CARS and spectators assembled in Leominster today for the start of a classic car rally.

The Roger Albert Clark Rally re-creates the iconic RAC Rallies of the 1970s and 1980s.

It runs from November 21 to 25, starts in Leominster, and finishes in Carlisle, Cumbria.

More than 130 cars from across the UK and Europe were in town ahead of five days of timed competition on forest tracks in Wales, Northumberland and southern Scotland.

The arrival of the biennial event is seen as a major boost to businesses in Leominster in what would otherwise have been a quiet time of the year.

It is claimed that the rally, which is supported by Brightwells auction house in Leominster, brings up to £500,000 to the local economy.

Event manager Colin Heppenstall said bringing the rally to Leominster for the second time had been a good move.

“The team at Brightwells has been very supportive of our event and recognise the financial boost it brings to the region,” he said.

The rally was named in honour of the late Roger Albert Clark, a rally driver during the 1960s and 70s who was the first Briton to win a World Rally Championship event when he triumphed at the 1976 RAC Rally. Competitors are limited to cars released prior to 1982.

  • Pictures courtesy of Andrew Morris