Fabulous route for 2014 Roger Albert Clark Rally

A range of fabulous stages await competitors on the 2014 Roger Albert Clark Rally (28-30 November) when the event has a completely new look with Sunderland as the host city. Rally manager Colin Heppenstall has just completed a major route survey and says that he was greatly impressed with the condition of the stages in and around the Kielder complex. “The quality of stages is very, very good,” said Heppenstall.With the rally start, finish and HQ all based in Sunderland, the route will take in several stages that are completely new to the event in a total competitive route of up to 190 stage miles.The final leg on Sunday (30 November) starts and finishes with a 12-mile stage in Harwood, which has not been used on the event since the inaugural rally in 2004. The stage has not been used for any rallying for several years and Heppenstall says it has been completely re-graded. “Harwood is a beautiful stage and is very fast in places.”Other stages on the Sunday leg, including Redesdale and Ogre Hill, are in superb condition while Falstone will offer a 15-mile challenge as it returns to the rally for the first time since 2009. Redesdale has never been used on the Roger Albert Clark Rally and Ogre Hill has not been used since the 2004 event; both stages are seldom used for rallying.Saturday’s stages are in fine order including those in the main Kielder block, while Kershope and Ash Park recently won rave reviews from competitors on the DMACK Carlisle Stages.Two visits to Hamsterley, on Friday evening and Saturday morning, will use the best roads in the complex with only 200m of road being used on both visits. “We’ve got two good routes in Hamsterley using only the ‘A’ class roads,” said Heppenstall.Event regulations are due to be published in mid-August.