Category 1 historic cars and all up to 1600cc entries will run at the head of the field on the 2019 Roger Albert Clark Rally. The biennial event will take full advantage of the recent changes to running order made by Motorsport UK (formerly the MSA) to give the older and lower powered cars the best road conditions over the 300-stage mile route on the 21-25 November 2019 event.
When the event last ran in November 2017, the running order rules at the time dictated that the entire field ran as one block of cars seeded in performance. The last car on the road was the 1300cc Lancia Fulvia of Steve and Tony Graham. In 2019, the glorious Fulvia will be among the first cars over the gravel stages.
The plan is to reverse seed the first group of cars, so that the fastest car from this group will start each stage followed by a short gap before the top seeded car in the main field. With many stages planned at between 10 and 15 miles, particular attention will be paid to the running order and time gaps.
In 2017, 11 cars from the Category 1 and 1600cc division started the rally, while the list of deposits received for the 2019 event includes more than 20 cars from this group.
While the event has strong support from the historic fraternity, the concurrent Open Rally is open to any Motorsport UK log-booked two-wheel drive rally car, and all up to 1600cc modern cars will be eligible to run in the first group.
Rally manager Colin Heppenstall said: “It makes perfect sense to take advantage of the changes to the running order rules and run the older and less powerful cars at the head of the field. We’ve already got a good entry from this group, including some cars and drivers that will be new to the rally, and I hope this confirmation will encourage more of these cars to take part.”