Mikko Hirvonen to star at RallyDay
Castrol and the BP Ford World Rally Team have confirmed their support for Rallyday, which takes place at Castle Combe Circuit on Saturday, July 22.
Current World Rally Championship driver – and the latest in a long line of successful "Flying Finns" – Mikko Hirvonen, will star at the event in the Ford Focus WRC06, which he will demonstrate on track in front of an estimated 10,000 visitors.
One lucky visitor will get an unforgettable ride alongside Mikko in the Focus WRC06 co-driver’s seat and experience the stunning speed and agility of the latest £500,000 World Rally Car and professional driver combination.
To have a chance of winning this incredible prize, visitors need only buy a raffle ticket from the Castrol stand on the day. All proceeds are being donated to Save the Children charity.
Continuing with young WRC talent, British driver Matthew Wilson from the Stobart Motorsport World Rally Team will make his first visit to Rallyday, giving fans the opportunity to witness a future World Rally Championship contender in the making.
Former British Rally Champion Russell Brookes will be reunited with three ex-works rally cars – all in their original Andrews Heat for Hire livery – for demonstration runs through the event’s Feature Rally Stage. The cars, used to campaign numerous championships, have all been immaculately restored since their competition days and include a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus, Ford Sierra Cosworth and Opel Manta 400.
2006 marks the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Ari Vatanen and David Richards winning the World Rally Championship drivers title in 1981. This, for many rally enthusiasts, will be the highlight of the event, as Vatanen and his original championship-winning co-driver, David Richards CBE, will once again drive VLE756X, the most famous Rothmans Escort of all time.
David Sutton, who managed the Rothmans Rally Team to victory 25 years ago, will be central to these celebrations, surrounded by some of the original cars and team members who helped the team achieve success. Complimenting the original team will be a magnificent display of original and replica Rothmans Escorts.
In addition, a large selection of significant historic Ford rally cars – ranging from Lotus Cortina to RS200 – will be on show in the main paddock, courtesy of the Gaydon and Historic Motorsport museums. The Sunbeam Lotus Owners Club will have 40 cars – including five ex-works rally cars – on display at the show, to mark 25 years since the car won the World Rally Championship manufacturers title.
As if all that were not enough, Lancia’s centenary will be celebrated by the Lancia Motor Club, who will host a major display of evocative Italian machinery at the event, highlighting the company’s rallying pedigree with a collection of some of the world’s most iconic rally cars.
Further details of the 2006 programme and other attractions can be found on the Rallyday website (www.rallyday.com).