Live pictures and video from Corbeau Seats Rally 2019
PUBLISHED: 10:54 28 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 28 April 2019
WILL LODGE/TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL
Thousands of people are at the Essex coast today cheering on competitors in the adrenalin-pumping Corbeau Seats Rally 2019 across Tendring and Clacton.
Spectators are already filling out three exclusive areas eager to get a slice of the action as the closed-road street rally comes back with a bang today.
Race directors hope this year's challenge – which features in three championships and sees competitors loop around the Tendring district – will be bigger and better than ever.
What's in store for the 2019 event?
New spectator venues, more stage miles and VIP areas are expected to attract bumper crowds to the coastline, where a huge TV screen will broadcast the rally live from Clacton seafront on Sunday, April 28.
Spectators are able to get so close they can almost taste the action – and watch rally cars thunder past at three exclusive areas.
They will be based across the district, and located as follows:
• Ship Hill in Bradfield – for stages 1, 5 and 9
• New for 2019, St Mary's in Little Bromley – for stages 3, 7 and 11
• Wick Road in Weeley Heath – for stages 4, 8 and 12
The biggest stage, at Ship Hill, features a heated marquee plus food and drink stands.
Half a dozen world championship level cars will join historic vehicles including a 1967 Austin Cooper (Mini), VW Beetle, Porsche 911 and Triumph TR7 V8.
The rally route – based on last year's inaugural event – will run over three loops of stages, with cars returning to the Clacton seafront service area between races.
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Fans were able to catch a first glimpse of the cars yesterday evening ahead of a ceremonial start at 6pm at Clacton seafront – where crews were flagged away by the town's MP, Giles Watling.
The starting gun fired this morning with crews heading out to the stages from approximately 8.30am.
Visitors can watch the action on the big screen while they wait for the cars to come back to service.
Event director Tony Clements said: “We started working on the 2019 rally shortly after we finished the inaugural event last year.
“The feedback from competitors and locals was very positive and we came away with a clear message inviting us back.
“We have added more stage miles, an additional spectator area, a VIP hospitality area and a big screen on Clacton seafront to make the most of the wonderful atmosphere there.
“The number, speed and quality of entries coming in was amazing and we look forward to working with our partners and the people of Clacton and Tendring to make this another special event for the area.”
Popular event is 'another string to Tendring's tourism bow'
Tendring District Council's tourism chief Mick Skeels said the quick take-up of places – which were gone within 90 minutes – was a sign of how much of a hit the rally is with the community.
“With such popularity, I have high hopes this event will draw even more spectators this year than last year – and provide a boost to our local economy,” he added.
“The fact there are some amazing former World Rally Championship cars, and that the rally forms part of other championships, will only serve to promote this further.
“We're looking forward to this top-notch event, which is another string to Tendring's tourism bow.”
• For a live feed, visit the Corbeau Seats Rally YouTube channel.