RAC Rally of the Tests

Chester - Harrogate


9th – 12th Nov 2017

Chester - Harrogate

From its inception in 1932, the RAC Rally has been at the pinnacle and forefront of motor sport worldwide, it has attracted many of the leading lights to compete in what has always been regarded as one of the toughest and challenging events ever. That first year saw no less than 341 competitors leave the start from nine different towns and converge on the seaside town of Torquay. Each different starting point comprised a route of around 1000 miles with four check points along the way. There was no official winner but the ‘competitor with fewest penalties’ went to Colonel A H Loughborough in his Lanchester.

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Event Description

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After the war, the RAC Rally was renamed ‘The RAC Rally of the Tests’ and resumed with a much more demanding format with more emphasis on the driving tests and navigational challenges that are such an important part of the Rally of the Tests we know today. Bournemouth was its finishing point in 1951. Best performance went to Ian and Pat Appleyard who would go on to be an inspiration to other competitors during the fifties and into the sixties. The event proved so popular that only the Suez Canal Crisis in 1957 and the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 1967 could prevent it running annually – the RAC Rally was here to stay.

It was a golden era for rallying, entries would often soar above 200 with many of the ‘Works’ teams fielding entries – the interest in the competitors and cars was huge and gave rise to many household names. The fifties saw a shift from the touring style of event of the thirties into one that challenged both driver and navigator alike with driving tests and legs during both the day and night time. 1960 was the final running of ‘the RAC Rally of the Tests’ after the organisers had negotiated the use of a three-mile section of forest road in Argyll, Scotland that proved so popular that the following year the forests of the UK were opened up to the event.

In 1961, the RAC Rally of the Forests was born, it was to be a ground-breaking move that cemented the future of stage rallying in the UK and was won by Erik Carlsson who was navigated by HERO founder John Brown in a Saab 96.

HERO Events are delighted to announce that with the continued support of the Royal Automobile Club and RAC Motoring Services we will continue to grow the event in its current and authentic format. We invite you to take part in this historic occasion, we are sure it will capture the imagination and affection of the public as they witness these magnificent vehicles and crews battling for supremacy once again.

Event Characteristics

Start Date


(Excluding scrutineering)

Finish Date


Current Entry fee


(Starting from)

Length of route

750 miles

(1200 km)

Pre-event training session


Approximate daily mileage

250 miles

(400 km)

Vehicle eligibility


(Cars built before this date)

Navigation type



Night sections


Expected Tests


Expected Regularities


HERO Cup coefficient


This event runs under the regulations of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA)

Vehicle Information

  • Only vehicles of a type produced pre-1962 are eligible for overall awards.
  • The cars will be spilt into classes, based on age and cc.
  • HERO continue to generally favour older cars and the route chosen has been planned around cars from the 1960’s but both older and newer cars will feel equally at home.
  • The scoring on the test sections is class based so you will be scoring against other similar aged cars.
  • Vehicle eligibility is defined in the HERO Standard Regulations, these are available in the event documentation section below.

What is included

  • Entry to the event for a crew of two people
  • Help from the most experienced team in historic rallying
  • Detailed road book with plotting instructions and overview maps
  • Mechanical assistance available if required during the event
  • Lunches and dinners during the event
  • Refreshment halts
  • Extensive awards list
  • Accommodation from 9th of November to 12th of November inclusive
  • Welcome buffet on Thursday the 9th of November
  • Black Tie Awards Presentation Dinner on Sunday the 12th of November

Entry qualification:

1. Entries are only accepted on receipt of a completed online application form and the deposit of £300 being received.

2. The entry is only confirmed once the balance in received on or before the due date of 31st July 2017

Entries received that do not meet the criteria of 1 and 2 above will be automatically moved to the event Waitlist and an entry on the Waitlist will be moved up to the entry.

Event Schedule


Prologue - Chester - Chester

The first leg of the event is designed to give crews a taste of the upcoming three days. Set in the Welsh/English border areas, this year's extended Prologue will see a couple of hours of competition in the dark comprising a brace of Regularities and Tests.


Day 1 - Chester - Darlington

Day 1
Leaving the luxurious surroundings of Carden Park behind, it is quickly into the action with a series of Tests across Cheshire before crews take to the Derbyshire Dales for some more challenging drives. The rest of the day sees the route wend its way up the Pennines via further Regularities and Special Tests plus a short evening Time Control Section to Redworth Hall near Darlington.


Day 2 - Darlington - Darlington

Day 2
Two nights in the same hotel is popular with crews plus allows us to explore some new territory in northern Cumbria and the Pennines. Heading west from Redworth, a series of early tests will set the scene before taking to the hills. As the day unfolds, the pressure will be increased and the challenges stepped up, culminating in a tough evening Time Control Section at a popular ROTT venue.


Day 3 - Darlington - Harrogate

Day 3
The Final Day... And a short run to Harrogate via the Vale of York and the surrounding hills. However, there will still be plenty of competition on offer before crews see the Finish Flag with a few interesting Regularities and some enjoyable Special Tests planned to make sure that the final results go down to the wire...


Entry List

RAC Rally of the Tests 2017 - Entries in age order

1 Stuart Anderson (GBR) Leigh Powley (GBR) Bentley Derby 4¼ 4257 1938
2 Marc Hanson (GBR) Brian Mackrill (AUS) MG YB 1250 1952
3 Tony Darwent (Eng) James Darwent (Eng) Austin-Healey 100/4 BN1 2660 1954
5 Steve Robertson (GBR) Julia Robertson (GBR) Triumph TR3 1991 1955
6 Seren Whyte (Wal) Elise Whyte (Wal) Standard 10 948 1957
7 Peter Humphrey (Sco) Douglas Humphrey (Sco) Volvo PV544 1800 1958
8 Charles Graves (Eng) Bob Rutherford (Eng) Jaguar XK150 3800 1958
9 Rob van der Leeuw Peter van Egmond Alfa Romeo Guilietta Sprint Veloce 1590 1959
12 Brian Dwelly (Eng) Janette Dwelly (Wal) Morris Minor 1000 995 1959
13 Dermot Carnegie (IRL) Paul Bosdet (Eng) Volvo PV544 1800 1959


As always we need a small army of marshals to make the event a success, click on the button above to sign-up.

Event Documentation

Equipment Check-List

Previous event reports