Despite being only 20 miles away from Castle Combe circuit, I’d never been to Rallyday until this year so I had no idea what to expect. The event marked its twelfth edition in style on Saturday August 18th with 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg pulling out all the stops to give the fans a truly memorable day at the UK’s Premier Rally Car Show.
“The fans at Rallyday have a lot of passion too and that is why it is very enjoyable. I have been signing I don’t know how many autographs, but it is great, and I loved going out on track in the Fiesta RS WRC Car – just give me a steering wheel and some power and I will do my job!”
Solberg is one of the most popular and flamboyant characters in the FIA World Rally Championship, and visitors (and camera crew!) were left in no doubt as to why he is known affectionately as Hollywood.
“This is a fantastic event and there is a lot of people here and a lot of nice cars,” said the 37-year-old, 150 WRC event veteran. “I must say I fit in very well because I love cars and there are some very, very special ones here.”
Other stars at the event included Phil Collins, Terry Kaby, Phil Mills, WRC Academy pilot John MacCrone plus regular Rallyday hosts, Tony Mason and Howard Davies.
The feature rally stage wasn’t the only live action going on throughout the day. Outside the circuit, opposite Farm Straight was the Rally Raid Zone. A mixed surface course around which a variety of vehicles hooned including the Race2Recovery team giving white knuckle passenger rides in their Qt Wildcats.
A large part of the attraction of rallying is that fans can walk into a garage and buy a road going version of the cars you see in the WRC. They can, and do. I have never seen so many Lancers, Imprezzas and Ford RS’s in once place.
When they aren’t out on the rally stages, you can get up and close to all the participating cars.
Motors TV took footage of all the key action and the Special Stage TV Rallyday Special will be shown on Motors TV on Wednesday 12th September 2012 at 8pm.