The final draft of the route for the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally has been confirmed and will not feature a leg into Yorkshire. The organising team had hoped to take the rally back into the Yorkshire forests during the Saturday leg of the 21st-25th November rally, but the Forestry Commission Yorkshire Forest District has rejected the request on the grounds that: ‘the event is too close to the Malton Stages’.
Rally manager Colin Heppenstall had always planned two options for the Saturday of the rally and will now press ahead with a leg based out of Carlisle and taking in some of the best stages across the southern fringe of Kielder forest in what promises to be one of the toughest days of rally. Current plans are based on over 100 stage miles in a tough 12-hour day.
The rally will also feature increased mileage in Wales and will cover 60 miles of prime forest stages before an earlier finish on Friday afternoon. It is planned that that the first competitors could be on the way north to Carlisle from before 4pm. As pioneered on the 2017 event, the journey north will be a transport section so that rally cars can be taken on trailers.
“Obviously we are disappointed not to be taking the rally back to Yorkshire, but we must accept the decision of the forestry district,” said Heppenstall. “However, this does allow an easier journey for the teams to Carlisle on Friday evening, where the rest of the rally will be based.”
Competitor response to the 2019 rally has been outstanding and over 90 deposits have now been placed. “To have 90 deposits over a year ahead of the event is remarkable,” said Heppenstall. “Importantly, the great majority of those entries are from crews that we know and so the potential for drop out is relatively low.”