Wilson, Grist for RAC

Two of the people most closely associated with the late Colin McRae’s rallying career will take part in the fifth Roger Albert Clark Rally in mid-November.

Malcolm Wilson, team boss of Ford’s World Rally Championship team, will tackle the event for a second time in a freshly prepared Ford Escort Mk2, while McRae’s former co-driver Nicky Grist will make his debut on the three-day rally alongside Phil Collins in an Opel Ascona.

Starting from Leeds on the evening of Friday November 14, the event runs primarily for historic cars and re-creates the golden era of the RAC Rally, with forest stages in Yorkshire, Kielder and the south of Scotland. Other leading entries include former British Historic Rally Champion David Stokes and 2006 Roger Albert Clark runner-up Jeremy Easson in Ford Escorts, as well as Steve Perez in his Lancia Stratos.

Collins will run his freshly prepared Opel on only its second rally. “I did the old RAC six times, but only finished it once,” he said. For co-driver Grist it will be a return to his formative years in road rallying, as the event runs on maps rather than route notes as used on most modern rallies.

Saturday’s route includes the famous Olivers’ Mount motorbike track in Scarborough, before heading further north for two overnight halts in Carlisle. The final sting in the tail is Monday’s leg in the Kielder forest complex in Northumberland, concluding with a demanding 18-mile stage in Broomylinn.