RAC Rally of The Tests 2018

Harrogate - Bristol


The One To Win

8th to 11th November 2018

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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Participants in 2017 said…


“As ever always a slick operation, spot on paperwork and great venues but just the balance this year made it such a fantastic event, many thanks to all those involved”

“Many thanks to the whole team for what I consider was one of the best ROTT. The overall route was good, it was particularly good staying at the same hotel for 2 nights, some great tests and regularities and 2 brilliant night legs”

“What a great start venue and we were blessed with a room with a view over the lake – fabulous. Haddon Hall & Armathwaite Hall both good venues for lunch and Bramham Park was the icing on the cake. The overall route certainly took in some fantastic roads, especially over the Pennines.”

“Very tough on man and machine and some very demanding navigation, but that is why we all return year after year”

“This year’s event was excellent in every respect and I am a satisfied customer. I could detail every good element but you would get bored reading it all. But as a team you excelled!”

Event Description

Expert difficulty

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 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


Length of route

750 miles (TBC)

(1200 km) (TBC)

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


Current Entry Fee


Non Premier members

Current Entry Fee


Premier Members (HPM)

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

Vehicle Information

  • Only vehicles of a type produced pre-1968 are eligible for overall awards
  • The cars will be split into classes, based on age and cc
  • 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
  • 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

What Is Included In The Entry Fee?

  • 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 8th of November to 11th of November inclusive
  • Welcome buffet on Thursday the 8th of November
  • Black Tie Awards Presentation Dinner on Sunday the 11th 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 is received on or before the due date of 31st July 2018

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 - Harrogate - Harrogate

The first leg of the event is designed to give crews a taste of the upcoming three days. Set in the classic rallying territory of North Yorkshire, this year's extended Prologue will see a couple of hours of competition in the dark comprising of Regularities and Tests.


Day 1 - Harrogate - East Midlands

Day 1
From Harrogate it started. We truly hope that this event won't encounter the treacherous conditions that prompted the classic film of the 1971 RAC Rally, but who knows? We venture into new territory on this leg as we head south towards our overnight halt in the East Midlands.


Day 2 - East Midlands - South Wales

Day 2
We head west today and then further south. Crossing into Wales, you will be challenged and tested by some of the most fantastic driving roads in the UK- and possibly some of the best private land based sections too! We overnight in South Wales prior to the final leg which will be based in the south-west of England.


Day 3 - South Wales - Bristol

Day 3
The Final Day.
Leaving Wales behind, a journey into the myriad of lanes that form Somerset and surrounding counties. This will be a press-on final leg with tests and regularities aplenty - with the distinct possibility of some 'challenges' provided by Guy and Anthony to keep you on your toes. You will be welcomed to the RAC Control Centre for some tests before the people of Bristol welcome you to their town for the finish - who will be the winner?

2017 Full Feature Film

Entry List

RAC Rally of The Tests 2018 - Confirmed Entries

RAC Rally of The Tests 2018 - Pending Entries

Event Documentation

Marshals Required

The outline route for this event has now been finalised so it is time to seek your help and support to make it another successful year.

The event start is in Harrogate with a Prologue in the local area on the Thursday evening.

Leg 1, on Friday 9th November, takes the event from Harrogate south to the Birmingham area.

Leg 2 heads west into Wales via a route to the north of the West Midlands conurbation and to an overnight halt at the Celtic Manor just outside Newport.

The final leg takes the event through the west country to finish back in Bristol at the RAC Headquarters building.

We already have over 100 entries.  There is the usual smattering of Amazons, Cooper S’s, Escorts and Porsches with the oldest entrant being the 1936 Bentley Derby of Stuart Anderson.

Ian Butcher is the Chief Marshal again for the fourth year, he would love to hear from you. So if you can help us by marshaling on any section of the event please click here and sign up

Equipment Check-List

Previous event reports