REVERSE THRUST For the third edition of the VK-sponsored Rally Show at Chatsworth. there will be some major innovations, but the core of the event will remain - namely, hundreds of rally cars being driven flat-out over the Chatsworth...
For the third edition of the VK-sponsored Rally Show at Chatsworth. there will be some major innovations, but the core of the event will remain - namely, hundreds of rally cars being driven flat-out over the Chatsworth stages.
The biggest changes will be that the two-day event will now feature four stages, - two different ones each day - and the whole event will be turned on its head with the layout reversed to place the service park and exhibition area close to Chatsworth House. The result will provide even better access and viewing for the thousands of spectators.
The 2008 event broke new ground by moving to the first weekend of June and the 2009 Rally Show will stick with that date and is being held on 6/7June. It was very successful with 15,000 people attending over the weekend and watching just over 150 rally cars performing.
The menu -with actual competitions blended with stage sessions, demonstrations and displays, including historic rally cars - proved extremely popular, especially the appearance of ex-World Rally Champion, Marcus Gronholm, in a full-house Ford Focus WRC08.
No fewer than 20 former British Rally Champions attended and three of them - Ari Vatanen, David Richards and Stig Blomqvist - were also previous World Champions. The free and easy atmosphere meant that fans were able to mingle with their heroes to chat and get autographs.
The top competition is always for the fastest and most exotic rally cars; in 2008, this was graced by German visitor, Olaf Dobberkau, in his fearsome Porsche 933GT. However, the event was won for the second time in succession by Global Brands Chairman, Steve Perez, with his Ford Focus WRC. In the background of the 2008 event were an off-road experience in trials cars for the general public, a funfair and exhibition and trade stands, all related to motor sport and motoring.
Plans for 2009 include a major increase in facilities and entertainments away from the special stages; this has been aided by the new layout of the event. The Rally Show has always had a number of peripheral attractions, and these are set to increase to provide a wider scope for all the family to enjoy their weekend. To this end, children under the age of 16 will be admitted free on both days in 2009. A further bonus worth noting is that any adult tickets bought before 1 January 2009 will be charged at 2008 prices.
The main sponsor of the Rally Show at Chatsworth is once again VK Vodka Kick, who will be supported by ECM Systems (Timing), S&H Recovery (Recovery and Rescue Vehicles), Haines Watts Accountants, Richard Egger Insurance and Ton Hire.com. Another sponsor for 2009 will be Hamilton Classic Motor Sport, who have agreed to support the History of Rallying demonstration.
Announcing the 2009 event, Malcolm Neill, Managing Director of The Rally Show Ltd. said: "In the beginning, holding a major rally event like this was just a dream, but thanks to the help and support of our sponsors and the British rally fans, it is a very real success. We are hoping that we can continue to improve and innovate so that returning enthusiasts will find as much of interest as those visiting us for the first time. Above all, we want to keep it a personal experience, where the star drivers and their cars are easily approachable."