Alfa triumphs on punishing Rally of the Tests

| 13 Nov 2012

A 1959 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint driven by Paul Wignall and Mark Appleton won the 11th Rally of the Tests from 8-11 November.

Second place on the Classic Rally Association-organised event went to a 1964 Porsche 356B driven by Neil Wilson and Matthew Vokes, while third was snapped up by John Bateson and Mark I'Anson in a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SE.

Around a third of the field retired due to mechanical problems that started before the event even got under way, as Rob Van der Leeuw and Peter Van Egmond’s Alfa Sprint broke down in Calais en route to the start.

They had to drive through the night to compete in a borrowed Austin-Healey 3000.  

The contest celebrated the 80th anniversary of the RAC Rally and started in Torquay (the finishing point for the first rally in 1932), with the traditional Prologue, which consisted of three tests on private land and two regularities through the narrow lanes of South Devon.

The rally proper started on Friday as the route took in the West Country, heading north to the Severn Bridge.

By Saturday drivers were entering mid-Wales, taking in famous sections such as the Epynt Military Ranges.

A final brace of challenging trials and regularities in the Vale of Clwyd tested drivers’ skills as the cars made their way through the Cambrian Mountains before crossing the finishing line in Chester on Sunday.

Event director Jeremy Dickinson said: “Along the years we have built a special atmosphere combining closely fought competitive motoring with a great social side.

“Rallying is a team sport and through the Rally of the Tests we want to encourage both driver and navigator to challenge themselves without missing the opportunity to have fun.”

View the full results here.