Perth City Centre will echo to the sound of some of the world's most spectacular rally cars when it hosts a major Re-group and Parc Ferme area on this weekend's (7-9 Oct) RACMSA Rally of Scotland - the penultimate round of the globetrotting Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
From 1.30pm on the Saturday (8 Oct), the IRC's star drivers including Scottish favourite Alister McRae will park up their £200,000 rally cars for public display on Mill Street by Perth's Concert Hall. The mouth-watering multi-million pound line-up of machinery on show will feature cars from many of rallying's top marques such as Skoda, Peugeot, Proton, Ford, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Citroen and Honda.
The drivers will arrive in Perth fresh from having tackled the morning's timed competitive stages in the surrounding forests. Following Perth's Re-group, held under parc ferme conditions, they will then be waved off for more flat-out action on the same stages that include the classic Craigvinean (4.10pm), Errochty (5.30pm) and Drummond Hill (6.45pm) tests.The Re-group will enable public to not only get a close up look at the leading IRC cars but also grab autographs and have a chat with their rallying heroes as they contest one of Scotland's premier international sporting events of the year.
Skoda, the Official Vehicle Supplier to this year's Rally of Scotland, plus RPM, Scotland's Morgan dealer, will provide additional colour with a variety of promotional displays.
Councillor John Hulbert, Provost of Perth and Kinross commented: "For anyone who enjoys rallying and motor sport, I would encourage them to come along to experience this event. We are delighted to have the Rally of Scotland in our area as it adds to our reputation as a venue for exciting outdoor sports and leisure."The event attracts many thousands of spectators to the area, giving the economy a huge boost. It also attracts worldwide TV and media coverage for Perth and Kinross, putting the area in the shop window for potential visitors."Perth and Kinross is the annual venue for the forest stages of the Colin McRae Rally and to now have the Rally of Scotland as an annual fixture in the calendar shows that the area is fast becoming a magnet for the sport and its followers."Andrew Coe, Chief Executive of International Motor Sports which organises the Rally of Scotland, added: "We are absolutely delighted to include what is already a hugely popular feature on the IRC's overseas events - and in one of Scotland's most vibrant cities. Furthermore this gives fans and the wider public, particularly families, free close-up access not normally available at major sporting events. Set against the backdrop of one of Perth's most recognisable buildings, this will make for very special sight."
After its Ceremonial Start from Stirling Castle on the Friday (7 Oct), this year's Rally of Scotland heads straight into its first two competitive timed stages in the dark of Carron Valley on the Stirlingshire-North Lanarkshire border. The Saturday (8 Oct) sees classic stages in Perthshire such as Craigvinean, Drummond Hill and Errochty all run twice - split at lunchtime by Perth City Centre's Re-group. The Sunday (9 Oct) sees the drivers return to Carron Valley before two more new tests in Stirlingshire, Loch Chon and the hugely challenging 26km High Corrie - each will be run twice. They will then head back into Perthshire for the event's final two stages and Ceremonial Finish in the majestic grounds of Scone Palace.Admission is £20 per public vehicle per stage with the exception of Sunday morning's Carron Valley stage which is £10 per vehicle.For Rally of Scotland stage locations and start times during its three days (7-9 Oct) see the Spectator section on the official rallyofscotland.com website. The site's homepage also provides a taste of what is in store this weekend with a short, dramatic video - compiled by IRC broadcaster and promoter Eurosport - of 2010's Rally of Scotland.