Preview: Lombard RAC Rally

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Although it is the last qualifier of the 1992 World Rally Championship, both sections of which will have been settled before it takes place, Britain’s qualifying round has nevertheless attracted a fine list of entries, each anxious to round off the year with a good result in the British forests. Whether a team has gained championship laurels or not, an RAC win is the perfect way to end the year.

This year, the last of many that the event has been handsomely supported by Lombard North Central, the rally will be based at Chester, to which it will return each night except that of the Tuesday, when the night stop will be at Carlisle.

Scrutiny will take place in the city during Saturday. 22 November, and the rally will get under way at 6.45 the next morning. For those who wish to go out to watch the event. Rallypak kits containing full spectator information will be available at Chester and at various places en route.

Reconnaissance of the route, including forest stages, is a recent innovation for the RAC Rally. Some approve of this, others don’t. but it is being continued this year during strictly controlled periods between Friday 13 and Friday 20 November, various forest areas being open for recces on various days.

The first day of the rally will consist of a run through the park and circuit stages of Oulton, Weston, Sutton, Donington, Clumber, Chatsworth and Oulton, in that order, first car getting back to Chester at 18.20. During the first day a separation of one minute between cars will apply to the whole field, whereas from the second day onwards the leading cars will be separated by two minutes.

The Monday restart will be at 5.00, after which there will be 10 special stages in the forests of North Wales, beginning with Dyfnant and ending with Clocaenog. The second leg will end at Chester from 19.20.

On the Tuesday, after a 7.00 start, the route heads up through the Lake District, then back down through Kielder, finishing at Carlisle at 20.30. On the final day, competitors will tackle six stages in south-west Scotland. Dalbeattie, Glengap. Loch Deny, Glentrool, Lochfleet and the Forest of Ae, before returning to the finish at Chester from 20.00 onwards.

There are 34 special stages in all, fewer than before, but the total stage distance remains about the same at 353 miles.

As a gesture to mark the end of Lombard’s long-running sponsorship of the event, that company has put up a special award of ¬£100,000 which will go to the winning driver, provided he is British!

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