The 11th Rally of the Test organised by the Classic Rallying Association marked the 80th anniversary of the RAC Rally. The event saw over 70 classic cars tackling some of the most challenging roads from Torquay to Chester from the 8th to 11th November.

1959 Alfa Romeo

The chosen starting town was the English Riviera resort of Torquay, which was the finishing point for that very first rally back in 1932.

This year’s event had a new Clerk of the Course, Guy Woodcock, and took drivers to many of the halts and starting and finishing points used in the 1950’s by the RAC and to new venues never used for motorsport before through the West Country and Wales before arriving at the finish in Chester, host town to many RAC Rallies in the past.

Crews set off on Thursday evening with the traditional Prologue comprising a few tests and regularities before starting in earnest on Friday as the route took in classic rallying terrain in the West Country and headed north to the first overnight halt close to the Severn Bridge.

Saturday saw drivers breaking new ground as they entered the rallying heartland of Mid Wales, which included sections on the legendary Epynt Military Ranges. They then headed north to the overnight stop at the RAC watering hole of Llandrindod Wells.

On the last day of rallying, the cars made their way through the Cambrian Mountains towards Chester, where a final brace of challenging trials and regularities in the Vale of Clwyd tested drivers’ skills before crossing the finish line in Chester’s historic East gate.

Jeremy Dickson, Event Director of the CRA, said: “Along the years we have built a special atmosphere combining closely fought competitive motoring with a great social side. Rallying is a team sport and through the Rally of the Tests we want to encourage both driver and navigator to challenge themselves without missing the opportunity to have fun.”

Results of the Rally of the Tests:

First Paul Wignall & Mark Appleton 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
Second Neil Wilson & Matthew Vokes 1964 Porsche 356B
Third John Bateson & Mark I’Anson 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SE