A new tie-up has been struck between Wick and a classic car club which is hoped will lead to an increase in visitors to the town.
The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO), which runs the Land’s End to John O’Groats Reliability Trial (Lejog), are keen to attract people to the area who would never normally have the chance to visit the town. They would like people to come and enjoy the welcome they receive and the wide range of regional shops and services unique to the area.
Wick has been the town of choice for the finish venue of the world famous event for the majority of Le Jog’s history, and an agreement at the gala presentation dinner held at the Assembly Rooms on Tuesday ensured that the tradition will continue for the foreseeable future.
This year’s event was the 20th anniversary run and it saw 75 crews from 12 countries take part. The plan is for HERO to work in partnership with local authorities to bring the town more publicity.
A classic 1969 Porsche 911 driven by Jonathan and Christine Miles who finished in 36th place in the Lejog rally. Add: Caithness motoring anoraks will be interested to note the SK registration.
Highland Council’s Caithness civic leader Gail Ross helped forge the new link-up.
She said: “Lejog is an event we need to celebrate locally as it brings much needed bodies into the county at a time of year when tourists are sunning themselves elsewhere.
“I’m really proud my home town of Wick is held in such high regard by the organisers and participants of this high profile event and I’m really excited at the prospects for next year’s rally.”
Anne Dunnett, Lord Lieutenant of Caithness, meets all of the competitors and officials at the end of their drive to Caithness.
“The enthusiasm of them never ceases to amaze me and it is certainly a test of endurance for them but one which brings great enjoyment,” she said.
“The locals look forward to the event and are in awe of the driving skills of the competitors. We hope that the association with Wick and Caithness will continue for a long time to come.”
Patrick Burke, joint managing director of HERO said: “Our competitors always comment on the warmth of the reception they receive from the locals and also the incredibly beautiful scenery with its un-spoilt feeling. It is a very special place.”