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Little Classics News: 23 September 2015

Classics and Legends Celebrate 15th Rallyday

Rallyday 2015 grid

Rallyday celebrated its 15th anniversary at Castle Combe on Saturday 19th September, with more than 10,000 spectators flocking to see the cars and stars from the world of rallying, making this year’s event the most successful ever.

Special guest for this year’s show was rally legend Ari Vatanen. The 1981 World Rally Champion was a huge hit and consequently, was seldom seen without a long queue of fans patiently awaiting their chance for an autograph. As well as making his presence felt in the paddock, he also wooed spectators on the track driving the same Ford Escort he used to win the 1976 British Rally Championship.

Rallyday Ford Escort

The array of star drivers took to the track for the Castrol Edge Feature Stage, some in the same cars they had used in their heyday. This highlight of the day’s action hosted some of the most iconic rally machinery of all time, the sight of a stunning array of Group B machines powering round the Castle Combe track reminding everyone just why the mid-‘80s was such a high point for world rallying.

During the afternoon, David Higgins got behind the wheel of Colin McRae’s 1997 Subaru Impreza WRC to entertain the massed crowds of spectators. The space in the co driver’s seat for this run was auctioned off on Saturday morning, with the lucky winner experiencing a decidedly sideways lap of Castle Combe circuit. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Richard Burns Foundation charity.

Colin McRae’s 1997 Subaru Impreza WRC

The SuperPro-sponsored Clubmans’ Stage was bigger than ever before. Taking place on some of the venue’s challenging perimeter roads that had been converted to an authentic special stage for the day. It gave rally teams from all over the UK the chance to do what they do best and, at the same time, entertain their sponsors - all in front of the gaze of eager spectators.

Later in the afternoon, many of the rally cars on display made their way to the track and lined-up for the grand finale: the Feature Car Grid Walk. The gates to the circuit were opened and the crowd poured onto the grid to inspect the massed ranks of the sport’s iconic hardware. Once the fans had returned to the paddock, all of the assembled cars took off for a lap of the circuit as one.

Rallycay grid line-up

Following the show, event manager Tom Davis said: “It was the first Rallyday to be run by a brand new organising team at Castle Combe and we are delighted with the outcome; the quality of the cars and exhibits, the profile of the stars that attended and the number of people who visited the show. We have already received some great feedback and look forward to planning next year’s show!”


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