Pirelli Carlisle Rally Tops Century of Starters

Jimmy McRae
Next Saturdays Pirelli Carlisle Rally has certainly pulled in the competitors with an amazing 100 plus crews heading for Carlisle, where they will line up outside the city’s Old Town Hall prior to heading for the tracks of the giant Kielder Forest which hosts the rally’s ultra competitive special stages. There is a huge variety amongst the 109 competing cars with no fewer than 17 different makes entered and the entry list includes everything from the state of the art world rally cars and a huge selection of historic cars through to the ubiquitous Land Rovers of the British Armed Forces Rally Team. The rally again has an International flavour with entries coming in from France, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland. Leading the cars away will be local star Peter Taylor from Smithfield who will be in the Border Caravans backed Ford Fiesta S2400 partnered by Tynesider Andrew Roughead who said “We love the Kielder stages and are really looking forward to next weeks event”. They will be face stern opposition for running right behind them will be the 2014 MSA British Rally Champion, Daniel McKenna, reunited with co-driver Andrew Grennan ,who has entered the Pirelli Carlisle Rally prior to a season competing in the Junior World Rally Championship. Next up is Peter Stephenson in the Able UK Ford Focus and then come the cars the spectators love, a horde of Ford Escorts, bringing the bark of a BDA to the forests and with such committed drivers as Jason Pritchard, Steve Bannister, Matt Robinson, Nick Elliott, Richard Hill ,Merion Evans and David Stokes it would be hard to predict who will triumph out of that list. The rally isn’t just about Escorts however, look out for the big Vauxhall Firenza Can-Am of Five times British Rally Champion, Jimmy McRae, the Porsche of Tim Mason and Peter Smith’s Opel Kadett, all adding variety to a really quality entry. The competing cars will be lining up outside the Old Town Hall from 9:00am and there will be the opportunity for members of the public to walk around the cars, chat to the drivers, collect autographs and take photographs, souvenier programmes will be on sale. There will be a ceremonial start with the first car flagged away at 10:00am for the run up to the Kielder Forest stages.