving visit to the Menin Gate. Leaving Ypres the competitors journeyed on through the Ardennes and the Eifel to the winelands of the Mosselle and Rhine and a first rest day in the beautiful city of Prague.

The route then headed southeast through the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary and Romania – four countries in just five days – before a second rest day to re-fettle cars and refresh crews in Bucharest.

The final section then headed east stopping short of the shores of Black Sea by taking a tortuous route over the mountains to the Turkish border and onto the spectacular finish in Istanbul.

Among the many, many highlights were Speed tests staged at illustrious race and rallycross circuits as well as a pair of memorable, crowd-pleasing tests held on closed roads in the city centre of Arad in Transylvania.

As ever on a Rally the Globe event, the entry featured a wonderful selection of evocative automotive icons from yesteryear. Among the 26 cars lining up in the medieval town square outside Ypres’ historic 13th century Cloth Hall were an array of WO Bentleys, a stable of thoroughbred Porsche 911s and a wide range of Mercedes classics.

Adding further spice and interest, the entry also included a big-hearted early Range Rover, a little known 1933 Alvis Firefly Special and a 1982 Citroen 2CV 007 Special crewed by plucky Australians Phil and Laurette Macwhirter.

While camaraderie was always to the fore, the competition was fiercely fought with several lead changes both among the veteran and classic categories.

Clint and Dawn Smith in their 1925 Bentley were the pace-setters in the pre-war class but their hopes were dashed on a dramatic Day 13 in the storm-lashed Carpathian mountains in southern Romania. Their troubles handed final victory to fellow Bentley crew Graham and Marina Goodwin (photo row six below) with Andrew and Ann Boland claiming second spot in their 1936 Ford V8 Convertible.

“We nearly lost it at the start when we dropped the ball and slipped way down the leaderboard,” admitted Goodwin. “We were a bit down in the dumps but we knew that this was a long event, and with all of our experience in long distance rallies we decided that there was enough time to make amends – thankfully we were proved right!”

The battle for the lead among the classics was even more fiercely-fought with the 1965 Ford Mustang of Roy Stephenson and Mark Bramall swapping top spot several times with the 1965 Porsche 911 of Steve and Jenny Verrall. Sadly, with four days to go, the American pony car was slowed by electric gremlins.

With the Mustang now limping home, the duel for runner-up honours behind the victorious 911 really hotted-up. Incredibly after 20 days of high-octane competition the 1959 Volvo PV544 shared by Mike and Lorna Harrison tied with Ean and Alison Lewin’s 1973 Ford Escort Mexico – the former only taking second place trophy on a tie-breaker as their car was the older!

“We are delighted with this win; we always do our best and we take every day as it comes… but to roll home in first place is extra special,” admitted the victorious Steve Verrall who has been a huge Porsche enthusiast for 35 years. “The event was organised superbly. Rally the Globe are an amazing team and every day ran seamlessly”.

As well as the overall and class awards, discretionary prizes were awarded, too. The Spirit of the Rally was presented to Renate Hanselmann and Lukas Ospelt who, despite only having three wheels on their  wagon – a 1939 Ford Model 91A – from time-to-time, never stopped smiling. The Against all Odds trophy went to Jean Vincent and Marcel Peumans whose Bentley Speed Six reached Istanbul despite blowing a piston ring on the very first day and stripping and rebuilding the engine during the rest day in Prague. Three WO Bentleys also claimed the team prize.

By universal agreement, though, the biggest winners were the Rally the Globe team which had successfully organised another truly remarkable adventure, much of it planned during the toughest of global circumstances.

“We’ve managed to do something unique here in running a highly competitive, yet incredibly social rally, through the middle of Europe,” enthused Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s vastly experienced Rally Director and the mastermind behind the Ypres to Istanbul Challenge.

“Getting a rally to Istanbul has long been a dream of mine and, despite all of the extra problems we’ve had to overcome, today it all came true,” added a delighted Gallagher after welcoming home all of the intrepid finishers with the time-honoured chequered flag. “I must thank the whole team for their extraordinary efforts as well as our incredible group of travelling marshals, medics and mechanics. We really could not have done it without them.”

Mark Appleton, the Clerk of the Course, was equally thrilled with Rally the Globe’s latest standout achievement and is already looking to the future.

“Clearly this has been another absolutely outstanding event which has left the crews wanting more of the same,” said Appleton. “So, now we turn our attention to rallying even more of the globe with next years Alaska to Mexico Marathon and then onwards to the Road to Hanoi.”

You can see the final Results, film and photo highlights by clicking on the image below

CARRERA ESPAÑA HAILED AS RALLY THE GLOBE’S BEST YET

  • Spectacular driving adventure through the mountains of northern Spain
  • Victories for classic Aston Martin and vintage Frazer Nash-BMW crews
  • UNESCO sites, race circuits and Parador hotels deliver in spades   
  • Ypres to Istanbul Challenge follows in June 

Set in the spectacular mountains of northern Spain, Rally the Globe’s sensational Carrera España (25 April – 5 May) has been acclaimed as the club’s best event yet with incredible driving roads, inspiring competition, splendid accommodation and two worthy winners.

The fast starting 1955 Austin A90 Westminster of Adrian Hodgson and Mark Bramall set the early pace among those in the Classic Category but they were swiftly overhauled by ultimate victors Alan and Tina Beardshaw in their iconic 1965 Aston Martin DB5 (photo above).

Similarly in the Vintage Category, early pacesetters Graham and Marina Goodwin aboard their 1925 Bentley Supersports had to settle for second spot behind the hastening 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328 shared by Martin and Olivia Hunt (photo top below).

Neither prizewinners are strangers to the podium; the Beardshaws came out on top in Rally the Globe’s inaugural Carrera Iberia back in 2019 while Martin Hunt won the recent Generations Rally set in the English Lake District earlier this year… and both crews were delighted with their latest successes.

“Tina and I have been married and rallying together now for 50 years and this is not just the best Rally the Globe event to date but the best rally we have ever competed on,” lavished the praise from the elated Aston Martin driver.

Hunt was equally enthusiastic. “We have been following the most beautiful cars through simply breath-taking Spanish scenery and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” he extolled.

The amazing 2,000 mile journey of discovery through the often undiscovered wonders of northern Spain started from the architectural gem of Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea and finished 11 days later in Santander on the Cantabrian coast.

Providing exceptional competition, camaraderie and culinary delights as promised on a Carrera style event, the well-conceived, all-asphalt route featured 30 Regularity Tests and 8 Speed Tests interspersed with notable overnight halts in magnificent Paradors and former Benedictine monasteries.

It all started in the five-star Miramar Hotel overlooking Barcelona and the city’s former Grand Prix circuit in Montjuic Park with 30 eager entrants revving up for the start. These ranged from the big, century old 1922 Bentley of Gavin and Diana Henderson to the svelte 1976 Lamborghini Urraco P250S of Italians Enrico Paggi and Federica Mascetti.

After a fast start lapping Barcelona’s current Formula 1 circuit, regularities followed in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The route then travelled west through the Rioja region and into the ancient kingdom of Aragon before a return to the mountain roads in the high Sierras and a well-earned rest day in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Salamanca.

With cars and crews refreshed, participants then headed towards the river Douro and the Portuguese border before embarking onto the twisty, winding highways of Galicia.

The final couple of days were spent exploring the stunning driving roads through the idyllic rural life of the sparsely-inhabited Picos de Europa National Park.

Among the many, many highlights en route were speed tests at both the Navarra race track and the Fernando Alonso Sports Complex plus vistas of the extraordinary Roman aqueduct in Segovia. A fabulous prizegiving dinner in Santander’s palatial, and exquisitely positioned, Eurostars Hotel Real was another notable peak.

As well as honouring the victors at the gala dinner, Rally the Globe presented two discretionary accolades: the ‘Against all Odds’ trophy being awarded to Beat Erni and Barbara Mahrenholz for overcoming fuelling issues in their 1963 Sunbeam Alpine and the ‘Spirit of the Rally’ award going to Chris and Rita Dillier for their unfailingly cheerful attitude both when aboard their 1930 Ford Model A and when in the bar!

“Driving through the snow-capped peaks of the Picos de Europa under a deep blue sky was an incredible finale to what was an unbelievable rally – I couldn’t be happier or prouder of the team,” enthused Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s vastly experienced Rally Director who had masterminded Carrera España.

“People are always amazed by just how many mountain ranges there are in Spain, all blessed with terrific, traffic-free roads – you really are spoilt for choice when organising such wonderful driving adventures. The spirit shown by all the crews was just fantastic and I’m really looking forward to meeting them all again on some of our future rallies.”

With the next fixture on Rally the Globe’s calendar now only weeks away, Gallagher may not have to wait too long to make some welcome reacquaintances.

The epic Ypres to Istanbul Challenge commences from the Belgian rally capital in mid-June and takes crews on a three-week escapade to the Bosphorus at the far end of Europe.

Running under Rally the Globe’s ‘Challenge’ banner of rally categories, it will be somewhat more adventurous than the Carrera España with the 3,500 miles (5,500 km) route including a wide variety of demanding gravel and unsurfaced roads.

While still in the wake of the pandemic, this year’s calendar is focused on exploring Europe, plans thereafter are more global with even longer Marathon events confirmed for both North America and South East Asia.

Entries for those are already open as well as a chance to pre-register for Rally the Globe’s next Carrera – taking place in June 2023, the eagerly-anticipated Carrera Riviera will journey through la belle France from north to south.

INSPIRATIONAL NEW GENERATIONS RALLY FUELS YOUTHFUL PASSIONS

  • Rally the Globe’s innovative family-friendly adventure wins new admirers  
  • Three days of sun-drenched competition in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Pennines
  • Oversubscribed entry with Frazer Nash and Austin-Healey crews claiming outright victories
  • Significant number of young – and female – participants, many contesting their very first rally 
  • Igniting enthusiasm for forthcoming escapades in Europe, America and Asia

Staged in brilliant spring sunshine, Rally the Globe’s first-ever Generations Rally (25-27 March) has been hailed as a brilliant triumph on all fronts – notably in introducing the wonders of the sport to a new, younger audience. Indeed, it was such a stellar sell-out success that a follow-up event has already been announced for the same weekend in 2023!

While next year’s rally will be based in the north east of England, the inaugural Generations Rally was centered in the poetic English Lake District National Park and also explored the similarly open roads and spectacular scenery of the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines.

Created specifically to ignite the passions of potential future endurance rally competitors – notably those of a younger age – the innovative event was open to driver/navigator crews of distinctly different generations in both vintage and classic car categories. The concept was so well received that all 75 entries were snapped up well in advance with, once again, a prominent number of eager competitors able to travel from overseas: France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland as well as the USA.

Remarkably nearly 50 of the participants were aged under 30 with a significant magnitude of those super-keen female competitors. The youngest of all was Pat Blakeney-Edwards’ son James doing his first rally aged just 13 (photo below FMC122).

When the dust settled, victory in the vintage classification went to retro racer Martin Hunt and his young co-driver James Galliver aboard the former’s sporty 1937 Frazer Nash-BMW 328 roadster (photo above). Among the more recent Classics, the spoils went to Stephen and Alexander Chick in their beautiful 1959 Austin-Healey 3000 Mk1 (photo middle below DSK 496).

In the true character of the rally’s pioneering Generations theme, the Chicks were a father and son crew while 24-year-old Galliver is Hunt’s son Theo’s best friend from school. Endorsing the family-friendly theme, Theo himself teamed up with his mother Olivia to finish third in category in another of the formidable Frazer Nashes.

“It was just fantastic,” enthused an understandably delighted Hunt senior. “The big bonus, of course, was the incredible weather but the route was every bit as spectacular – we travelled though parts of England I never knew existed.

“Although, to ease the passage of newcomers into the sport, the rally was billed as being ‘not too difficult’, it certainly wasn’t a Ladybird book! By the end, it was quite competitive which made doing rather well all the more rewarding.”

To bring novices quickly up-to-speed, tutorial sessions on navigation and endurance rally skills were organised in advance and the short three-day format was cleverly designed to enthuse rather than to alarm new recruits.

Once all the professionally overseen paperwork and mechanical scrutineering checks had been completed on Friday morning, the full capacity field of eye-catching cars set off under an azure blue sky from the luxury Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa hotel, set idyllically on the shimmering shores of Lake Windermere.

Whetting appetites, the afternoon’s route included marvelous views from the top of the Honister Pass and introduced newcomers to the challenges of both Regularity and Speed Tests, the latter staged at the kart track in Rowrah.

Saturday’s itinerary served up a slightly tougher array of challenges for navigators and drivers alike. An unforgettable ride over rolling empty roads of the picture-perfect North Pennines, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, was followed by a well-deserved lunch at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle. Further Tests and Regularities came swiftly thereafter before an even trickier map-based final Regularity – this required increasingly confident crews to plot the shortest route possible between three marked points whilst approaching and departing in the correct direction.

To provide competitors with an early afternoon departure, Sunday’s schedule included a short morning of further Regularities and navigational assignments before lunch and prize-giving back at the event’s Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa headquarters where participants were splendidly hosted throughout.

As well as the coveted sporting awards, two further discretionary gongs were presented to crews that had best captured the effervescence and infectious camaraderie of the event. The Spirit of the Rally accolade went to Nick and Jessica Sleep in their Bentley Supersports and the Against all Odds trophy was awarded to Rory and Ingrid Woodhouse for their stirring efforts aboard a Riley 12/4 Sports.

“It was just a terrific event,” enthused Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s vastly experienced Rally Director. “The Generations concept proved to be a real winner on all fronts. So many parents were clearly not only thrilled to be sharing their passion for these motoring adventures with their children but also delighted to be spending such quality time together.

“It was also impressive to see just how quick and agile young minds are at coming to grips with processing information and multi-tasking often under stress and at speed. Many have already caught the rallying bug and are super-keen to be given another opportunity to put their newly gained skills to the test. And that, after all, was what Generations was all about.”

Much to his surprise, Gallagher was promoted to Clerk of the Course for the event at the last minute after Mark Appleton, the event’s creative architect, sadly tested positive to Covid just days before the start.

“It’s a massive credit to all the great work Mark had done in advance that everything ran so seamlessly over the weekend and also great credit to the strength-in-depth we now have within the Rally the Globe team,” praised Gallagher whose own focus now switches to the next three fixtures on the Rally the Globe calendar, all of which are staged in continental Europe.

First up is Carrera España (24 April – 5 May). Running to Rally the Globe’s much-prized Carrera format with asphalt surfaces and luxury hotels, it explores northern Spain from a starting point in historic Barcelona.

Covering close to 3,500 miles (5,500 km) the following Ypres to Istanbul Challenge (13 June – 3 July) is somewhat more adventurous with the route east including a wide variety of gravel and unsurfaced roads.

The year then concludes with the Vintage Dolomites (24 September – 2 October). Exploring the Austrian Tyrol and Italian Dolomites, it is reserved exclusively for Vintage category pre-1946 cars.

While this year’s calendar is focused on exploring Europe, plans thereafter are more global with Marathon events in both North America and South East Asia already announced. Entries for those – as well as next year’s Generations Rally sequel – are already open.

Video highlights from the Generations 2022 Rally

CARRERA ITALIA: A WINNING TRIUMPH ON ALL FRONTS

  • Latin classic hails the return of international driving adventures
  • Ten days of spectacular action through the Dolomites and Tuscany 
  • Ari Vatanen presents top prizes to victorious TR3 and Frazer Nash crews  
  • Rally the Globe now preparing for full event programme in 2022   

Reigniting passions for international driving adventures, Rally the Globe has rekindled spirits and refuelled rivalries with the incredible Carrera Italia.

Set on some of Europe’s finest roads, the memorable ten day escapade was the not-for-profit club’s first foreign foray since the curtain came down on the pre-pandemic Southern Cross Safari set in East Africa in early 2020.

And, as the prizes were awarded to the winners by rally legend and newly appointed Club President Ari Vatanen, the meticulous efforts of the Rally the Globe team to mastermind such a swift return to overseas action were hailed by all as another massive – and very welcome – success.

The task of planning such a spectacular route with travel restrictions constantly changing was never less than challenging and the ingenious planners had to overcome many logistical difficulties – not least informing no fewer than 574 public institutions about the event and the booking of suitably stunning hotels under the shadow of Covid.

Their painstaking labours, though, were rewarded with a superb entry of 38 pre-1977 vintage and classic cars lined up for the start; these ranged from pre-War Bentleys and Frazer Nashes to more modern Jaguars, Mustangs, Porsches and Volvos. Moreover, emphasising Rally the Globe’s global appeal, competing crews came from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Liechtenstein, Ireland, the Czech Republic and the United States as well as the UK.

Inspired by Italian rally history, Carrera Italia started and finished in sun-drenched Sanremo on the Italian Riviera – home to the country’s round of the World Rally Championship for many years – and ran to Rally the Globe’s much-loved ‘Carrera’ format. These deluxe events feature great asphalt roads and fine hotels with competitive Regularity Sections and Speed Tests mostly set on permanent race circuits.

Exceeding its billing as an ‘Italian classic’, Carrera Italia spanned ten stunning days and 1750 miles (2800km) of unforgettable driving adventure.

The first few days saw the excited participants journey via the Ligurian Alps, Italian Lakes and Barolo vineyards to the resplendent resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo set in the Dolomites (where they encountered unseasonal snow), home of the Winter Olympics in 1956 and co-host again in 2026.

Two nights in the 5-star Hotel Cristallo then provided the perfect springboard for two more days of superb motoring on the stunning mountain roads surrounding Cortina.

The return journey to Sanremo was equally remarkable. Leaving the hills, competitors travelled via the Adriatic coast to San Marino – the world’s oldest republic where an exclusive drive through the magical old town had been organised – and then through the Chianti vineyards of Tuscany before a final overnight stop back on the Mediterranean coast.

Adding further spice, each day’s itinerary included a number of challenging Regularities to test both driving and navigational skills as well as exhilarating Tests at venues such as the Circuito Tazio Nuvolari, Autodromo di Modena and Pirelli’s secret state-of-the-art tyre testing track at Vizzola.

When all the score cards had been totted up, the prizes were presented to the winners by Vatanen, the renowned ‘Flying Finn’.

Completing a famous double after also winning last month’s Highland Thistle Rally, Mike and Lorna Harrison were crowned winners of the Classic category aboard their trusty 1959 Triumph TR3A

“Mike’s driving has been excellent, very good around the tests – particularly in the wet – and we wouldn’t have won without him acing those sections,” revealed a delighted Lorna. “As for the Regularities, there were some fun ones to deal with such as the one [Foza from Valstagna] with 21 hairpins!”

Top honours in the Vintage class went to the 1938 Frazer Nash-BMW shared by first time winners Bertie and Charlotte van Houtte (photo row 10 below in San Marino).

The two Overall victors were joined by class winners – Steve and Jenny Verrall (1965 Porsche 911), Roy and Rachel Stephenson (1973 Porsche 911) and Manuel and Irene Dubs (1965 Ford Mustang V8 Convertible) – and two special discretionary prize winners also given out by Vatanen.

The Spirit of the Rally prize was awarded to Federica Mascetti and Enrico Paggi for their unfailing good humour, helpfulness and fun throughout. And for bringing not one but two beautiful cars to the event having swapped their stricken Alfa Romeo for a more dependable 1967 Mercedes 190 SL after the first couple of days!

The Against All Odds trophy was presented to Ean and Alison Lewin for their efforts in not only keeping their 1973 Ford Escort Mexico on the road despite multiple mechanical issues, but also securing a top ten overall finish.

“Motor cars have given so much to the modern world and using them like this is a fitting way to honour their massive contribution,” declared the ever-enthusiastic and cordial Vatanen who was quick to join in the celebrated Rally the Globe camaraderie.

“To have Ari with us was a just incredible finish to an incredible event,” concluded Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s illustrious Rally Director and one of Vatanen’s co-drivers back in the day.

“I must congratulate the entire Rally the Globe team for delivering such a fantastic adventure in what are still difficult times. The route was just unbelievable and, once again, to be experiencing the wonderful spirit of friendly competition was the perfect reward for all the hard work everyone has put in to reviving such epic events for all to enjoy.”

Rally the Globe returns to Cortina next autumn for the Vintage Dolomites, a shorter but no less spectacular six-day event reserved exclusively for pre-war cars. In the meantime, the club is gearing up for next spring’s Generations Rally set in the English Lake District plus the following Carrera España at the end of April.  Three weeks of June are reserved for an Eastern European adventure with the more intrepid Ypres to Istanbul Challenge.

CLOVERLEAFS SERIES SHORTLISTED FOR HISTORIC MOTORSPORTS AWARD

Rally the Globe are delighted to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Historic Motoring Awards 2021.  The innovative Cloverleaf series of events, that was created as a way to restart rallying after the worst of the pandemic, has been selected as a finalist in the category for the “Motorsport Event of the Year”.  This recognition from the expert judging panel is a reflection not only of the dedication and high standards of the Rally the Globe organising team, but also of the support and faith of our amazing Club Members.  

We are thrilled to have our events recognised in this way, and look forward to the winners being announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 18th November 2021 at The Rosewood Hotel, London.

Photography Highlights from the Cloverleaf Series