RallyDay - Castle Combe 21st September

Once again the IRDC involvement at Rallyday was extremely successful and well-received with the club's now familiar gazebo erected in a prominent place in the paddock manned by a number of members led by chairman Shaun Martin with Tom Cave and IRDC honorary member Barrie 'Whizzo' Wiliams also guesting.

As is now traditional, Rallyday had organised a fantastic day out for enthusiasts and following his latest WRC win on Rally Australia the previous weekend, Sebastien Ogier made a hugely popular guest appearance in Wiltshire for the 13th annual rally show, thus illustrating the high esteem Rallyday has established within the sport

The event's sociable atmosphere combines live on-track action with paddock displays showcasing some of the most iconic rally cars that range from the 50's to the present era. It was not however the familiar all-conquering WRC Volkswagen Polo R that the rally superstar was driving but a pristine example of the enigmatic Audi Quattro A2.

From the moment he arrived at Castle Combe, Ogier was shadowed by eager journalists seeking a quote from the amiable Frenchman who told his audience that he was looking forward to challenging Citroen superstar and nine times world rally champion Sebastien Loeb for the outright win on Rally de France Alsace next month.

Also driving an Audi was Rallyday regular, 1984 world champion Stig Blomqvist in a short-wheelbase Group B S1, the kind he drove successfully in period. Other charismatic Group B cars present were Metro6R4, Ford RS 200, Datsun 240 RS and Opel Manta whilst double British rally champion Guy Wilkes, currently without a drive, showed his considerable talent in MML Sports' Mitsubishi Lancer WRC05.

Back to the present era and one of Britain's brightest rally prospects and star of WRC2 on the recent Rally Germany Elfyn Evans, demonstrated his Ford Fiesta R5 with gusto, delighting fans with plenty of tyre-smoking donuts and the 2013 MSA British Rally Championship was represented by its current leader Jukka Korhonen from Finland and second placed Welshman Tom Cave, both using examples of Citroen's successful DS3. With two rounds of the UK's premier rally championship remaining, the outcome of the title is still 'up for grabs'.

In addition to a 'who's who' of rally stars in attendance, this year's event saw some fantastic action on the Feature Rally Stage that had been set-out on the perimeter of the circuit, with many national and international drivers pushing their cars to the limit, whilst in the paddock most of the major one-make car clubs were in attendance, presenting a gamut of iconic road and rally machinery including a plethora of classics; Triumph TR4, Renault R8 Gordini, Lancias' Stratos, Integrale and Fulvia together with Lotus Cortina and Mini Cooper S; both celebrating their 50th anniversary.

Whilst fans were enjoying coffee and doughnuts in the paddock, Tony Mason and Howard Davies conducted informative and amusing interviews with a range of rally personalities outside the Tavern throughout the day providing an enjoyable day out for rally enthusiasts and the unqualified success of Rallyday is a fitting tribute to event director Darin Frow who co-founded the concept 13 years ago with his great friend and colleague Brian Stubbings, who sadly passed away at an early age back in February. I have no doubt that Darin and his loyal team have already taken up the challenge of topping this success with more innovation for 2014!

26th September, 2013