It’s only been 12 months, but Saturday cannot come soon enough! That’s because deep in the depths of south-west England, Castle Combe will be delivering the ultimate rallying history lesson.
The quarter of a century in question? The 25 glorious years between 1997 and 2021. The World Rally Car era.
And what a collection of cars there will be to celebrate this iconic time.
Prodrive will lead the way, taking along not one, but three stunning Subaru Impreza WRCs, all originally built by the Banbury firm, to take take on the Legends stages.
There’s also two ex-Juha Kankkunen cars from 1999 and 2000, while the S9 WRC used by Tommi Mäkinen to bring down the curtain on his stellar career at the 2003 Rally GB, will feature in full force.
Rallyday won’t be completely stuck in the 1990s though. Prodrive is also supplying a Mini John Cooper Works WRC to be shown on static display.
But while the World Rally Car era might be the headline act, don’t be fooled into thinking that’s everything.
A monstrous ex-Hannu Mikkola Audi Quattro E2 will be ready to deafen the crowd with its wild growl, not to mention the 555bhp Vauxhall Firenza Can Am. And if you’re more about the raucous than the roar, try an all-original ex-works Group A Prodrive BMW M3.
But if rare’s your thing, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find one of only five Ford Escort RS1700Ts left in the world and then there’s the Group N Ford Sierra RS Cosworth Jimmy McRae used to win the 1989 Tour of Britain.
Well, we say Group N… this was definitely the pokiest ‘showroom’ motor the five-time British Rally champion ever pedaled.
Those stories, those people and those cars are what Rallyday in association with DirtFish is all about.
It’s a one-day festival of everything that’s good, great and gorgeous in our sport.
Looking forward to Saturday, Castle Combe managing director Graham Marshallsay said: “Rallyday is always one of our most popular events and this year’s shaping up to be one of the best.
“This year will offer a real history lesson, with cars from right down the years. We’ve got some fantastic Group 4 machinery, then there’s the magic, madness and mystique of Group B right through Group A and Nicky Grist driving his ex-Carlos Sainz Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD – what a beautiful machine that is.
Rallyday is special because it’s somewhere you can come, buy yourself a burger, stand on the bank and enjoy wonderful cars and magic memoriesSteve Rimmer
“Then it’s the World Rally Cars and some of the fascinating class cars like the Peugeot 208 T16 or the Nissan Sunny GTi F2 car Tommi Mäkinen drove.
“We have to say a very big thank you to BGMSport’s Ian Gwynne and, of course, our sponsor DirtFish. DirtFish owner Steve Rimmer will be with us, enjoying the sport and sharing the moments through the day. Like all rally fans, Steve’s very welcome and we look forward to seeing you all on Saturday.”
Steve is just as excited ahead of the event.
“Rallyday is an event that’s very close to the hearts of rally fans from across Britain and around Europe,” he said.
“As a British rally fan myself – one who grew up chasing RAC Rallies around the country – I love Rallyday. It brings together some of the finest cars from down the decades, there’s the driving element with the BGMSport Legends Stages and there’s the opportunity to meet likeminded people and catch up with old friends.
“It’s a great pleasure for DirtFish to back Rallyday. As a Rally School, we’re all about the sport and encouraging participation in rallying – this is another great opportunity to do that.
“At the same time, Rallyday holds a fairly special place in the development of DirtFish Media. It was at this event in 2019 that we pulled the deal together to start what’s grown into arguably the world’s biggest and best source of rally and off-road news.
“But mainly, DirtFish Rallyday is special because it’s somewhere you can come, buy yourself a burger, stand on the bank and enjoy wonderful cars and magic memories. I know that’s what I’ll be doing on Saturday, September 17.”
Tickets for Rallyday on Saturday September 17 can be purchased on the gate priced at £25 per adult. See Rallyday.com for more details.
0900-1130 Track sessions
1015 Interview with DirtFish’s Steve Rimmer and David Evans
1145 Legends Car Parade
1230-1400 Legends Stages 1 & 2
1415 Interview with Gwyndaf Evans
1415-1545 Rally Car Package
1445 Interview with Nicky Grist and Matt Edwards
1515 Interview with Ryan Champion
1600 Passenger rides
1630-1700 Slow Parade Laps (Subaru only)