One of Rallyday’s defining traits has long been its ability to blend together different aspects of rallying history, in the process creating what amounts to a full blown celebration of the sport. Of course making this happen year in, year out takes a considerable amount of effort and support from the rallying community, and this time is no different. Fortunately there have already been feature stage submissions from all corners of the country, with all era’s of the WRC (not forgetting both the ERC and BRC) well represented.
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the tragic death of Colin McRae, and Castle Combe has opted to pull out all the stops in order to mark the occasion in a manner that the great man would no doubt have approved of. Rallyday is seeking as many cars with a connection to McRae’s rallying career as possible, with the eventual aim of conducting a circuit parade to remember Colin and the others lost on that dreadful day back in 2007.
This year’s Rallyday will boast a bumper crop of production based Group A legends, a fitting way to mark the 30th anniversary of the category’s ascension to the top of the WRC ladder in the wake of Group B’s cancellation. Warner Lewis’ popular Toyota Celica GT4 ST185 will return once again, a car that will no doubt pair wonderfully with the Ford Sierra Cosworth of Leslie Parrott, resplendent in the Shell livery so closely associated with the McRae rally clan, and the ex-Ari Vatanen Subaru Legacy of Danielle Furzeland.
There’s little that can touch the drama and pace of modern WRC machinery, and there will be more than a few examples of rallying’s premier class blatting their way through the Rallyday feature stage come September 23rd. Charlie Barlow’s Hyundai Accent WRC Evo 3.5 isn’t merely rapid and beautifully presented, it was once piloted by both Juha Kankkunen and Armin Schwarz, two of the finest WRC pilots of the modern era. We can’t wait to see it dicing with a whole host of contemporary WRC cars, including the ex-Petter Solberg Subaru Impreza S12, another car owned by Danielle Furzeland.
Last year saw Rallyday mark the final year of Group B with an all out celebration of all things loud, brutal and banned, but that doesn’t mean that the maddest WRC cars of all time will be missing this time around – far from it. ’80s honors will be upheld by the frankly amazing ex-Fabrizio Tabaton Lancia 037 of Robert Whitehouse, one of the most spectacular cars on the historic rallying circuit and one driven in the manner its maker intended, sideways! It will no doubt pair well with Nick Barrington’s Group 4 Quattro, a contemporary rival of the Lancia, a four-wheel drive icon and a car used to good effect by Hannu Mikkola in 1982 RAC Rally.
Those of a certain age will agree that the sound of a manic, high-revving BDA Ford Escort came to symbolise British rallying in the ’70s and ’80s, and it’s one which will be present and correct at Rallyday this year. We could fill a fairly large book detailing the various Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts slated to bark their way around Combe this September, but we’ll highlight one of the best known and most beloved, that of Peter Clarke. His RS1800 was built by a Ford satellite team for one of the sport’s tragically unfulfilled talents, Henri Toivonen, and it’s therefore a suitable addition to an already packed roster of rally cars.
The cars covered above are just a tiny sample of the vast array of rally machinery already confirmed for Rallyday 2017, but there’s always room for more! Please use the form below if you’d like to submit your car for inclusion in this year’s show.