Fifth anniversary of Rockingham Stages

NEXT month’s (December) Rockingham Stages Rally marks the fifth anniversary of the event and the end of a fantastic 2008 motorsport programme at the Northamptonshire circuit.

The rally has already attracted more than 80 competitors and is expected to reach the full 100 entries for the event on December 13 and 14. Joint organisers Thame Motorsport Club and Middlesex County Automobile Club will once again utilise the whole circuit to create 10 challenging tarmac stages.

Each stage is between eight and 11 miles long, and uses a combination of the perimeter tracks, in-field circuits and the banked oval as well as the inner paddock and access tunnels.

The action starts on Saturday afternoon with four stages, including two thrilling stages in the dark, with a further six taking place on Sunday, providing more than 85 miles of competitive motoring.

A whole host of machines will be taking part, from MK II Ford Escorts, Peugeot 205s and Vauxhall Astras to the amazing Ford Escort Cosworth and Subaru Impreza WRC cars and the awesome Darrian T90.

Two-time British Rally Champion Russell Brookes has also signed up for the event and will be competing in the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus he used on the 1981 RAC Rally. He will also take part in a forum on Saturday evening.

Rockingham Director Charlotte Orton, said: “This year marks a very important milestone for the Rockingham Stages, and we are proud to continue our support for rallying at the circuit. It is hard to believe the event is now in its fifth year.

“The Rockingham Stages have become a popular fixture on the circuit’s racing calendar and is a fitting finale to what has been another fantastic year of top quality motorsport racing at Rockingham.”

Peter Wood of Thame Motorsport Club, who is the Rally Manager for the event, said: “We are very pleased to be back at this excellent venue for the fifth year. The facilities are first class and the combination of brilliant road surface, time of year, and stages in the dark add to the unique atmosphere at Rockingham.”

The entertaining Land Rover Rally returns for a third year and organisers are hoping to add a new Historic Class to the Rockingham Stages depending on entries.

The action starts at 1pm on Saturday and 10am on Sunday. Entry costs just £10 per car. Visit rockinghamstages.co.uk for more information about the event.