2012 Roger Albert Clark Rally

Filed under: Classic News,Racing |
The Roger Albert Clark Rally 2012 will definitely be known as one of the best ever historic rallies. After three days of gruelling competition over 160 miles of special stages, the 2012 rally was won by a margin of only seventeen seconds. When the cars were flagged away from the start line at Pickering on Friday night, by 1972 RAC winner, Tony Mason, no one could have imagined the close battle which would ensue. As expected the overnight leader was Yorkshireman Steve Bannister, competing on his home territory, with Irishman Marty McCormack close at his heels. Over the next few days this pair would dominate the Roger Albert Clark Rally and pull out an unassailable lead over their nearest rivals of almost 10 minutes at the finish line in Brampton. On the very last day the two of them were separated by a mere 10 seconds with McCormack struggling with the pace of Bannister over unfamiliar special stages. However on the second run of the Sunday afternoon stages, it was apparent that McCormack was gaining on Bannister. So it was that with only the very last stage, out of twenty four, Bannister was holding onto a slender 5 second lead. There was to follow a very long tense and nervous wait for the support crews of the leaders after Kershope. However it soon became know that Bannister had suffered a spin. This meant that the lead had been handed to McCormack. The Irishman had completed the Roger Albert Clark Rally for the first time after his third attempt. He was delighted to have won, but was full of praise for Bannister who had driven hard and fast for three days. This year the Roger Albert Clark Rally saw more spectators along the route across the three days, since any year in the nine year history, with thousands of them lining the special stages along the route. They were not disappointed, with the best ever and most diverse entry yet. The Woodyard in Dalby on Friday evening was alive with the chatter and cheers of hundreds of people who had turned out to witness this epic battle. There were in excess of 1500 spectators at Croft motor racing circuit to watch the competitors, even with the thick fog the action was spectacular. The queues to the car parks had to be opened early to accommodate all the people who had come along to watch. This year has been hailed as the best ever event, with the most spectators watching than has been seen since the days of the “old” [original] RAC Rally of Great Britain and it is estimated that across the three days some £1million pounds would be added to local economies by these travelling fans. As Paul Lawrence, said in his Motorsport News article about the ninth Roger Albert Clark Rally, “There was only one downside to the experience: we have to wait 50 weeks for it to happen all over again.” So please put the date for next year in your diary now. The Roger Albert Clark Rally will be running over the weekend of 8-10 November 2013. Plans are already in hand for next year’s 10th anniversary event. All the venues have been booked and Colin Heppenstall, Rally Manager, is promising the biggest ever. His plans are to include more stages on the Friday evening, more mileage in Kielder on Saturday on the run into Carlisle. He is expecting the same sting in the tail for the Sunday, but has enough mileage to run a 35-mile stage in Kershope, so anything is possible for next year!Tags:,