‘Spectacular’ Corbeau Seats Rally draws bumper crowds to Tendring district
- Credit: CHELMSFORD MOTOR CLUB
England’s first ever car rally to be held on closed public roads saw thousands of spectators flock to Tendring to catch a slice of the action.
The Corbeau Seats Rally, held under sunny skies on Sunday, saw 106 rally cars take on three laps of a five-stage course around the district – with the main hub on Clacton seafront.
Early estimates suggest there were around 6,000 people watching the event.
Ship Hill in Bradfield was the main spectators zone, giving panoramic views of the route, while those watching from the second at Wick Road, near Great Bentley, saw cars sweep round a tight hairpin bend.
Mick Skeels, TDC cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said the event had given a real boost to business in the district.
He said: “Speaking to spectators around the start in Clacton there was a real buzz of excitement about the rally coming to our district. Some were local residents, many not motor sport fans usually but who were keen to watch something different right on their doorstep.
“There were also rally fans who had come from far and wide to Tendring especially for this event, and we know anecdotally that hotel rooms have been extremely hard to come by this weekend.
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“Other businesses, not related to tourism, have also benefited – such as tyre and fuel supply firms in Clacton and Harwich who have been selling to competitors throughout the weekend.
“Helped by the brilliant weather, the whole rally is a wonderful advert for Tendring.”
Tony Clements, event director from Chelmsford Motor Club, said: “I’m like a little boy whose birthday has come on Christmas Day with how well this event has gone. All the years of planning have paid off, and we have a delivered a brilliant event.
“It has been great to see all of the competitors, officials, spectators and passing members of the public really enjoying and engaging with the rally.
“The feedback I’ve had from the competitors is that they are overwhelmed with the hundreds of people, including families with their deckchairs and picnics, lining the open road sections between the stages to watch the cars as they drive past. It shows great support for the event.”
Nabila Tejpar, who was due to go head-to-head against her dad, unfortunately had to pull out of the race due to technical issues.