Rallying is one of the most popular forms of motor sport in Britain; despite varying levels of modification ‘under the skin’, the cars look like those we all drive and have a crew of two – a driver and co-driver, or navigator – who work as a team.
Cars normally run at one-minute intervals, competing against the clock rather than directly against each other as they would in a race.
29th March 2020
A number of events run under the umbrella title of ‘Rally’, including economy runs and treasure hunts.
All competing cars must be taxed, MOT tested and insured.
Minimum Requirements For Stage Rallies
dditional safety equipment (e.g. roll cage, fire extinguishers and fireproofing) and an MSA Log Book; two crew members with valid MSA National B Stage Rally licences and club membership cards; crash helmets and flame-resistant overalls to specified standards.
The driver must be at least 17 years old, hold a valid RTA Driving Licence and have passed a BARS (British Association of Rally Schools) test; the co-driver must be at least 16 years old.
Junior drivers may start stage rallying earlier (at 15), but only on selected, single-venue, events and in cars with engines less than 1000cc.
All of the rules and requirements are detailed in the annual ‘Blue Book’, available from the MSA.
Some of the variations are…
Twelve Car Navigation Rally
These events are sometimes run in the evening, last from two to four hours, covering about 45 miles and are limited, as the name suggests, to a maximum of 12 cars.
Navigational Road Rally
They typically start after 11.30 p.m. on a Saturday night and finish during the early hours of Sunday; the route can be as much as 150 miles in total.
Historic Road Rally
Cars must be at least 25 years old.
Special Stage Rallies
The ‘special stage’ is a stretch of road closed to all other traffic, marshalled at intervals and cars are timed with special clocks. In most of Great Britain (the exceptions being Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Mull, the Channel Islands and the roads used by the Jim Clark Memorial Rally in Scotland), public roads are not available, so special stage events use private land, typically Forestry Commission roads (‘Loose surface’ rallies) or disused airfields (‘Asphalt’ rallies).
The special stages are linked by sections of public road, where the required average speed is low (usually 28mph or lower). Because of this, all competing cars must be taxed and insured, with a current MOT certificate.
Most of the world’s most famous rallies are special stage events, for example the Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.