Historic’s Head for Hadrians Wall

David Stokes & Guy Weaver
After the opening two rounds in Wales, the weekend of 30th April/1st May sees the Pirelli Carlisle Rally, the 3rd round in the series, bring the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship to the far North of England with the competitors crossing the iconic Hadrians Wall for what is sure to be a hard fought battle in the giant Kielder Forest complex. A top class entry sees all the leading contenders heading up to Carlisle, the entry list headed by the Ford Escorts of Jason Pritchard and Nick Elliott, who have finished 1-2 on both the opening rounds and while Pritchard has had the edge so far, Elliott is always stunningly fast in Kielder, he won the Pirelli Historic Rally outright in both 2011 and 2012, so the stage is set for a tight, no holds barred contest. Sure to be in close attendance will be Joe Price and Paul Barrett,( Ford Escorts) 3rd and 4th on the opening round , Matt Robinson ( Fiat 131S) who always goes well in Kielder while one driver who can never be discounted is the evergreen Steve Bannister ( Ford Escort ) who has won numerous Kielder based events over the years and is still as fast as ever. The battle for class honours will be no less hard fought with Stanley Orr/ Guy Weaver (Ford Escort ) looking to maintain their dominance in class C3, Simon Tysoe/ Paul Morris (Ford Escort) have maximum points in C4 while the ageless Bob Bean will be looking to build on his class B4 win last time out, having retired on the opening round. Others worth watching include 5 times British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae in the big Vauxhall Magnum, Andrew Siddall in the equally big Datsun 260Z, Owain Lloyd in a potent Ford Escort and Yorkshire duo Charlie Taylor and Warren Philliskirk (Ford Escort) both of whom who know their way around Kielder. The historic section of the Pirelli Carlisle Rally leaves from H &H Auction Mart in Carlisle at 8:00am for the run up to Kielder Forest where the rally’s special stages and service area are located, returning to Carlisle for the prize giving ceremony with the first car due at about 1:15pm.