2005 Rally of the Tests Report

Frank Fennell and Kevin Savage took a convincing victory on the 2005 Rally of the Tests. The Mercedes Benz 300SE crew finished over two minutes ahead of their nearest challengers, a pair of Alfa Romeos.

Run over four days, starting in Edinburgh and finishing in Stratford-on-Avon, the event is designed to revive the spirit and style of an RAC Rally of the 1950’s. With such a tough format to just finish the event is a feat in itself!

The first day’s action featured a prologue test at the Knockhill race Circuit in Fife. Times set here dertermined the running order of the eighty-one starters for the following day’s haul to Penrith in Cumbria.

The route took competitors via a time control outside the Jim Clark Room in Duns where a more modern day rallying icon, former Ladies World Rally Champion Louise Aitken-Walker was doing a spot of marshalling.

Tests followed at Charterhall, where Clark often raced and the most impressive Floors Castle before crews crossed the border just south of Gretna before tackling the daunting roads of the Warcop Military Ranges in the dark.

By the time crews had reached the overnight rest halt Fennell from Dublin and Savage from Bolton-le-sands. Lancashire. had moved up to third a significant improvement on their starting position of ninth.

Day three’s route started with a test at the Lowther Wildlife Park before heading south through the Lake District. The rally then ran through North East Lancashire before crossing the Pennines into Yorkshire. By the time crews reached the Buxton night halt Fennel and Savage were in the lead and they would stay there right up to the Stratford finish.

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