• Le Mans icon gives Jaguar its first Rally the Globe win 
• 11 days of epic competition and camaraderie in La Belle France
• From the English Channel to the Mediterranean via the Atlantic coast and Alps 
• Fraser Nash-BMW 328 pairing claim back-to-back Carrera wins in vintage category
• Next up? Two Marathons: Alaska to Mexico and the Road to Hanoi 

Jaguar’s legendary C-type just keeps winning and winning! Its latest victory came on Rally the Globe’s highly-acclaimed Carrera Riviera – an epic 11-day driving adventure through the ever-changing realms of France.

It was a hard-fought, historic and opportune victory for the iconic British sports racer, too. The C-type’s triumph not only celebrated the very first time a Jaguar had ever won a Rally the Globe event but also came exactly 70 years after one of the sublime sports racer’s most famous triumphs. It was in June 1953 that Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt famously won the Le Mans 24 Hours race… but only after a last-minute reprieve from the French organisers allowed the British crew to take the start.

Seven decades on, Carrera Riviera (4-15 June) was an incredible escapade set on some of France’s greatest traffic-free roads taking intrepid participants from the shores of the English Channel to the Mediterranean via the Atlantic coast and Alps.

When the very well-travelled crews finally reached the Côte d’Azur, it was the rare and desirable Jaguar crewed by father and son team Simon and Jack Brien that took top honours in the fiercely-fought Classic category, thus adding yet another prized trophy to the C-type’s never-ending roll of honour. Just 53 C-type sportscars were produced in period and this was chassis number XKC 030.

Remarkably after such an incredible 2,060-mile (3,300km) journey showcasing the very best La Belle France has to offer, the Brien duo actually finished tied at the top of the results with the 1973 MGB GT of Tomasz Dzitko and Beata Siwek. Both crews celebrated under the finishing arch but the Polish pair lost out on a tie-breaker based on the age of the vehicle which awarded the final spoils to the more venerable 1953 Jaguar.

The battle in the Pre-war class (pre-1946) was almost as dramatic with the 1937 Fraser Nash-BMW 328 of Martin and Olivia Hunt just pipping the 1925 Bentley Supersports shared by Graham and Marina Goodwin to the post by the smallest of margins. It was a second successive Carrera victory for the Hunts who also won last year’s Carrera España in the same car.

Running to Rally the Globe’s much-loved ‘Carrera’ format, the Gallic adventure boasted a superb all-asphalt itinerary with visits to private racetracks and circuits during 11 days of great camaraderie and wonderful hospitality set against stunning landscapes.

The outstanding quality of the trip was, perhaps, of no surprise as it had been devised by Rally the Globe’s distinguished Rally Director, Fred Gallagher. What’s more he was ably assisted by Denis Giraudet, a fellow experienced navigator of considerable repute from the upper echelons of the World Rally Championship.

In readiness for the start, a fully subscribed entry of 42 vintage and classic cars (all pre-1977) – plus their excited crews – assembled in delightful Deauville, the most chic and glamorous seaside resort in Normandy. Ahead lay a truly memorable journey through 31 mostly sun-drenched French departments with off-road Speed Tests and other controls along the way to provide the competitive element.

Underlying Rally the Globe’s ever-widening international appeal, the top class entry came from throughout Europe as well as Kenya, Canada, USA and Australia.

From Deauville, the route took participants via the magnificent Chateaux of the Loire valley to La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast, then through the wine regions of Cognac and Bordeaux for a well-earned rest day in Saint-Émilion.

Fully rejuvenated, the cavalcade then headed towards the famous mediaeval city of Carcassonne. From there it was into more serious rally country – notably roads made famous by the legendary Monte Carlo Rally – concluding with a short, twisty descent to the Mediterranean Riviera and the seafront finish in opulent Cannes.

First away from Deauville was the mighty 1917 La France Roadster of John and Catherine Harrison ­– not only the oldest but by far the biggest of the cars on the entry list. With a vast 14,500cc engine under its long bonnet, the chain-driven monster had more than nine times the capacity of the two smallest engine 1600cc cars (1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider and 1973 Ford Escort Mexico) on the entry and was fully 57 years older than the 1974 MGB GT of Philip and Lynda Blunden.

Among the Classics the 1966 Ford Mustang of Rob Collinge and Tony Brooks was among the early pacesetters, however, the American pony car was quickly usurped by the orange MGB GT of Dzitko and Siwek which briefly led before the incredibly rare and desirable C-type rose to the top.

Rally the Globe regulars Graham and Marina Goodwin led the pre-war category in their 1925 Bentley Supersports but the Hunt’s Fraser Nash-BMW was never far behind as the crews sped through the vineyards under bright blue skies on some of France’s finest country roads.

After the summer sunshine, the weather turned wet and misty as the Rally the Globe convoy reached the Courchevel ski resort nestling in the Alps with torrential rain in the mountains forcing a couple of re-routes. As ever, though, the experienced Rally the Globe team came up trumps and kept the show on the road and the celebrations at the finish on La Croisette, Cannes’ world-famous shoreline boulevard.

Although the valiant MG mounted a last-gasp challenge and drew level on the leader-board with the pace-setting C-type as the cars descended from Courchevel, the plucky Poles just couldn’t get in front of the Coventry cat.

As well as Jaguar’s first Rally the Globe victory, it was also Simon Brien’s first win on his first Carrera. “The C-type was just the dream car to drive – it’s absolutely stunning and has so much heritage,” enthused the understandably delighted victor. “Rally the Globe produced an unbelievable route with some fabulous Tests to keep us on our toes. I couldn’t be more appreciative of the 11 amazing days we’ve had – everyone just had a fantastic ball.”

After posting back-to-back Carrera wins among those in pre-war cars, Martin Hunt was equally appreciative. “We’ve had another fantastic event with Rally the Globe,” he said. “Of course it’s always nice to win but much more than that we are all winners as it’s such a delight and privilege just to be a small part of these wondrous driving adventures. We are now already looking at our diaries to book our place on the next Carrera in 2024!”

As well as the sporting awards, two discretionary prizes were also presented. The Spirit of the Rally accolade went to Ean and Alison Lewin in their Escort Mexico while the Against all Odds trophy was handed to John and Catherine Harrison in recognition of their sterling efforts crewing the almighty La France Roadster. The award for the best driver on the Tests went to Neil Smith and Irene Dubs was named as the best navigator.

As the awards were handed out, the ever-gracious Gallagher paid tribute to all who had made the event such a success with a special mention going to Denis Giraudet who’d worked so hard to weave all of those minor roads and Test venues into one rich tapestry.

“Deauville seems such a long time ago but what a great time we’ve had,” admitted Rally the Globe’s Rally Director. “This has been another incredible Carrera and we’ve been delighted with the way it’s been received. A lot of hard work went into the organisation and to see so many people having such a great time makes it all worthwhile. The roads have been amazing, the venues were incredible and the hospitality was sensational. There were some challenges with the weather in the Alps but these only added to the experience and I think we’ll all remember Carrera Riviera for a very long time”.

While harbouring all those great memories, the busy Rally the Globe team has two long-distance Marathon category escapades appearing quickly on the horizon.

First up is the Alaska to Mexico Marathon (27 August-26 September) which is swiftly followed by The Road to Hanoi Marathon (27 January–23 February) early in the new year.

With a sense of real adventure, the former takes participants across 38 lines of latitude from snow-capped mountains to the hot sandy beaches of the Baja Peninsula. The latter promises to be an equally seminal journey through the wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.

For those keen to experience either – or, indeed, both – one final place remains available on the North American expedition after a late withdrawal and there are few remaining places on the South East Asian trip that follows.


• Proven market leaders team up to ignite mutual benefits  
• Platform for increasing overseas awareness for international driving adventures 
• New addition to RM Sotheby’s incredible portfolio of prestigious auctions and events
• Carrera Bavaria – the latest addition to Rally the Globe’s popular ‘Carrera’ series

Rally the Globe is delighted to announce an exciting new and far-reaching partnership with RM Sotheby’s. Both highly-respected organisations are market leaders in their respective fields within the automotive sector.

Rally the Globe is an award-winning organiser of international events for classic and vintage cars and RM Sotheby’s is the world’s leading auction house for investment-quality cars. Now, by maximising the wide-ranging opportunities presented by this enthusiastic new relationship, both eminent brands will be on pole position to further strengthen their reach and influence.

While based in the UK, the acclaimed Rally the Globe team stages driving adventures all over the planet. Indeed, its current calendar includes events in Continental Europe, North America and South East Asia as well as closer to home in both Ireland and mainland Britain.

With an enviable reputation for delivering outstanding driving escapades, all this year’s adventures already boast full entry lists. Nevertheless, with ever-changing economics and demographics, the not-for-profit club is always exploring ways to build on its on-going successes and this partnership with RM Sotheby’s is another significant advance.

“Our profile is growing all the time and this new relationship with RM Sotheby’s will further fuel interest and participation in our portfolio of wonderful events,” enthused Graham Goodwin, Chairman of Rally the Globe (photo above competing in recent Rally the Globe event). “In particular, RM Sotheby’s has a very big presence in both Europe and America – those are two key markets in which we are keen to grow our brand recognition and thus club membership.

“While we have no immediate plans to expand our calendar – and our current events are running at full capacity – we certainly cannot take that for granted in the future. That’s why we are so delighted about this significant new partnership with such a proven champion in its very complementary field.”

Fulfilling the Rally the Globe bill, each year RM Sotheby’s presents a diverse roster of auctions hosted in some of the most prestigious settings across North America and Europe. These include Villa Erba in Italy, Le Mans in France as well as Monterey in The United States. Further emphasising its deep-rooted passion for period motoring, RM Sotheby’s is also title partner of the illustrious London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the world’s oldest motoring celebration.

“RM Sotheby’s has a reputation for partnering with the world’s leading and most exclusive events and is now proud to be the official auction house for Rally the Globe,” said Greg Anderson, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s. “It is through such strong partnerships that we have created a global platform for collector automobiles as well as introducing new audiences to our thrilling hobby. We love great cars – even more so when driven with purpose – and that’s an emotion shared with the Rally the Globe membership.”

Now working with the fervent support of RM Sotheby’s, the Rally the Globe team has a very busy and exhilarating year ahead with two more over-subscribed fixtures on the 2023 calendar. Next up is the Carrera Riviera which runs from Deauville to Cannes through beautiful rural France (4-15 June) and then the epic Alaska to Mexico Marathon (27 August-26 September) set in the ‘great outdoors’ of North America.

Those two highlights are swiftly followed in the New Year by another truly extraordinary driving adventure: the Road to Hanoi Marathon (27 January–23 February). While the 2023 events boast a 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.

Next year’s schedule also features – by popular demand – a third running of the award-winning Generations Rally plus a repeat of this month’s highly-acclaimed Shamrock Rally. Thereafter there is a return to Europe for the newly announced Carrera Bavaria, taking participants through the spectacular landscapes of southern Germany.


• Acclaimed new partnership between Irish Racing Green and Rally the Globe 
• Four-days of epic competition – and craic – on the south coast of Ireland 
• Californian convertible wins on its dramatic event debut 
• Class wins for Bentley, Frazer Nash, MG and Talbot crews
• Next up: Carrera Riviera and Alaska to Mexico Marathon

The striking Kurtis Comet crewed by Jim Gately and Tony Brooks scored a dramatic final day victory on a memorable Vintage Shamrock 2023 after only snatching the overall lead on the last morning of the enthralling rally set in the spectacular scenery of the south coast of Ireland (8-11 May).

Gately attributed his stand-out success to ‘luck’ but, in reality, it was the American’s driving skills paired with the navigational dexterities of his English co-driver which combined to secure an outstanding win after four days of closely contested – yet always convivial – competition.

The pair’s impressive triumph was all the more remarkable as it was their very first entry into the much-loved Vintage Shamrock. Moreover, the big, red, V8-powered Comet roadster with its ‘Made in California’ heritage hardly seemed to be in its natural habitat on the often narrow and twisty highways and byways of the Emerald Isle.

“It’s so big that it’s a bit like driving a boat at times,” admitted a delighted Gately at the finish. “But with its light aluminium body and a solid Ford V8 engine, we do have a great power-to-weight ratio. As to the secrets behind this surprising success, I’d put that down entirely to beginner’s luck!” he said modestly.

Building on the three past successes, this year’s Vintage Shamrock was the first to be organised by the event’s founders, Irish Racing Green, in collaboration with Rally the Globe and came with additional support from expert insurers Chubb and Barrett Private Insurances.

The new partnership proved to be an immediate triumph with Irish Racing Green’s local knowledge and infectious Irish charisma now complemented by Rally the Globe’s proven professionalism. Working together, the pair produced a truly magical driving adventure with the emphasis split equally between some challenging competitive motoring through beautiful landscapes and all-important friendly camaraderie.

Reserved solely for Vintage and Post-Vintage category cars, the Shamrock has always boasted a high-quality entry and this year was no different with a full capacity roster of 60 crews signing up for the craic.

The oldest cars – a Bentley 3/4½, Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and a venerable Vauxhall 30-98 – all dated back almost a century to 1924 while slightly more modern, competition-proven Frazer Nash-BMWs, Rileys and Talbots from the following decade proved popular choices.

Eager crews were initially based in the rural tranquility of the luxurious Faithlegg Hotel, a restored 18th Century mansion overlooking the Suir Estuary close to the historic city of Waterford.

Once all the pre-requisite paperwork was completed and road books together with time cards distributed, the opening day featured an afternoon of action on a cleverly-conceived 78-mile route set in beautiful County Wexford including Tests at the Kiltorcan Raceway, Woodville House and Whitechurch plus a very detailed Regularity close to the village of Campile.

As the cars headed back to Faithlegg – via the Passage East ferry – it was the MG K3 of Clint and Dawn Smith which led the pack, with the Kurtis Comet and the Bentley of Graham and Marina Goodwin in close pursuit, as well as leading their own respective classes.

Five regularities and two Tests were in store for crews on day two, alongside some more spectacular scenery – notably on the deserted roads of the Copper Coast. As ever the driving was enhanced by some superb hospitality as crews travelled towards three nights at the fabulous 5-Star Castlemartyr Resort set amid East Cork’s glorious woodlands.

With the MG K3 slipping down the leaderboard, it was the Bentley driven by birthday boy Graham Goodwin and the rare Kurtis Comet which moved to the top of the timesheets. They now led the 1934 Talbot AV105 of Bertie and Charlotte van Houtte, which had jumped up into a close third position.

Day three was the longest on the road taking in the wonders of the Comeragh, Knockmealdown and Monavullagh Mountains plus the impressive spectacle of the Mahon Falls. The outstanding 146-mile route presented crews with five Regularities and three Tests as well as a series of well-placed Passage and Time Controls.

Despite all the challenges, the top three remained unchanged with the Smiths’ MG fighting back to fourth overall, having slipped to 13th after their promising start.

Though the final day was slightly shorter it was still demanding with three Regularities and four Tests set in and around Dungarvan and Cappoquin before crews could book into the final Time Control and prepare for the prize-giving dinner.

With Graham and Marina Goodwin’s Bentley falling back to third, it was the Kurtis Comet that inherited an unlikely victory with the van Houtte’s green Talbot AV105 finishing as runner-up. Sharing the spoils, the top three all won their respective classes as did the Smith’s MG K3 in fourth and the Frazer Nash-BMW 328 of Martin Hunt and Robert Mannix in fifth.

As well as the overall and class awards, there were also some discretionary honours. Thomas Houlihan and Edel Murphy took the Spirit of the Rally for the combination of their ever-sideways antics and ever-smiling faces aboard their 1937 Riley Special. Meanwhile Elizabeth Heyer and Martin Hunter, who faced a battle to keep their delightful but unpredictable Salmson VAL3 Grand Sport on the road, were rewarded with the Against All Odds trophy for their sterling efforts. Special thanks were also paid to the teams of local marshals whose assistance proved invaluable.

The big winner, though, was the Vintage Shamrock with the exciting new collaboration between Irish Racing Green and Rally the Globe being widely acclaimed as delivering what was unquestionably a really special event of exceptional character.

“The Shamrock is our baby so we were understandably nervous about sharing it but, now the event is over, we are absolutely delighted – it feels more like a marriage than an adoption!” enthused Michael Jackson, one of Irish Racing Green’s three founders. “We very much wanted to keep the flavour of the Shamrock because it is just so unique and very different to other events – we are really pleased that Rally the Globe clearly appreciates that character. It’s clear that we are all signing off the same hymn sheet.”

“They’ve done a fantastic job,” agreed fellow Irish Racing Green founder, Shane Houlihan. “The whole event ran very, very satisfactorily and, by all account, all the competitors had an absolute ball. The weather was kind and the routes chosen were spectacular with some really interesting and challenging driving. You really could not have asked for more.”

Those on the Rally the Globe side of the partnership were every bit as delighted with the new collaboration. “It was a tremendous event,” enthused  Fred Gallagher, Rally the Globe’s hugely respected Rally Director. “The cooperation between us and Irish Racing Green really worked terrifically well.

“Most importantly, the competitors all absolutely loved every aspect of it: the organisation, the hospitality and the friendliness as well as the competition and the scenery – so that was all very, very reassuring. It was so important that we kept the amazing spirit of the Shamrock and, by all accounts, we’ve done just that.”

Though a little disappointed to have missed out on overall victory, Rally the Globe’s Chairman Graham Goodwin was equally pleased with the collaboration. “We were honoured to be asked to join Irish Racing Green to be part of what’s a wonderful creation and it’s very important that we keep Pre-War events like the Shamrock going from strength-to-strength. Ireland is an amazing country in which to rally, the people are fantastic.”

The highly-praised and hard-working Rally the Globe team, though, has very little time to rest on its laurels with two more over-subscribed fixtures fast approaching on the 2023 calendar. Next up is the Carrera Riviera which runs from Deauville to Cannes through beautiful rural France (4-15 June) and it is followed by the epic Alaska to Mexico Marathon (27 August-26 September) set in the ‘great outdoors’ of North America.

Those two highlights are swiftly followed in the New Year by another truly extraordinary driving adventure: the Road to Hanoi Marathon (27 January–23 February). While the 2023 events boast a 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.

Next year’s schedule also features – by popular demand – a third running of the award-winning Generations Rally plus, naturally, a repeat of the highly-acclaimed Vintage Shamrock. Thereafter there is a return to Europe for the newly announced Carrera Bavaria, taking participants through the spectacular landscapes of southern Germany.


Ho Chi Minh City

Motorbikes, motorbikes and even more motorbikes. As you leave the airport at Ho Chi Minh City that is the first thought that enters your mind, everyone seems to own a motorbike. Apparently, it is legal for there to be 2 adults and 2 children on a bike, but that is a minimum as far as I could see.

The drive into the city, even at 06:00 in the morning, shows just how vibrant and busy a place Ho Chi Minh is. The parks were already full of locals taking exercise or just simply taking an early morning walk. The apartments in the city are generally small so people take the chance to get out at any time into one of the many green spaces available, they also escape the heat of the city which builds during the morning.

Our hotel is in a superb location, very close to our planned start venue of the Independence Palace and within walking distance of a number of restaurants and bars. A short taxi ride will take you downtown and offer even more opportunities to eat and drink.

Car collection

Driving in Ho Chi Minh may be a shock to some at first, motorbikes are everywhere and come at you from all angles and on both sides of the road, but somehow it all works. No one gets stressed, everyone avoids everyone else, and you soon settle into the Vietnamese style of driving, just remember to indicate when you plan to change lanes and keep your hand close to the horn button.

You will get your first taste of the driving style when you collect your car from the warehouse, which is a 17 Km drive from the hotel.

Day 1 Ho Chi Minh to Dalat 352 Kms

Starting from the Independence Palace we work our way north, through the busy city traffic, to a race circuit where we plan to run an entertaining test section to begin the event’s competition.

From the circuit we begin to head east using a mixture of roads from wide new roads in an industrial area to quieter village roads to join the main QL20 road which joins Ho Chi Minh to Dalat, our overnight halt.

A stop for coffee has been arranged on the shores of the Dong Nai River, with lovely views over the surrounding countryside. The owner is car mad and is looking forward to welcoming everyone next January.

From the coffee halt we continue inland on country roads before emerging on the main road and turning east towards Dalat. The main road is very populated and sometimes a little slow, but there is no alternative and there is always plenty to see, as every building is a business of some sort. It is often great fun to stop and get some of the local produce, the fruit and vegetables on offer are superb and straight out of the field or garden.

Lunch today will be a very local affair at a small roadside restaurant, but with plenty of parking and some excellent local dishes to try, the food will be good.

To finish the day a short section of local tarmac and dirt roads will provide the first regularity section followed by a drive past the beautiful Edensee Lake on our approach to our overnight halt in Dalat, the largest town in the Central Highlands of Vietnam and known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for it’s temperate climate.

Day 2 Dalat to Quy Nhon 415 Kms

The hotel in Dalat is at an altitude of over 1500 metres and there are magnificent views as the road descends into the fertile valley below. Dalat is one of the main growing areas for fruit in Vietnam and the valley floor is lined with poly tunnels growing the precious crops.

Today’s first regularity section is on a section of gently downhill winding road between villages. One of the big surprises of Vietnam is how many people there are and that they all seem to live next to the road. Most villages are many kilometres long but will only be one building deep.

The region we drive through is famous for the Durian Fruit. This plant gives off an overpowering smell when first opened and is banned from being carried on public transport in Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand. Apparently if you can get past the smell the fruit is delicious.

A lovely little coffee stop, well out in the country, will give crews a chance to catch their breath before another regularity.

Today’s lunch stop is very different. Just a few kilometres off the main road there is a restaurant with its own lakes. We did think about giving crews a rod each and asking them to catch their own lunch, but the owners have promised to catch lunch for us and prepare it, but only just before we arrive so the food is as fresh as it can be.

After lunch the route heads to the east to Nha Trang and the road along the coast of the South China Sea. On the way there are floating villages and huge areas of shrimp farming pens, no wonder the seafood is so fresh here.

Our hotel tonight is just outside the city of Quy Nhon and is on the beach. You can enjoy the sounds of the waves breaking on the beach as you drift off to sleep.

Day 3 Quy Nhon to Danang 323 Kms

Today we follow the coast of the South China Sea as we head north towards Danang using roads through a sandier area, giving another view on Vietnam.

Our coffee stop is in another area of shrimp farms so we will spend some kilometres driving past the tanks in the fields on either side.

Heading a little inland we will enjoy some regularity sections near the town of Phu Thu before stopping for lunch at Tan Loc. The restaurant is on the beach, so the seafood is fresh, and the view is delightful for a leisurely lunch break.

After lunch we continue north but break the journey to Danang by stopping at Hoi An. Google describes Hoi An as follows:

The former port city’s melting-pot history is reflected in its architecture, a mix of eras and styles from wooden Chinese shophouses and temples to colourful French colonial buildings, ornate Vietnamese tube houses and the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge with its pagoda.

From Hoi An it is just a short drive to our hotel for the next 2 nights which is on the peninsular to the northeast of Danang, but the city is close, and you will have a chance to explore it on the rest day tomorrow.

Day 4 Danang rest day

Danang is the fifth largest city in Vietnam and capital of the central region. It lies on the coast of the East Sea of Vietnam at the mouth of the Hàn River and is one of Vietnam’s most important port cities.

Trip Advisor says about Danang:

No other city represents Vietnam’s boom better than Da Nang. It’s become a gleaming, modern tourist magnet, complete with apartments, theme parks, and brand-new resorts. But the city’s earlier charm is still present, including laid-back, friendly locals and incredible street eats. After you’ve stuffed yourself with a bowl of Mi Quang and Banh Mi Ba Lan, walk it off by exploring the limestone caves and Buddhist grottos of the Marble Mountains. Make an escape to the surreal mountain resort of Ba Na Hills, where the majestic Golden Bridge welcomes you with open palms.

Day 5 Danang to Mang Den 342 Kms

We decided to break the journey to the Cambodia over 2 days, as the border crossing we are using closes late afternoon and we wanted to make sure everyone arrived in time.

Today’s route begins with a drive over the Hai Van Pass. This is the highest pass in Vietnam (500m above sea level) and is the final section of the Truong Son Range stretching to the sea. Hai Van means “Sea Clouds”, since the peak of the mountain is in the clouds while its foot is close to the sea.

The “Ho Chi Minh Trail” is currently being worked on after a number of landslides, so is not usable for the event. We will use the motorway south for 120 Kms before heading west towards the border with Cambodia. The highway runs through some typical Vietnamese countryside with some lovely views of the rice fields in this area, not at all the typical boring motorway run.

The route uses a lovely pass as we pass into the Kon Tum Province, the road has great views and will provide strength building for those crews without the luxury of power steering, before we drop down into the town of Mang Den and our hotel for tonight.

Mang Den is currently transforming itself into a second Dalat to try and attract some of the holiday business, it shares the same climate and altitude.

Day 6 Mang Den to Banglun 231 Kms

The final run to the border is over good country roads, with the usual villages for much of the way, although the final stretch is currently being repaired and may be ready in 2024.

The border post is quiet and not well used, but very efficient. There will be a check on the vehicle’s temporary import paperwork and passport control, but these should be dealt with quickly. On the event our Vietnamese agents will go ahead with all the necessary paperwork, so crews do not have to wait for too long while cars and people are cleared for exit.

The Cambodian border is only a few hundred metres further on and there we will be met by the Cambodian agent. Again, formalities will already be taken care of, all the necessary documentation will be sent to the border well in advance, and we will only need to wait a short time for the vehicle import form and visas for our passports. Just a note for those on the event, crews will be handed a white vehicle import form and each person will be given an immigration form, stamped on entry. These are vital pieces of paper and need to be kept safe until needed. You also need to make sure that the passport control has clearly stamped you IN to Cambodia.

Leaving the border post the first thing you will notice is the lack of motorcycles. There are still a lot in use, but nothing like the huge numbers seen in Vietnam.

The final run from the border to the hotel is just under 70 Kms on a decent road with the first chance to experience Cambodian villages. They seemed like those in Vietnam, but the buildings are further back from the road, and were less busy, still good to experience though.

Our plan is to eat in a local restaurant this evening, rather than the hotel, so crews can experience the local dishes. The dinner will be freshly cooked and very different in style and taste to the Vietnamese food of the last few days. I am sure everyone will enjoy the first experience of Cambodia.

Day 7 Banglun to Siam Reap 478 Kms

This region of Cambodia is much flatter than Vietnam and the roads tend to be straighter, which makes finding suitable regularity sections a little more difficult, but a nice section of smooth dirt road will give us some competition for the day.

Cambodian roads are not bad, but only two cars wide, and the local traffic is generally very slow, so progress is not always great, but it gave us a chance to look around.

A resort overlooking the mighty Mekong River at Stung Treng will provide the mid-morning coffee and snack stop and although we won’t have too long to sit and enjoy the views there will be time enough to get a flavour and enjoy something to eat and drink.

Apparently, Cambodia still has both Tigers and Elephants, and although unlikely to see a Tiger, the countryside was perfect Elephant territory so you may get lucky.

A second coffee and snack stop in the town of Preah Vihear, with a good quality fuel station close by, will break the journey, but the stop will not be too long as we want to get to Siam Reap before darkness falls.

The final run in to Siam Reap took us close to Angkor Wat, the world-famous temple site which crews will have the opportunity to visit on their rest day.

Day 8 Siam Reap Rest Day

Angkor Wat is considered to be the world’s largest religious structure and was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II and is dedicated to the god Vishnu.

Time should be found in the rest day by everyone to take a visit.

Day 9 Siam Reap to Nakhon Ratchasima 441 Kms

Today is a border day so an early start will be needed, but breakfast will be ready at the hotel before we leave.

Our route takes us north to the border crossing into Thailand at O Smach, through the area where the infamous Khmer Rouge retreated to as their regime began to crumble.

One feature of the past is a large man-made lake at Chog Kal which was constructed by the Khmer Rouge to try and ensure sufficient water for three rice harvests a year.

The border at O Smach is quiet and the agents on both sides will help crews look after the vehicle paperwork. Everyone will need to have their fingerprints taken at the Thai entry point, but otherwise immigration should be quick and easy.

One thing that can cause a delay is finding the chassis and engine numbers on the vehicle, something for crews to remember for next year, know where they are or make up a metal plate showing the details. One other thing to remember is that Thailand drives on the left, as in the UK and it will take a few kilometres to get used to the change.

Once through the border and into Thailand the change from Cambodia is clear. Thailand seems far more “westernised” than either Vietnam or Cambodia, with instantly recognisable brand names, huge petrol stations and very wide main roads.

This area of Thailand is very flat, so the roads are straight and wide, which makes progress much faster than in the previous countries.

We plan is to use some of the facilities at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram for a test section, together with a lunch stop in the main grandstand. The circuit is amazing and there is also a great Kart track and drift facility on site.

After fun at the track and a nice Thai style lunch we will head for our overnight halt in Nakhon Ratchasima, following the fast straight roads in this area, to get ready for another long day heading north to Mae Sot.

Day 10 Nakhon Ratchasima to Mae Sot 574 Kms

Leaving Nakhon Ratchasima, we head west across the flat straight roads. Corners and junctions are rare in this area, but there will be a nice mixed surface section through a sugar cane plantation to begin the day.

A stop for coffee and the toilets at a PTT fuel station is next on the agenda, we will use these service stations on the event as Passage Controls as they all feature good quality fuel, the ability to pay by credit card, a coffee shop and a 7-11 store to stock up on everything you shouldn’t eat in the car. The toilets are also very good, an important feature on long distance events.

Our next regularity section will be in a quiet area with concrete roads which will make a fun section.

Heading towards the city of Nakhon Sawan, you pass a number of roadside stalls selling sticky rice in bamboo tubes, which is popular with local farmers and truck drivers. The sticky rice is mixed with other sweet ingredients and is known as Thai Valium due to its ability to make you sleep after eating it. Apparently, the farmers eat it so they can sleep in the afternoon then continue work in the evening when the heat has gone. It may be best not to try it as there is still half a day driving ahead of us.

Lunch will be in a quirky café near Nakhon Sawan, before we head into more hilly country on the run in to our overnight halt in Mae Sot, close to the border with Myanmar.

The road into Mae Sot was very slow due to roadworks, but these should be completed shortly and the run in was the first experience of twists and turns in Thailand.

The hotel in Mae Sot was in the city centre and enjoying a walk around the town before dinner should be a nice way to unwind.

Day 11 Mae Sot to Chiang Mai 449 Kms

The route for today uses the road running alongside the border with Myanmar, so expect to see a more visible army presence.

Farmland close to Mae Sot will provide a nice little section on a variety of road surfaces, but the landscape changes as we head north and the roads away from the main road are far too rough and rocky for anything but a 4×4 vehicle. However, the main road is quiet and traffic-free and a really great drive.

On the way north we pass a large Burmese refugee village, populated by people who have fled the regime over the border and co-exist very happily alongside their Thai neighbours.

Our lunch stop today is in a lovely riverside restaurant in the town of Mae Hong Son before we head east towards our next overnight halt in the city of Chiang Mai.

The road from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai has been much improved and is nice fast sweeping road for much of the distance until the outskirts of Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand, and the second largest in the country. It is home to a famous night market, a short distance from the hotel and a large number of Buddhist temples for those wanting something more spiritual.

A rest day tomorrow will give crews the opportunity to explore the city and visit the night market to secure a few bargains to take home with them.

Day 13 Chiang Mai to Nan 354 Kms

Leaving the hotel we will navigate the early morning traffic, which should be not too bad as we are heading out of the city, to a Sports Stadium where we plan to have a test section to start the day.

From the Sports Stadium we head east around the top of the city on fast roads before heading into the Thai countryside again. This area produces rice, garlic and pepper in large quantities, it seems that anything grows in Thailand as the soil is so fertile.

We now head away from the normal tourist routes into some really interesting and challenging roads for some short regularity sections to keep crews on their toes.

One downside of being away from the tourist area is the lack of potential coffee stops, but we found one which was just opening and are willing to cater for the group. However, there is a lot of medicinal cannabis grown and sold in this area, so you may decide to avoid the brownies just in case.

There will be another short regularity section before lunch in the town of Phayao. The area around Phayao is known in Thailand for the dinosaur remains found here, but we didn’t see any as we headed into the town.

Lunch will be taken in a restaurant on the side of a large lake and in February, when the event will be here, the sky is clear, and the views will be lovely.

A final section through rubber trees, with changing surfaces and many junctions should test crews feeling sleepy after their lunch.

We will break the afternoon up by stopping for coffee at a great little roadside kiosk. A short chat with the owner produced a promise of more staff on the day to speed things along. The coffee was really good though.

The final run in to Nan was along good main roads to our hotel for the night, a recently opened hotel with helpful and friendly staff and a large restaurant for the group dinner.

Day 14 Nan to Loei 383 Kms

Today our route will be away from the fast main roads and follow the border with Laos. This area is more remote and should be almost traffic-free and a really enjoyable and entertaining drive on good tarmac roads.

Being a border area there are a number of police/border patrol checkpoints, but these are normally friendly, and the police seem very happy to pose for pictures with the car, probably broke up a fairly quiet day for them.

Being traffic-free and challenging the roads were perfect for some regularity sections and several short sections were chosen.

Once again, being remote and away from the tourist routes and towns meant finding a coffee stop was a challenge, but we will stop at a viewpoint area where the park rangers were happy for everyone to park and enjoy the view into Laos while having a well-deserved break.

Lunch today will be something very different. We will eat at a small local restaurant with a pathway to its own waterfall. The plan is to serve the local delicacy, an amazing dish of chicken, salad and sticky rice, but the owner will produce dishes to serve all tastes and diets.

The afternoon route continues to track the border with Laos, at one point we pass a village half of which is in Thailand and the other in Laos, and through villages, almost all of which had a checkpoint which was not manned.

One feature of the afternoon drive is the number of Dragon Fruit trees, apparently these are easy to grow and produce a profitable crop for many local farmers.

Today finishes in town of Loei with time to enjoy our last night in Thailand.

Day 15 Loei to Vientiane 190 Kms

We want to make sure everyone enjoys the last kilometres in Thailand, so instead of taking a main road route to the border we will head across country to enjoy a last look at this amazing country. Thailand is a real surprise and so different to images conjured up by holidays in Bangkok, Pattaya or Phuket.

After an enjoyable run through empty roads, we emerge on the banks of the Mekong and head east looking over at Laos as we cover the last few kilometres to the border post.

The border is much larger and busier than any we have used before but is very efficient. After having your passports stamped for exit, don’t forget the white immigration slip handed to you as you entered Thailand, then a visit to the customs to have the vehicle paperwork checked and we will be on our way to Laos.

Our next team of agents will meet us at the border and help crews through the process. Although most people will apply for an e-visa before leaving home you will we still need to queue and have your fingerprints taken and an ‘entry permission’ sticker to be added to our passports. Unfortunately, no amount of pre-arrival preparation will shorten this process, but it was, once again, very efficient.

A final visit to the customs window to check the vehicle paperwork and you will enter Laos, the fourth country on this amazing trip.

A short run from the border along one main road will take us to our hotel in Vientiane and the chance to enjoy an early finish and lunch before a chance to explore the city in the afternoon. Tonight there will be a chance to have dinner in one of the many restaurants along the Mekong overlooking Thailand.

Day 16 Vientiane to Vang Vieng 278 Kms

Leaving the hotel this morning the first thing to remember is to ‘Drive on the Right’ after a few days driving on the left in Thailand.

We are planning to have at least one test section close to the city at the start of our journey today before heading out into the countryside around Vientiane.

The region surrounding Vientiane is one of the few areas of Laos that is not mountainous and has a selection of roads, unfortunately many are too rough for anything but a 4×4 vehicle, but there will be a coffee stop in a resort overlooking the Nam Ngum River.

Leaving coffee, we cross the river then head west through rice fields waiting for the rainy season. This part of Laos is dry and has only one harvest a year, so the rains are vital as is the preparation of the fields before they arrive.

We pass by the first dam built in Laos to our lunch halt at a resort currently being re-developed overlooking the reservoir created by the dam. The views are wonderful, and lunch will be some great fresh local dishes. The re-development will be finished later this year and the resort will make a great lunch stop for the event.

For the run in to our hotel there was a choice of two routes, the new Laos-China Expressway, the first part of this road from Vientiane to Vang Vieng having recently been completed, or the old road and enjoy some more scenery. The old road was chosen.

With most of the truck traffic now using the Expressway this is a much nicer approach to Vang Vieng and a chance to take in more that the Laos countryside has to offer.

Our overnight hotel is in the town of Vang Vieng, where an early finish will give crews the chance to have a wander through the town, there is a large market close to the hotel, and a number of ‘Walking Streets’ where no cars are allowed.

Vang Vieng is fast becoming a backpacker’s destination, so the main street has many bars and restaurants worth exploring before dinner.

Day 17 Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang 187 Kms

A later start this morning will allow a more leisurely breakfast before beginning our drive to tonight’s destination, Luang Prabang.

The choice of route today was simple, either the main road number 13, very interesting and challenging but with a lot of slow-moving Chinese trucks, or a road opened in 2014 and currently being renovated, which leaves the main road at the town of Kasi and re-joins shortly before Luang Prabang.

Although the main road looked superb, we do not want the event to get stuck in truck traffic, so we will use the road currently under renovation.

After leaving the main road at Kasi the road heads into the hills and through some amazing terrain, with fantastic views across the valley and beyond. The road is challenging and great to drive, although there were a lot of roadworks which are due to be completed before the end of the year. Some parts will make for a challenging regularity section, and these were duly noted.

A viewpoint at the summit will provide a great location for a coffee stop and a chance to catch your breath and use the facilities, before continuing along the downhill sections of this wonderful road and then joining a road coming from the southwest where it becomes faster.

Just after joining the faster main road, we travel through a village where they are still using Elephants for working in the forests, far more environmentally friendly than a tractor and much better at the job.

Re-joining road 13 just before Luang Prabang takes us through a pineapple growing area before reaching our hotel for the evening, a lovely resort on the edge of the town with a range of activities available for our rest day.

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site It was listed in 1995 for its “unique and remarkably well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries including French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries”. The town also features some great restaurants, bars, markets and a number of attractions for visitors.

Day 19 Luang Prabang to Oudomxay 212 Kms

On our way out of Luang Prabang we plan to use a driver training centre for a short test section to start the day.

The road out of town has some potholes, but this changed as we moved into the countryside and by Laos standards this is a good road.

As this is a mountainous area there are few roads other than the main one, side roads being almost exclusively very rough and water damaged to use, so we need to stay on the main road through some lovely scenery.

After 100 Kms the character of the road changed as we turned onto a Chinese built road which will take us to our lunch stop in a small local restaurant overlooking a valley.

The afternoon route stays on the same main road before arriving at our overnight halt and something very different.

Nam Kat Yorla Pa is a protected forest region along the Nam Pien River and features luxury accommodation in a natural setting with large windows looking out into the wilderness, but a great restaurant and bar to while away the evening. Everyone should arrive early enough to enjoy a walk in the area or enjoy a Spa or relax by the pool.

Day 20 Oudomxay to Dien Bien Phu 215 Kms

Although this is a border day and usually reserved for transit, we couldn’t resist using the road from the resort for a short regularity section before joining the road towards the border and the final border crossing for the event.

The road to the border is an interesting drive, twisty and hilly as expected in a mountain area, but often narrow in places, particularly in villages.

The locals seem to treat the road as their front room as the houses are built almost onto the road and the families then sit, work, cook and play on the very edge, and sometimes even into, the road.

As we drive along the top of the river valley, we could see below floating bridges connecting one village to another and locals panning for gold, no doubt hoping for the big nugget that would change their lives.

A recently opened guest house by the Nam Ou River will be our coffee stop for the morning, the owners are currently building a restaurant on the opposite side of the road which is due to open later this year. They were really excited at the thought of the classic and vintage cars arriving, something very unusual for this area.

However good the coffee is we will need to move on and try to reach the border before they close for lunch around 12:00. Hopefully, the border closing will soon be a thing of the past as the Vietnam border is remaining open which will put pressure on the Laos side to do the same.

When the border is open the process seems quick and efficient, and we left our Laos agents behind and headed to Vietnam.

The 5 Kilometres between the Laos and Vietnam border is interesting, there are houses and also trucks that have clearly been parked for a while as they had strung up makeshift washing lines for their cabs and their clothes were drying well in the sun.

Once we reach the Vietnam border, we will be reunited with our Vietnam contacts who will be there to help crews through the border process. Once across the border we will head to the town of Dien Bien Phu. On the road into the town, we pass rice fields which grow a very famous type of rice, people from as far afield as Ho Chi Minh City travel just to buy bags of the local delicacy.

The name Dien Bien Phu may seem familiar to many people as it was the site of an epic and heroic battle between the French Colonial forces and the North Vietnamese Army. We should have time to visit an excellent museum on our way to the hotel. The museum tells the tale of the battle and features a fantastic diorama of the battlefield and many artifacts, well worth a visit.

Our hotel for the evening is close to the city centre so there will be a chance to explore and enjoy a nice cold beer before dinner. We have an earlier start in the morning.

Day 21 Dien Bien Phu to Sa Pa 318 Kms

Getting out of Bien Dien Phu should be easy with little traffic, but it might take a while to readjust to the number of motorbikes and the rather eccentric driving of the locals.

A nice quiet backroad away from the main road will be the site of our first competition of the day, it is also a great drive out into the countryside of Northern Vietnam, and you will experience real life as we drive past villages and schools.

A quick coffee and fuel stop is next on the agenda and a new coffee shop with nice views was found. Unfortunately, their coffee machine was away being mended but they promise it will be back in time for the event. If not then try an excellent Mango Smoothie instead and some sunflower seeds, which seemed to be a local speciality.

The local ethnic Thai population settled in the area some generations ago, and the women wear their hair in a bun on top when they are married, a clear sign to any potential suitors. They also wear their crash helmets over this bun, which is a very strange sight indeed.

The rest of the day I can only describe as a truly epic drive through some amazing scenery, past tea plantations and over twisting, winding, wonderful roads.

At the end of such and epic day it is only right that we should end it in an epic hotel, and we did. The town of Sa Pa is vibrant and colourful and will be a great base for the next two nights.

Day 23 Sa Pa to Ha Giang 295 Kms

Leaving the splendour of the Sa Pa hotel behind we will head once again into the countryside of Northern Vietnam.

In the middle of the town of Lao Cai we turned right at some traffic lights, had we turned left we would have been at the Chinese border, and then use a road along the river the other side of which is China. You can see stretches of wire fencing, but whether that is to keep the Vietnamese out or the Chinese in is a good question.

Having cleared Lao Cai we will drive some more regularity sections. The second is over narrow concrete roads through a plantation and is very different to anything we had driven on before.

A short break and a chance to get a cup of coffee will be provided by a local garden centre, a chance to look at some exotic plants and maybe arrange delivery back home.

The maps for this area show a series of roads, but these are either very rough dirt or narrow concrete roads with big unguarded drops, neither of which are suitable to use.

After lunch at the Panorama Restaurant, well named for the spectacular views from the terrace, we continue around a long loop through the countryside which includes another one or two regularity sections before crossing a Bailey Bridge for the final few kilometres to the main road.

The road is currently under repair, and we had a slow and challenging few kilometres before finding good tarmac again, things should be much better next year.

The time spent driving slowly was not entirely wasted as we were able to watch the locals collect and stack large sheets of very thin wood into neat piles. We asked a local what they were used for, but all he could tell us was that they were destined for China but had no idea what they were used for.

Having finally re-joined the main road and good tarmac the run in to Lang Son for the hotel went quickly, with just a stop at a police checkpoint on the way, and a chance to refuel before an early start in the morning.

Day 24 Ha Giang to Lang Son 377 Kms

Today we were faced with a simple choice of routes. Go via the expressway and Hanoi or the shorter, slower but far more interesting countryside route. There was really only one decision to make, the countryside won.

The QL34 road is just over 200 kilometres of good tarmac that twists and turns its way through the northern Vietnamese countryside, with amazing views and plenty of villages to see the locals at work.

The town of Cao Bang marks the end of the QL34 and it will feel strange to join a huge 8 lane straight road after so many kilometres of twists and turns.

Our agent had recommended a buffet restaurant which had recently opened in the outskirts of the town, and we will stop there for lunch, what an amazing place. Each table has its own built in BBQ in the centre, and diners help themselves to raw seafood and meat to cook themselves, or they can choose from some cooked dishes if they prefer. After the long drive it is a great place to enjoy a leisurely lunch before the final run to Lang Son.

After the twists and turns of the QL34 it will be nice to join a faster main road for the final part of today’s journey to our overnight hotel in the city of Lang Son.

On our route to the overnight hotel, we drive through the town of Dong Dang, which is the gateway from Vietnam to China for goods in this region. The queue of trucks stretches for many kilometres, thankfully in the other direction to the one we are heading in, but you do wonder just how long some of the drivers must have to wait to get across the border.

Our hotel for tonight was a lovely colonial style building in the centre of Lang Son and with a shorter day tomorrow a chance to have a later start will be very welcome.

Day 25 Lang Son to Halong Bay 221 Kms

Our final competitive day of the event and much studying of maps, Google Earth and local advice was used to try and give a final “sting in the tail” to the event.

We are now out of the mountains and into the flatter country close to Hanoi, so the number of people and villages has increased making it difficult to find suitable roads for competition.

We found a really wonderful concrete road, which will be a challenge for all after which a coffee stop would have been a good idea. Unfortunately, there were no sensible options available so we will use a filling station with decent toilets and will think of a way to provide crews with some refreshments.

Google Earth suggested trying a small road running through the hills towards the coast and the first part was superb. A lovely concrete road, made a little muddy and slippery by recent rains, was a great reward before finishing the section before a village. After the village the road changes and is currently being upgraded. The road WILL be good, when they finish rebuilding it, which is due for completion at the end of August, the amount of machinery and people working on the road would suggest that this timeframe is correct.

The road will make a great final section of the event as it heads through the hills before reaching the main road and a final run to the coast.

Our home for the next two nights is the resort town of Halong Bay, used by many Hanoi residents for both weekend and annual holidays. One highlight will be a boat trip around the many islands in the bay and a chance to swim, go kayaking or just relax with a drink on the boat.

Enjoy the rest day before our final run in to the finish in Hanoi.

Day 27 Halong Bay to Hanoi 153 Kms

We wanted to make sure the final days driving was as easy as possible so crews could get to the finish, drop their cars off at the shippers and be in the hotel with plenty of time to get ready for the prize giving dinner in the evening. The only sensible option is to use the expressway.

Although we had seen many motorbikes in other towns and the countryside it was still a bit of a shock to see so many in one city, a reminder of how it had been at the start of the event in Ho Chi Minh City. Once again, however, everyone avoids everyone else and the system seems to work, you just need a little patience and a working horn.

We have looked at a number of options for the finish venue and our agent is working hard on these, more news to follow.

It will be a truly memorable journey lasting 27 days, covering 4 countries and 7,000 kilometres, but thankfully only one time zone. Let us all look forward to January 2024.


  • 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.


Part 1 – Anchorage AK to Boise ID

Monday 1 August saw me get up at first light and take a taxi to Heathrow for the long couple of flights to Anchorage, Alaska, to meet up with Sarah Ormerod and her brand new Toyota Tacoma truck and begin the first recce for Rally the Globe’s epic Alaska to Mexico Marathon Rally. Due to the time difference, my Monday lasted 32 hours and it was around 10.00 pm local that I arrived at the hotel and fell into bed. Luckily, I had no jetlag (that was waiting for me on my return!) and slept soundly until breakfast time.

After a day sorting out the start location and prepping Sarah’s Tacoma with two Monits, a Garmin 276, an iPad with Pocket Earth for mapping, TomTom for city centre navigation and a cool box filled with water and “emergency rations”, we left Anchorage, the last big city we would see for almost two weeks.

Less than 40km out of town the scenery became spectacular and the quiet roads a joy on which to drive. We got a warm welcome at Alaska Raceway Park, a splendid complex which will be a great place to start day one’s competitive action. The stunning scenery continued to the event’s first regularity section, 15 km of smooth gravel over a gentle pass amidst snowy peaks and ice-blue lakes in the Talkeetna Mountains.

We hope to run a test at a roadside speedway later that morning, before an early lunch will be taken just up the road, followed by the long but spectacular drive north, with a planned Passage Control at one of the best viewpoints for Mount Denali (formerly McKinley). Our final stop of the day was at a magnificent brewery complex with excellent light food, a variety of drinks and lots to see, so the schedule will be such that these can be enjoyed by all. From there it was onwards to Fairbanks, at almost 65 degrees latitude, the most northerly point of the event.

Day 2 heads south and east, direction Canada and The Yukon. The weather was still magnificent, and we followed the Tanana River for miles marvelling at the tens of thousands of logs floating in the opposite direction, towards the Yukon River. The Denali mountain range was still visible in the distance and stops for photographs were plentiful. We found a short-but-sweet gravel regularity before morning coffee in a welcoming establishment, from which it was 175 km following the Alaska Highway to Tok (pronounced toke) before turning off onto the Taylor Highway towards Chicken. Chicken features strongly on the map of Alaska but is in reality a collection of wooden cafes, souvenir shops, a single gas pump and some very welcoming people. We found a splendid location for a late lunch and the best coffee of the trip so far, before joining the gravel Roof of the World Highway with its smooth surface and wonderful vistas. Sixty-six kilometres later we were at the Canadian frontier, before an amazing 105 km of gravel took us down to the Yukon River and a small ferry into Dawson City. The town has an amazing frontier feel and we expected to see John Wayne on every corner. We decided to pass on our hotel’s Sourtoe Cocktail however, a drink with a mummified human toe….

A terrific regularity starts off the following day, after which we saw our first black bears. “Bear Right” became the day’s most overused navigational instruction and I sensed I was alone in the truck in finding that funny…. We emerged onto the Klondike Highway and there was a real “middle of nowhere” feel with infrequent, isolated fuel stations sometimes with an associated simple diner. We later found a peach of a regularity that followed a lake shore for a considerable distance. The surface was great despite the road disappearing from the map from time to time! The final stop of the day in Carmacks has fuel as well as the best stocked store we had seen, so this place was quickly identified as our final Passage Control before descending into Whitehorse. This town was a real surprise with a good selection of bars and restaurants, so we have set aside a free evening for people to explore.

Every foodie website had the Alpine Bakery at the top of its list, so we stopped there for breakfast coffees and croissants and a picnic takeaway for lunch. After getting back on gravel we found a challenging regularity with a fox standing guard on the start line (he couldn’t guarantee he would be there next year however). Ten changes of direction in 22km will reward those who had a quiet Friday night!

In the Yukon, Carcross Desert is a little taste of Arabia more than 60 degrees north of the equator. Our selected brunch stop is at a resort on the shores of a beautiful lake, before heading back on the Alaska Highway where fuel stations were as rare as ever, the rally will be advised to fill up wherever they can. At Teslin we discovered our first long metal grid surfaced bridge and the Tacoma had a bit of a mind of its own as to which way it should go. We look forward to reports of how older, narrower tyres fare… Side roads that do not finish in a dead end are very rare in the area but we did identify some sections of old road running parallel to the highway that we have deemed to be run as tests. Short but fun, with the route into our night halt in Watson Lake following on from this.

Sunday morning dawned dry with fluffy white clouds and blue skies. Before setting off for Fort Nelson we had a look at the Signpost Forest, where thousands of signposts from all over the world have been fixed, right next to the Tourist Information Centre. We thought it would be fun to do something with the rally cars there, and a helpful lady we met showed us a function room capable of hosting a rally dinner. Plans are currently being hatched for dinner in Watson Lake, so stay tuned for more details nearer the time.

The Yukon had impressed us both with its beauty, remoteness and sheer size, and now we were entering British Columbia, although amazingly there was no sign to denote either province. As we headed south we were both scanning side roads for a potential test or regularity and 75 km later one presented itself on our left. Test 5-1 “The Compromise” is a combination of Sarah’s ambitious ideas of driving down steep inclines into dry rivers, and my cautious almost straight short gravel track plans! The scenery was getting even more spectacular and we frequently stopped for photographs in a stunning valley where we saw mountain goats, buffalo and some moose. Enough bridges of various construction to satisfy the most ardent pontephile (we made the word up but think it should enter common usage) before we rolled into Fort Nelson.

First thing Monday morning we investigated a promising looking loop road marked on our long out-of-print British Columbia road atlas. The gravel road was smooth, wide and fairly fast but definitely a good wake up test to start the day. The really amazing bit came right after the end of the section, however. Without giving too much away let’s just say that various means of transport converge on one spectacular, breath-taking point. Back on the Alaska Highway we were both taken by with the wide, green verges and plentiful, now deciduous trees. On another exceptional gravel section, thirteen changes of direction in 20 km will keep the navigators busy before re-joining the great highway again. The final gravel section of the day was 25 km round Inga Lake, my favourite of the day although Sarah preferred the previous one. Like so many things on the recce we agreed to differ! We plan to run a couple of tests in Fort St John with the friendly folks at the Northern Lights Raceway, before our descent into Dawson Creek. With a decent hotel, plentiful garages, bars and restaurants we decided this would be the place for a non-driving day, both on the recce and the rally.

After a day of scanning road books, writing up notes, laundry and truck washing, we headed west the following morning, remarking on the spectacular views at Pine River. We found a beautiful gravel road skirting Moberly Lake, well defined on both the paper map and Google… and then the road deteriorated. The Satnav said “Go straight” but there was a two-metre-deep ditch across the road. With lots of other roads in the area we were unconcerned – as the crow flies the asphalt main road was less than five kilometres away – but four hours later we were still looking. At one point we crossed a stream on a rudimentary, two-plank “bridge”. I congratulated Sarah on her skill and bravery and got a tense reply of “I wouldn’t want to do that again”. Five hundred metres later the road disappeared completely, and she had to repeat the manoeuvre! At least this time I got to video it correctly. We eventually retraced our steps over 100km back to Chetwynd where we arrived at around six in the afternoon to discover not a single hotel had any availability, so reluctantly we carried on to our planned stop in Prince George, almost 400km ahead. We phoned the excellent Coast Hotel to tell them we would be arriving very late and the wonderful staff arranged for hot soup and a bottle of wine to be waiting for us in the ready to close bar.

Heading south out of Prince George we quickly turned off the main road and after 40km found some fast, smooth gravel. After half an hour or so things started to get twistier and we pulled into a lay-by on the shores of Cleswuncut Lake to plot a regularity start and stretch our legs. That’s when I noticed the rear right tyre was deflated. Sarah’s foresight in buying an extra spare steel rim and tyre before leaving home in New Mexico suddenly seemed like a very good idea. In no time at all she had the bottle jack under the rear spring, wheel nuts were loosened, and the spare wheel mounted. At no time did my chinos get dusty…..

Back on the road the regularity was scenic and we continued to follow the gravel for a further 65km before arriving in the town of Quesnel, where a pair of potential tests were plotted at the end of the aptly named Racing Road. We lost further time with a closed road that caused a 50km detour, but found a great rally lunch halt in a roadside micro-brewery which serves light plates of food. As we continued south, the scenery was getting ever more spectacular and a final gravel section of the day was identified at Edmund Lake. An afternoon coffee stop was found opposite a wonderful antique store which had a couple of old cars out front, including an Austin Metropolitan, a car my father taught me to scorn from an early age! Due to our lateness that evening, we ended up with a Chinese delivered to the hotel – one of the most welcome home-delivery meals of my life!

It very much felt we had now left the wide-open spaces and “new-frontier” feel behind, with towns and villages much more frequent and quite a wide choice of roads to take. Mid-morning Sarah spotted what looked like an old race circuit on our right. We found a wonderful, time-warp, oval raceway, and the proprietor of the wood frame business in the former paddock could not have been more welcoming – so we plan a test in the style of 1960’s NASCAR racing. In the middle of Canada’s extensive but somewhat unknown wine area, we discovered a splendid winery where we hope to have a lunch stop. As our route continued, we stumbled across an extensive motor sports facility where negotiations to use the track are ongoing. From there it was a short drive to the stunning lakeside town of Osoyoos, our last night in Canada.

It was only four kilometres from our hotel to the U.S. border and a swift customs check. Our first 25km gravel section in the Okanogan Forest in Washington State was very similar to that which we had experienced in British Columbia, but things then quickly changed. The Western-style store in Riverside on the back road along the Okanogan River got our attention and that was quickly followed by what we both agreed was the finest regularity section of the event so far. We capped it at 30km but could happily have carried on for the same distance again. The vistas had become large again and there were wonderful rock formations to be seen on all sides, before a twisty, climbing road over the well-named Punish Mountain. We will wait and see what a further winter, and hopefully Springtime regrade, does to this road before letting the 48 Hour Car crew decide if we use it. The views are extraordinary, and this is a Marathon event so the chances are high. From there it was an easy drive into Leavenworth, a German-themed village with Bierkellers, Lederhosen and Alpine Horns as far as the eye could see.

With a swift “Auf Wiedersehen” we left early next morning, direction Walla Walla. We tried a back road over a mountain but after a promising start it deteriorated into a poor cart track and we abandoned it. We did find a splendid race circuit that was unattended, however, the local gun club were present in force and Sarah, as a former resident of Detroit, kept diving for cover. Back in safety we found Jim Smith Road and felt compelled to run a regularity over it and an adjoining gravel road. A longish flat run found us surprisingly on the edge of a canyon surrounded by vines. A bit too early for a tasting we settled for a coffee….honest. We were now heading due east following Crab Creek, a splendid dirt road. A short test was found just off to our right before the “No Horse Settlement” of Corfu which was totally deserted. Our plans for a Passage Control with sun-loungers and beach balls didn’t seem to amuse our colleagues nearly as much as they did us! We stuck to the back roads and found a wonderfully twisty road through a canyon before emerging onto Highway 12 for a few kilometres. This leg of the rally will be the starting point for the second recce, so we decided to go directly to Walla Walla, the centre of the Washington State wine industry with 30 or more tasting rooms within a short walk of our excellent hotel. Competitors on the rally will have a free day to sample the wonderful local wines and explore the many restaurants.

And so to the final day of this particular recce and the road to Boise, Idaho. Our plan was to investigate a few potential regularities in Oregon and this we successfully did before stopping at the quirky Blue Banana coffee shack that has a Volkswagen Beetle embedded in the back wall! A definite stop for the event. We had plans to reward ourselves with a fine dinner in town but the hotel bar, situated on the banks of a river, had three gentlemen of a certain age playing Van Morrison style blues so we sat in the open air with fish and chips and a bottle of Idaho’s finest red wine as the sun went down on a very successful recce.

Part 2 – Leavenworth WA to Tucson AZ

Having completed the recce from Anchorage, Alaska to the Canadian border, and a little beyond, back in August, it was time to continue through the 48 States and take things as far as the Mexican border.

My wife Hayley and I boarded a British Airways 787 at Heathrow on the morning of September 19th bound for Seattle on the Pacific coast in Washington state. With an eight-hour time difference it felt odd to arrive just before midday and the afternoon was spent exploring the city and desperately trying to stay awake.

After a good night’s sleep, we woke early and picked up our rental SUV, a Chevrolet Traverse with four-wheel-drive to cope with the gravel roads we hoped to find. We proceeded directly to Leavenworth where we had unfinished business after the first recce. One of our local competitors had kindly researched a road that we had seen on the map, but didn’t have time to explore, and it was a winner. Car and driver coped well with the sinuous gravel tracks and we arrived at our hotel looking forward to the days and weeks ahead.

Wednesday morning began almost immediately with a new section over the mountains directly east of Leavenworth and we saw what was to be the first of many “Big Views”. Once we descended into the valley, fruit trees were everywhere and continued to be so for the next couple of days. On reflection, the test next to the very active gun club didn’t seem such a good idea so we headed on to the “Jim Smith Road” regularity where once again I missed the tricky left turn onto gravel. Be forewarned! A fairly fast section then took us to our proposed brunch halt in a very large winery before we headed south to a long gravel section through Crab Creek. Along the way an abandoned side road will be used for a short test. Alternating gravel and asphalt took us through lovely, rolling countryside where we took a quick stop amongst the peach trees. A very twisty road on the map turned out to be a track in a canyon following a stream for 12 or so kilometres. A wonderfully stocked, massive general store a short distance away will be the perfect venue for afternoon refreshments before a pleasant run through farmlands on the back roads to Walla Walla where the rally will have a free day to sample the splendid local wines.

Almost immediately after leaving our hotel we passed into the state of Oregon. The Lincoln Mountain Highway regularity covered 22 kilometres of relatively smooth gravel with big views off to our right. Morning coffee will be taken in a tiny café with a Volkswagen embedded in the rear wall, and a small aeroplane in the roof, while serving the best coffee we experienced all trip. Luckily, we took fuel in the small town of Joseph as it would be 150 kilometres before we saw another station. Our route through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest was all twisty asphalt and we plan a self-catered lunch at the spectacular Hell’s Canyon Overlook where the local magnetic fields caused our Monit to keep counting even when we were stopped! We descended to the impressive Snake River that forms the boundary between Oregon and Idaho. In the latter state we found some smooth gravel roads through big farms as we headed due south to our hotel in the state capital, Boise.

Next morning the superb Immigrant Road took us over the Danskin Mountains and into Sun Valley. We took a short detour to visit Castle Rocks before descending into the Snake River Plain, our first really flat landscape since leaving Canada. The lure of the mountains to our left was too much, however, and we headed briefly northeast to introduce Hayley to the upmarket town of Hailey. Back on the plain we positioned a Passage Control amongst the lava fields of the Craters of the Moon Wilderness. Nearby Arco was apparently the first city on earth to be powered by nuclear energy. There are a number of disused reactors nearby and a raceway in the very strange settlement of Atomic City, population 29…. From there a short drive due east took us to Idaho Falls.

Tuesday is a short day for the rally competitors as we are heading to lively Jackson Hole. We identified a couple of test venues first thing before a fairly long forest regularity on gravel. Then, after passing into Wyoming, we stopped to admire the view from the Teton Pass at 2,570 metres above sea level. The rally may have a free afternoon, but we headed on south for what was to be a frustrating 24 hours of recce. The scenery was terrific as we followed the asphalt all the way to Alpine where we turned onto gravel. The road was wonderful for about 30 kilometres until we arrived at a junction where there was a lonely fisherman. I tried to catch his attention to enquire about the road conditions, but he couldn’t hear me. Our usually reliable map suggested the road ahead would become asphalt. In fact, it deteriorated massively, and we were forced to retrace our tracks back to Alpine and follow a rather tedious road to our booked accommodation in Afton, near where we expected to emerge from the back roads. The best option we could find for dinner was a Burger King that Hayley and I ate on the patio of the Holiday Inn Express. It’s not all glamour on recce.

Early next morning we came up with a totally new plan. Back to Alpine for the third time, we noted a possible alternative asphalt route before approaching what we now referred to as Fisherman’s Junction from the other direction. That road, that looked totally unpromising on the map, turned out to be fabulous and by midday we had a terrific route plotted. We were by now well behind schedule and heading due south on a cloudless evening proved very challenging for the driver with the setting sun in her eyes. We crossed into Utah in the dark and wearily found our intended hotel in Park City.

The hotel proved to be fine for the recce but not suitable for the rally itself, so we spent a few hours the next morning looking for an alternative, something we found in nearby Heber City. The only way to avoid the traffic of Salt Lake City seemed to be a doubtful looking gravel road over the wonderfully named Baldy Mountain but when we got there it was freshly coated in the smoothest asphalt. This was shortly followed by Skyline Drive where we stopped a planned regularity early so that competitors can enjoy the wonderful views. South of Huntington we found ourselves on wide, smooth gravel roads that sped us over a dusty plain that seemed to stretch to the horizon. An intriguing twisty road featured on the map and suddenly there was a bend sign and the road descended into a magnificent hidden canyon. I won’t say much more, but this was one of the absolute highlights of the entire route. A fast road took us to Moab and the scenery just kept getting better and better.

Like the rally we took a day off from driving in Moab. The town is full of 4×4 rental companies and big-tyred Jeeps are everywhere. It became apparent that these all follow pretty much the same, well-trodden trails so we spent some time rescheduling our route ahead to combine maximum spectacle with minimum traffic.

First thing Saturday morning we headed for Geyser Pass in the La Sal Mountains. At over 3,200 metres (10,500 feet) this is the highest point on the entire route. From there it was but a short drive, with a test scheduled along the way, to the Needles Overlook where the views of the Canyonlands National Park and the Colorado River took our breath away. A charming lunch spot was noted in Monticello. The day ended with us following the spectacular Comb Ridge along a challenging gravel road as far as Bluff where we will stay surrounded on all sides by impressive rock formations.

Our chosen route the following day turned out to be unacceptably rough, so we turned and approached the Valley of the Gods from the southeast rather than the northwest. This had the advantage of the early morning sun lighting the amazing landscape in a perfect manner. We took morning coffee in the wonderfully named settlement of Mexican Hat on the San Juan River. We then found gravel roads in the Navajo Indian lands that will form the basis of an interesting Time Control section before descending to Page and the impressive Glen Canyon Dam. The day’s final timing point will be at a historic motel in Kanab, allowing competitors to take their time as we travel west through the Zion National Park to Springdale and our final night in Utah.

We headed into Arizona, our final US State of the trip, and quickly became confused. Passing through the many Indian Reservations along the way, the automatic clocks in our rent truck and GPS kept changing. It turns out that those Native American Reservations all run on different time to the rest of Arizona.

We will pick a time for the rally and stick to it. We found a lovely regularity through Warm Springs Canyon before coffee at Jacob Lake. We headed east to Marble Canyon and crossed our old friend the Colorado River before heading due south towards Flagstaff. Along the way we plotted anther Time Control section west of a settlement called The Gap. “Mind the Gap” as they say on the London Underground! Flagstaff was the biggest city we had seen since Anchorage, and we started to get the feeling that this sector of the recce was almost over.

Heading south next morning on the final leg of this trip we were on the lookout for interesting gravel roads. After a few disappointments, Fire Control Road, after coffee in Pine, was a good choice. Soon after we saw our first proper cactus, and then a gravel section over Cactus Butte where there were literally tens of thousands of the things. This was a challenging road in parts, but Hayley considered it unmissable, and we did see a brand new Chevrolet Camaro at a trail head in the middle of the section.

Those competitors looking for an easier afternoon can take the asphalt on the west side of Theodore Roosevelt Lake and soon re-join the official route. From there it was a simple drive down to Tucson and the luxury of the Hacienda del Sol Resort, where we reflected on a tough but rewarding couple of weeks.

Part 3 – Tucson AZ to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

As RtG’s West Country Cloverleaf event was ending in Taunton, Somerset I was aboard an American Airlines Airbus en-route to Tucson, Arizona, via Dallas. Arriving mid-afternoon, Sarah Ormerod and her trusty Toyota Tacoma picked me up and we headed for the Hilton in the east of the city. Despite the hour, our rooms were not ready, so the ever-resourceful Sarah guided us to a nearby Mexican restaurant where a couple of margaritas and a large plate of fajitas put us in the mood for the food and drink to come. Realising at 9.00pm that it was 24 hours since my alarm had gone off back home in Farnham, I called it a night.

After a solid night’s sleep, we met for breakfast. To my surprise there was a toaster that actually worked, a rarity in American hotels of all grades. Sarah and her geologist father Steve had already made the roadbook to the day’s first test, a great kart circuit on the city’s southern flanks. On the way in I noticed a NASCAR oval circuit almost directly opposite. I suggested we turn in, a move firmly resisted by my driver who claimed to have spent many hours of her life emailing and calling without ever receiving a reply. Since the gate was open and there were signs of life, I insisted we give it a go which did not go down well with my colleague. Ten minutes later Sarah was demanding I took shots of her with her new best friends as they exchanged phone numbers amid promises of life-lasting friendship, wonderful on-track action, and a guest appearance by the legendary Hershel McGriff, the oldest man to start a NASCAR race at the age of 90! The kart circuit will be fun too…..

All too soon we headed south. We cut a corner on a 40-kilometre gravel section through Native American country that led us to the small settlement of Why, where we were disappointed that the locals had not foreseen our plans for wonderful business names in the community, that had kept us laughing for miles. An open stretch of land to the south of the town will be the venue for a test where we expect Mark Appleton to come up with a layout worthy of the name ‘Why Knot?’.

From there it was a simple run to the border despite entering the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument where the giant prickly things looked exactly the same as they had all day. The border itself was a shock since we didn’t stop! No one wanted to see papers, passports, or anything else, probably due to us being in a US registered truck. We spent the next 20 minutes waiting to be stopped and sent back, before relaxing, and then bemoaning the lack of Mexican stamps in our passports. It was then a simple run to Puerto Peñasco, where our hotel was surprisingly good, and the welcome from top management even better. A staff “Day of the Dead” costume competition, and a couple of tequilas later, we knew we were now in Mexico with Cabo in sight.

Bright (well maybe not, after an evening sampling the bars of “Little Beirut” by the hotel), and early we set off following the Sea of Cortez on our left. The scenery was like nothing so far encountered with sand spits over the road from time to time and vast salt flats that I know from my Dakar days as Chotts, but Sarah tells me are known as Sabkahs in the Gulf. The pre-asphalt, old road was visible from time to time, so we enlisted it as an unusual regularity section.  After some spectacular rock formations, we skirted the southern flanks of the city of Mexicali, home to over 200 Chinese restaurants! There we discovered that every urban junction in Baja has a stop sign that the locals mostly ignore – we christened them “Stoptional” and came up with a new mnemonic for the road book, S.O.T.M.S.S. – “straight on through many stop signs”, a cousin to S.O.T.M.T.L. – “straight on through many traffic lights”….. Soon we were free of population and traffic as we headed south. Interesting roads beckoned but mostly proved to be full of false promises, petering out into fields of rubble. Gradually we became aware of what looked like rally service trucks and found ourselves amongst competitors ‘pre-running” the route of the Baja 1000. We admired the 1000 bhp trucks with several feet of suspension travel before soliciting the advice of the navigators as to which roads might just be passable for us. It turns out that a big hurricane in 2021 washed out many roads and the authorities are still working to repair the damage. More on this later when we meet Pedro Lopez. San Felipe’s pompously named Grand Marina Hotel turned out to be anything but, and we vowed to find a better option for the rally on our way back north, a few days hence.

Heading south along the coast we soon found our new rally friends from the day before and followed their tracks for a few kilometres to create a navigationally interesting regularity. Morning refreshments will be taken at CowPatty, a beach shack that is too eccentric to describe, as were both the barman and owner, an old Californian hippie who never went back. A couple more tests on the old road running parallel to the asphalt kept us amused before approaching Coco’s Corner, a legendary place for Baja 1000 competitors. Coco is sadly no longer with us, his shack has fallen into even greater disrepair, and the old gravel Highway 56 is now impassable so we followed the excellent new asphalt through the mountains to our midday halt. A surprisingly good sandwich appeared from an unpromising looking kitchen before we were quickly on our way. With an epic gravel section to go we decided to be sensible so changed plans and found rooms in Bahia de Los Angeles. The small hotel was excellent and the views amazing, the whole place reminding me of the Kenyan coast 40 years ago.

The following morning, we were straight into a 180-kilometre long gravel section, the very essence of a marathon event. The roads will need some attention before we arrive but there were signs of works beginning. Wonderful views, hidden ranches and spectacular cacti will make this a section never to be forgotten. From there it was a very short drive to Guerrero Negro where the hotel was surprisingly good, the tyre shop very helpful, the fuel station dog very happy to have some leftover food, and the margaritas the best yet!

Day 28 of the rally will be a transit section but with plenty of interesting things to see as we cross from the Pacific coast back to the Sea of Cortez. There were some big views as we descended into Santa Rosalia, an old French Colonial mining town. Opposite the fuel station there are the remains of some extraordinary pieces of industrial equipment, many storeys high. We look forward to some of the more engineering literate amongst you to explain to us what we were admiring. A little further down the coast we discovered the splendid Mulegé Brew Company which will host the day’s only Passage Control and where there will be time to sample the excellent food on offer. We entered Loreto just as darkness was falling and the Day of the Dead celebrations were beginning. The excellent La Mision hotel greeted us with Italian-chef made pizzas in the open air as we realised there were only two days remaining to Cabo.

Out of Loreto on our penultimate morning the road to Mision San Javier looked attractive on the map and the gravel thereafter was rated to be of the highest quality so we set off with a spring in our step. The asphalt climb was everything we hoped, twisty and spectacular with numerous smooth water crossings to keep the photographers happy. San Javier itself is a beautiful little place, quiet with clear mountain air. We then set off on the gravel. After two kilometres we had made seven rough river crossings. We stopped two locals in a rusty pick up coming the other way and tried my very basic Spanish. “El camino es bueno?” I asked hopefully. “Non. El camino es mal” they replied with a laugh looking at the two crestfallen gringos. We reluctantly turned and went back to San Javier for a regroup.

As I studied the maps, Sarah saw an ambulance so, of course, began a conversation with the local paramedic. Our new friend couldn’t have been more helpful and soon we had made arrangements to use the asphalt road before parking the cars in the picturesque square and taking refreshments at his mother’s café. We will then run another section down the hill back to the coast. Later, on our way south we spotted a gravel oval circuit, and a maze of nearby roads, so plotted a test before identifying a very suitable location for a lunch break. Our overnight stop was in La Paz, the capital of Baja California South, and the end of our 29th day of rallying.

Our, by now shredded, Baja Atlas that had promised so much over the previous days indicated a good quality gravel road that went over a mountain before following the ocean for a while. It started impressively but had the occasional stony section where we looked at one another, unsure whether to continue or turn. We decided to keep on to the end and make a decision there, but not before Sarah voiced how happy a grader would make her feel. And then, a few kilometres later Pedro Lopez came into our lives, driving as big a grader as could ever fit on that particular road. He assured us he was heading in the direction from which we had come and would continue all the way through the section. We thanked him profusely and arranged to meet him in 2023! Safely back on asphalt, we found a great little restaurant for a pre-podium regroup, and then made our way to Cabo and the finish hotel. It had been an intense 10 days, and different in every respect from that which we had seen in the US and Canada but promises to be a scenic delight and a wonderful Latin American experience.

See you in Anchorage!


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


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


Rally the Globe is a Members’ Club that organises vintage and classic car rallies across the world. We are currently looking for an Event Coordinator to join our small but busy Rally HQ in Leeds, to support the team in all aspects of researching, planning, organising and delivering our adventurous programme of events.

The Event Coordinator role is a varied and exciting position, and you will need to work autonomously and manage competing priorities. As the first point of contact for new customers enquiring about rallies, and existing customers who have queries about events, you will need to be able to react quickly and find answers to their questions, whilst building ongoing relationships. You will need to have strong administrative and organisational skills, tenacity, and be proactive and adaptable.

This is an extremely busy role at times, particularly in the lead up to an event where liaising with various venues on final arrangements is critical, and you will also need to provide back-up support from the office to deal with any issues that arise when the rest of the team are on events. You will have the opportunity to be involved in almost all aspects of the work which goes into the planning of our events, making this a fantastic opportunity in a fast-paced and ambitious organisation.

To request a copy of the Job Description & Person Specification, please email . You can also contact Loren Price for an informal discussion on 0113 360 8961.

To apply for the role, please submit your CV and covering letter (maximum 2 pages of A4), demonstrating how you meet the criteria in the Person Specification, by email to .

Closing date: Tuesday 31st August 2021

Full time role, based Leeds, with the possibility of some home-working and flexible hours.

Salary: up to £25,000, depending on experience

Benefits include 25 days holiday, pension and private medical insurance.


  • Inspirational new role for much-loved international motor sport legend 
  • World champion renews winning partnership with former co-driver Fred Gallagher 
  • Finnish star eager to experience the ‘spirit and comradeship’ of Rally the Globe adventures 
  • New-look calendar welcomes new members and entries 

Rally the Globe is honoured to announce that motor sport legend Ari Vatanen will be its very first Club President. 

Now aged 69, the illustrious Finn is one of the most revered and respected rally drivers of all times, being crowned as World Champion in 1981 and, thereafter, winning the epic Paris Dakar Rally no fewer than four times. He was also one of the idolised heroes of rallying’s revered Group B era and, more recently, served as a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2009. 

With such an international sporting and political pedigree, Vatanen is the perfect figurehead for this ambitious, not-for-profit members’ club established in 2018 to incite, enthuse and entertain all owners of pre-1977 vintage and classic cars with unforgettable driving adventures all around the world. Moreover, it is also a prominent role that Vatanen clearly relished accepting. 

“I’m honoured and touched,” he admitted. “These historic rally events have real appeal; they are full of spirit, comradeship and enjoyment and that’s my kind of lifestyle. I love going back in time and looking at all these cars from the past and I’m really looking forward to being part of this very special atmosphere when I attend future events.”   

The high-profile appointment also reunites Vatanen with his former co-driver Fred Gallagher, the well-respected Ulsterman who is one of the founding forces behind Rally the Globe. Together the pair won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies with Citroën Sport in 1997 and also teamed up to score a famous podium finish on the Safari Rally when sharing an Escort WRC for the Ford factory team in 1998.

“I know now, as then, I will be in very good hands,” endorsed Vatanen. “Fred had a very calming and reassuring effect on my driving and it’s the trust and friendship that we have built up over the years which has energised me to accept this wonderful position as Club President of Rally the Globe.”  

Having first-hand knowledge of Vatanen’s immense capabilities and magnetic charisma Gallagher, too, is understandably excited to be renewing their collaboration. 

“Ari is just a magical character and I have no doubt that his affiliation and involvement will help us to raise awareness for all the amazing events we have planned,” enthused Gallagher, the Club’s eminent Rally Director. “He has terrific contacts in both political and motor sport circles, and his incredible charisma will be an inspiration to us all.”

“It is a true honour to have someone as well respected and loved as the great Ari Vatanen as our Club President,” confirmed Club Chairman, Graham Goodwin, himself a long-distance historic rally winner when sharing a 1925 Bentley Supersports with wife Marina. “I know our members will relish sharing unforgettable times and experiences with such a true legend during future Rally the Globe adventures.” 

Looking ahead, to revive the spirits of its members with some welcome escapades, Rally the Globe has devised an enticing calendar aimed at rekindling driving passions and convivial camaraderie as national lockdown protocols are lifted post pandemic. 

The evocative action recommences in the UK with four single hotel based ‘Cloverleaf’ rallies, before the reintroduction of more intrepid international fixtures in the autumn. Initially these overseas events will be based in Europe before once again venturing further afield in early 2023. 

October’s splendid Carrera Italia is one event to which Vatanen is particularly looking forward as it will start and finish in his old rallying haunt of Sanremo.