AFTER a year away the Wyedean Stages returns this weekend with 90 cars looking to take top honours.

The Forest of Dean will reverberate to the sound of rally cars once again this Saturday as The Winner Garage Wyedean Stages in association with KGD Services takes place.

Some 90 cars will leave the Vantage Point complex at Mitcheldean on Saturday morning for six special stages and 42 miles of competition.

The first block of cars spectators will see include category one and two historics and up to 1400cc cars seeded in reverse order, these will be followed by the rest of the field in performance seeded order.

There are some fantastic old historic cars in this first block including former Wyedean winner Ian Beveridge is his Toyota Corolla TE27.

One of the first local drivers on the road is young Luke Watts on his first ever gravel rally in the NJ Auto Repairs/Ian Watts & Son 1.0 Toyota Yaris, ably guided by Colin Jenkins.

His grandfather Phillip Turley was the Wyedean clerk of the course for 40 years and mum Karen is also competing.

The battle for overall honours at the front of this section is expected to be between BTRDA 1400 front runners Steve Black with Ross Motor Club's Paul Morris on the notes in the Suzuki Swift 1400 S.

There is a fascinating battle for both overall and two wheeled drive honours, especially with the Welsh National Championship title still at stake.

The Skoda Fabia R5 of Iain Bainbridge will lead the open field away but the Welsh Championship protagonists Russ Thompson and Matthew Hirst in a pair of Lancer Evo 9s, will push hard for victory.

One crew to keep an eye on is the Subaru Impreza of Chris Powell and Jim Lewis.

The two-wheeled drive battle sees a host of top historic crews using the event as a RAC Rally shakedown.

Nick Elliott is the top seeded in this category, but he won't have it all his own way with the flying Sunbeam of Andy Davison and the up and coming youngster Tom Llewellin in his Escort RS1800 will be pushing for honours.

Local crews include: Ben Friend & Cliffy Simmons in the Allglass Escort RS1800, Mark Griffiths & Matt Rogers in the Griffiths Engineering Escort RS, Alex Allingham & Ross Weir in a brand new Dave Jenkins Motorsport built RS1800, Tim Freeman & Paul Williams Escort RS1800, Jason Gardner & Mike Jode in their RS1800.

"Despite the event not running last year, this year's event was always going to happen," said Wyedean Media Officer Paul Willetts

"Thanks to the dedication and hard work of those involved, the rally has attracted a good quality entry and a varied array of cars.

"We ask people to be sensible where they watch the event from, Motorsport UK are now not only big on event safety these days, but also for people to be respectful to the officials and marshals if they are being asked to move otherwise it may jeopardise the events future.

"We want people to enjoy the event but stay safe, and all it takes is a bit of common sense and cooperation."

Spectators are also asked to use the official Rally car parks, where there will be given event information and full facilities are available for everybody to enjoy the event.

Full event details are available at