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Rally for the Ages | Bicester Heritage June 3rd

Demand for entries sees cap raised twice to a capacity 90 crews

Free entry and free biofuel from Coryton encourages young entrants

41% of entries under 30, 55% are new to the sport

Media interest high as three press crews enter

Rally for the Ages | Bicester Heritage June 3rd

When HERO-ERA announced its Rally for the Ages in February to encourage younger people into the sport, it had no idea that the entry capacity would be raised and reached – twice! The organisation is absolutely delighted with the response which, when analysed, shows 55% of the entry are totally new to the sport and 30% of the crews are under 30 years of age.

Designed as an extension of HERO-ERA’s youth policy, the Rally for the Ages free entry combined with partner Coryton offering a tankful of biofuel for the event as the ‘fuel of the future’ has resulted in a full entry of 90 cars with young crews eager to sample historic rallying.

Tomas De Vargas Machuca, HERO-ERA Chairman articulated his pleasure at the result;

“The response from young classic car enthusiasts and newcomers to the sport has been immense, and it is therefore with enormous gratitude that we would like to thank participants for entrusting us with this fun motoring day. I would also like to personally thank David Simister, Editor of Classic Car Weekly, our media partner, for his tremendous editorial support in this ground breaking format. A special thanks goes to Dario Galli-Zugaro, MD at Net-Hero, who was able to partner with Coryton Fuels for the provision of Sustain Advanced Biofuels, which will no doubt be a pillar for the future usage of our beloved cars.

“Thanks also to Hangar 136, who trade in classic cars for those who want to drive them, and The Classic Valuer, the most comprehensive platform for classic car valuations online, made the finishing touches by engaging and attracting their vibrant audiences. Last but not least, our thanks go to Elisabeth Irvine Member of the Motoring Committee at the Royal Automobile Club for her relentless support.”

David Richardson, Business Development Director at Coryton, said:

“Rally for the Ages promises to be a fantastic day out, celebrating classic car culture whilst embracing new and younger audiences, so it seems apt to be incorporating forward-thinking solutions within the event. We’re delighted to be providing a sustainable fuel for the competitors and can’t wait to see the young teams in action.”

Classic car motorists competing in the HERO-ERA Rally for the Ages event next month (June 3rd) are being invited to complete the course on sustainable fuel.

Marking a major milestone in historic motoring, drivers will be invited to top up their tanks ahead of the rally with a blend of SUSTAIN from fuel specialist Coryton.

SUSTAIN uses advanced second-generation biofuel manufactured from agricultural waste (such as straw by-products or waste from crops which wouldn’t be used for consumption). By doing so, the fuel utilises the carbon that already exists in our atmosphere (which the plants absorb as they grow), rather than releasing additional CO2 that is currently locked underground in fossil fuel.

The final cap for the 90-car entry came with the kind permission of Motorsport UK after a request by HERO-ERA Competition Director Guy Woodcock who is Clerk of the Course for the event based at Bicester Heritage.

After registration and scrutineering on Saturday 3rd of June, Guy will deliver a training session for the eager crews which will include basic roadbook and map reading together with timing.

The Rally for the Ages event will start at 12.15 pm for the 100-mile route including four regularities and then the final part of the competition for two tests back at the Bicester Heritage test track.

The test track is where the rally could be won or lost! As well as basic navigation, the new crews will have to work out a communications system to guide each other around the course as fast as possible whilst ensuring that they stay on the right course using the diagrams provided. They will be trying to avoid hitting any of the markers – otherwise, there will be time penalties. Penalties will include not stopping in any boxes correctly or not stopping astride a line at the finish.

The competition will be intensified between the media crews entered as there is a media award up for grabs so, the honour of claiming top press team is at stake. The media rivals are Charlotte Vowden (Practical Classics) and Stephen Ratcliffe in the HERO-ERA Arrive Drive Mini Cooper S. Aaron Mckay and Harry Martin (Classic and Sports Car) in their 1983 Opel Monza. Event partner Classic Car Weekly have their own crew of journalists with Jesse Billington and Grace Bloye looking to uphold the honour of the media event partner. The CCW media crew will be in the HERO-ERA Arrive Drive FIAT 124 Spider which finished 6th overall on the Rally of the Tests 2022 in the hands of Tomas De Vargas Machuca and is a popular hire. Jesse said he would attempt to be the new Markku Alen!!

There are crews from seven different countries competing in the new Rally for the Ages event; including Germany, Romania, Turkey, Spain, Argentina, and the Netherlands. Amongst the youth-oriented entry, there are families intent on having fun such as young brothers George and Freddie Wiltshire in an MGB and sisters Olivia and Georgia Hardwick in a 1971 Alfa Romeo Giulia GT.

Cars vary from a 1924 3-litre Bentley and a 1934 Austin Seven Ulster to a 1989 Fiat Panda. A 1954 Citroen Avant light and a 1972 Fiat 500 make for an eclectic mix of machinery set to hopefully propel younger people into regular historic rally participation.

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