Saturday, 19 September 2015

Rallyday at Castle Combe

A chance conversation at the RetroRides Gathering resulted in a pair of tickets dropping through my letterbox the week before the 15th Rallyday at Castle Combe, courtesy of Jamie my brother and I would be wandered round the Wiltshire circuit to the backdrop of WRC, GrpB and many other rally and road cars. The last time I went to Rallyday was a very wet 2006, despite the foggy start it was sunscreen and t-shirts all round. Parking near Quarry corner we walked through rows of club stands to the paddock.

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As we reached the paddock and the rally cars proper it clear we were in for a treat, There cars from all eras right up to the latest WRC machines from M-Sport.

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There was a special gathering of cars driven by the late Richards Burns, a local chap to me.

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Every avenue we walked down held something different from a line of Stratos to Lada's GrpB VFTS

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With the on track action not far off we decided to head back to the car for lunch and to catch the action at Quarry. While kneeling down to get a shot of a car I caught sight of a pair of cars that were all wings. A pair of Quattros were bubbling past, one an S1, the other a bonkers Pike Peak version.

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At Quarry we watched the last of the track sessions go round before the 4x4 group entertained the crowds on a course laid out along the infield area.

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First out on the stage was Ari Vatanen in his old 1976 championship winning Mk2 Escort. Followed by Elfyn Evans in this years M-Sport Fiesta WRC, he performed multiple doughnuts at each corner...on each lap. The crowd loved it.

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Next up a variety of cars performed several runs on the feature stage. A chicane laced lap of the circuit, beginning in the pit entrance the cars launched forward before turning 180ยบ and heading the wrong way up the start straight before turning for a return run and off round the lap. Several temporary chicanes were put up to slow the cars and show off some lurid slides.

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Slowly roasting in the sunshine we decided to head round to the startline for an explore and some shelter.

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With a last look round we waited for the stage to end before they parked all the cars up on track for the public to walk around them. A chance to get really close to machines, some still hot from the action minutes before.

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With the time getting on we took the slow walk back to the car and home. A brilliant day out and with the 30th anniversary of GrpB next year, maybe a return visit!

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