Russ Thompson and Andy Murphy – Mitsubishi Evo 9. Photo: Dave Ayres – Picturesports.co.uk
The first competitive rally event at Donington Park since 1998 will take place on Sunday 25th October. The rally is split into seven timed special stages, all of which are within the Donington Park circuit, providing a unique opportunity to follow the cars as they progress through the whole rally.
The special stages will use sections of the iconic Donington Park racing circuit in various ways plus some adjoining support roads. Each stage is around 7 miles long and will be changed during the day to provide different challenges for the crews.
The 80 entries will be seeded in order of anticipated performance (fastest first) with the first car away at 9.30am and then at 30 second intervals, until all of the cars are released. With the expected speeds there will be a dozen or more cars on different parts of the stage at the same time. After completing each stage the crews return to the Service Area in Paddocks 1 and 2 where their support crews are allowed to maintain and repair the rally car before they start the next stage.
The stages run in sequence with just a short interval between the last car finishing stage 1 and the first car starting stage 2. The action continues throughout the day although there will be a 45 minute interval after stage 4 at around 1.00pm while the stage route is completely reversed.
Live results available throughout the day at www.dukeries-rally.co.uk to help you follow the action. The last car is due to cross the finish line of the final stage at around 5.30pm, with the results and awards presentation taking place shortly afterwards.
One final thought: Rallying is an exciting and entertaining sport for the spectators and participants alike. No matter how skilled the driver, rally cars driven close to the limit can do unexpected things. So please unlike the idiot in this photo, stay safe and enjoy the day.