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Motoring: Fans revive Lombard rally spirit.

Rally enthusiasts are to revive the spirit of the Lombard RAC Rally, which used to be November's greatest UK spectator sport, competed over special stages throughout the North of England, Scotland and Wales, before being established in its current form as the Rally GB Wales.

The 120 cars taking part in the Revival Rally will be restricted to showroom-standard 1,400cc specifications, with standard engines, gearboxes and brakes. The rally will be flagged away from York on Thursday, November 25 on a route that takes in three days and nights of gruelling winter driving.

The course will lead the cars via Scarborough, Croft, Catterick and Hexham to Carlisle on a 15-hour first-day.

Then it's down western England, taking in Blackpool's seaside promenade to revive the famous sprint that featured in RAC Rallies of the 1960s, to Chester, followed by another long day driving the full length of Wales, finishing in Cheltenham.

Six major manufacturers are supporting entrants, with Rovers, MGs, Daihatsu, Vauxhall, Suzuki, Perodua, and even a Mercedes A-Class competing for the first time in a British event.

Britain's oldest rally competitor, 77-year-old Willy Cave, of Richmond, London, will be navigating fellow veteran rally driver Tony Fall, based at Soham, Cambridgeshire.

For these two, life has turned full circle, as Willy was setting out 50 years ago on the Monte Carlo Rally in his first works drive, having just joined the MG team to navigate Magnettes in international rallies.

Tony Fall joined the British Motor Corporation in the sixties to rally Mini Coopers and MGBs, gaining the Mini's first-ever big-time win on the Welsh Rally, and driving the factory's red and white cars all over the world. He went on to drive for Lancia, Datsun and Ford.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 17, 2004
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