Pace notes -- your guide to what's coming up...

RAC runs for the forests -- Roger Albert Clark Rally November 19-22

The forests of Northumberland and south Scotland will again echo to the sound of BDA engines as the second running of the Roger Albert Clark Rally puts period cars into three full days of special stages.

The event re-lives the golden era of the RAC Rally and runs in its traditional month, with cars from the pre-81 era joining modern two-wheel-drive machines for the 29-stage rally, which starts and finishes in Sheffield.

In between, classic forest stages in Kielder, Twiglees, Castle O'er and Greystoke fit around two overnight halts in Carlisle. The inaugural '04 event proved a hit with competitors and fans, and around 100 cars are expected to start this year.

Star entries, rumoured to again include 2004 winner Stig Blomqvist and Malcolm Wilson, are yet to be confirmed. Former historic rally champion Steve Perez will be out in a Lancia Stratos. Other leading entries include Ford Escorts for Ray Bellm, Jeremy Easson and Graham Samuel, while 2004 class winners Chris and Hilary Green top the historic cars in a Lotus-Cortina. Their opposition includes the fleet Sunbeam Tiger of Paul Kynaston.

Saturday will also feature two short stages within the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield. Sunday includes stages at Croft race circuit before the rally heads into the forests.

Monday centres on the south of Scotland, Tuesday's leg taking in increased stage mileage in Kielder followed by two more stages at Croft and a return to Sheffield. A separate Clubmans Rally will run after the main event through Monday.

***

Scottish foray for rallying classics --  Rally of the Tests November 10-14 

For the first time in its five-year history, the Rally of the Tests will venture into Scotland, starting from Edinburgh on Thursday November 10.

The recreation of the RAC Rally of the 1950s will finish at the Heritage Motor Centre motor museum at Gaydon on Sunday after overnight halts in Edinburgh, Penrith and Buxton.

The new route will start with three prologue tests at the Knockhill race circuit on Thursday evening before a long and tough day on Friday, running down through the Scottish borders with a mix of regularity sections and special tests.

After a night halt at Penrith, Saturday's route takes in the southern Lake District before heading into the Pennines and another overnight stop in Buxton. Sunday's route includes Cheshire and Staffordshire before the finish at Gaydon.

Heading the bumper entry, with a capacity 85-car field expected, will be the top two crews from 2004. Having been narrowly beaten by the Sunbeam Rapier of Robin Eyre-Maunsell/Peter Scott last year, Frank Fennell and Kevin Savage will be all out for revenge in their proven Mercedes 300SE.

Spectators are welcome at various venues, including: Thursday 5pm, at Knockhill race circuit: Friday 10am, Jim Clark Room at Duns: Saturday 10am, Lakeside near Windermere: Sunday 1.15pm, Curborough sprint circuit near Lichfield and 3pm, Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire.

***

Sheldon back for package tour -- Tour of Spain November 2-7 

Le Mans veteran John Sheldon will be bidding for two consecutive victories on the Tour of Spain when the 2005 event begins in the first week of November.

Sheldon's Lotus Elan will head the 100-car entry for the five-day event, which kicks off in Madrid on Wednesday, November 2. The route takes in 13 closed road stages and races at Jarama and the Ascari circuit.

Fierce opposition for Sheldon will come from the Ford GT4Os of Ray Bellm, Bill Binnie, Richard Meins, Adrian Newey and Dudley Mason-Styrron, and the gorgeous Ligier JS2 of Paul Knapfield.

***

Race Programme -- check out where the action is...

October:

When & where: 29, Somerset

What: Somerset Historic Stages Rally

Contact: www.somersetstagesrally.com

 

November:

When & where: 2-6, Spain 

What: Tour of Spain

Contact: www.faa.net

 

When & where: 5/6, Istanbul Park (TR)

What: Classic Endurance Racing Series

Contact: +33(0)142 5973 40

 

When & where: 10-13, Edinburgh-Gaydon, Warwickshire

What:  Rally of the Tests

Contact: www.classicrally.org.uk 

 

When & where: 19-22, Start in Sheffield 

What: Roger Albert Clark Rally

Contact: www.rogeralbertclarkrally.co.ok