Classics delight WRC rally crowds

Some 30 classic rally cars ranging from a 1961 Ford Anglia to a 1992 Lancia Delta Integrale HF took part in the annual demonstration by the Slowly Sideways group at the WRC Deutschland Rally.

The historics tackled seven of the 12 stages used by the rally, passing over them between the two runs for the WRC cars. The onlookers at the Panzerplatte Sprint were pleasantly surprised at how high some of the oldtimers jumped at the infamous 'Gina' crest on the Saturday.

Severe weather earlier in the day, which had led to the cancellation of the first stage after Gilles Panizzi's accident, reduced their mileage, but they made up for it with some extrovert displays the next day when they tackled the St Wendel Superspecial ahead of the main event.

The Slowly Sideways contingent was largely drawn from Britain and Germany, but France and Holland had their representatives, too. Jules Nottermans brought his immaculate DAF 555 ex-works prototype which fascinated the crowd with its Variomatic gearbox.

The crew who came furthest were Jeremy Browne and Diana McCourt from Adelaide. They'd shipped their ex-works Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF to Europe and have left it here in anticipation of more Slowly Sideways motoring in 2005.