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2010 Chatsworth Rally


June 2010


Henning Solberg out for a Sunday drive
Henning Solberg out for a Sunday drive

On the breeze I can hear the sound of a highly tuned engine being rung out and I am transported back to being 12 years old and standing with my dad, straining my neck to get the first glimpse of the works Escort as it crests the hill on the RAC Rally.

Rallying is still my favourite form of motorsport and a glimpse through my £1m garage will show just how much it has influenced my car choices and that stems from those cold November days standing with my dad. Today feels just like the old days – it’s cold, rain is hammering down, me and fellow DA’er Gav plus Andy and rally nut Arf are all grinning like kids as a Mk2 Escort flicks right with its tail scribing a prefect arc as the driver holds a beautiful opposite lock slide past a huge oak tree. Welcome to the Rally Show at Chatsworth House.

It’s a brilliant, simple idea: construct a small but challenging special stage with all the classic elements of rallying - mixed gravel and tarmac surfaces, hairpin corner for handbrake turns, water splash and the obligatory yump; bring along a great mixture of cars - all the classics, MK 1 & 2 Escorts, Mini Coopers, Audi Quattro’s, my all time favourite the Lancia Stratos, full house WRC Ford Focus, Renualt Twingo & Fiestas from the Group R Class plus the brand new Super 2000 Fiesta to give you some perspective on how far the rally car has developed; invite a current World Rally competitor (the ridiculously talented Henning Solberg) to drive a selection of the cars and then chuck in the most outrageous little buggys (Rage); then back it all up with a selection of car clubs and some good trade stands and you have everything you need for a really good day out for anybody who loves cars.

The weather did its best to turn the stage into a muddy ice rink that would have 99% of normal drivers tip toeing round in first but these gods of car control don’t seem to have noticed that the fiction coefficient is low. They are going flat chat at speeds that are pushing the same laws of physics that would have you and I visiting the scenery. It’s breathtaking and it makes my soul soar to see these cars being driven the way their original creators intended.

Nick.


Video

Drivers Anonymous 2010 Chatsworth Rally Show Video
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Images

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