Seafront rally 'only place in England' to host British championships
ANDREW BISPING / CHELMSFORD MOTOR CLUB
Tendring will host the only English stage of the British Rally Championships in 2020 - in what Clacton MP Giles Watling believes will deliver a huge boost for the north Essex coast.
The Corbeau Seats Rally is back with a bang in 2020 - but this time it will offer the BRC its first trip to Essex in the series' 62-year history.
Now in its third year, the trailblazing rally was the first ever closed-roads event to sweep the UK, bringing huge crowds into Tendring and boosting its economy.
The 2020 stage, on April 25 and 26, will give British Rally competitors and fans a completely new event with closed road stages, offering a step into the unknown for the famous championship.
Also new for 2020 is a spectator stage on Clacton seafront on the Saturday evening, bringing the rally to the heart of the community. Organisers Chelmsford Motor Club are planning to run the cars in reverse order, from slowest to the fastest vehicles, with the aim of attracting more spectators on the Sunday.
Bosses said it was a "quick promotion" up to British Rally Championship level and that they were picked personally by organisers of the world-famous event.
Clacton MP Giles Watling, who waved away the first competitors at the 2019 rally, said: "I'm absolutely delighted that Clacton's unique rally will now be a part of the world-renowned British Rally Championship.
"Tendring was the first district in the country to host a road rally and now we're to be the only round of the contest in England.
"So now we have yet another fantastic feather in our cap, another great tourism offer for our special Sunshine Coast.
"I've been a supporter of the rally since its inception and I thank the Chelmsford Motor Club for bringing it to us."
BRC championship manager Iain Campbell said the Clacton stage will give them a chance to grow the British Rally fan base.
He added: "I am delighted to welcome the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring and Clacton event onto the calendar for next year. The rally will be in its third year and will offer a brand-new challenge for our crews and bring the championship to a new geographical location - which is really important for us to grow the following and fan base of the BRC."
Meanwhile Alex Porter, tourism chief at Tendring District Council, said the rally will attract widespread national and international media coverage.
He added: "Being part of the British Rally Championship is a real coup for the Corbeau Seats Rally and for Tendring; previous champions include household names like Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen. Becoming a round of the championship that has produced numerous World Rally Champions will mean national and international media coverage for Tendring and will encourage many more spectators to visit the area."