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Rally returns to Annandale

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By Euan Maxwell
Rally returns to Annandale

ANNANDALE will play host to the Scottish Rally as the competition blasts back into action later this month.

The Lockerbie-based gravel rally returns to full strength on July 23 after being forced to run behind closed doors in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Based at Lockerbie Lorry Park, crews will head out to tackle 42 miles of stages, spread across six stages with a mid-event regroup in Moffat town centre at around midday to split the rally.

Offering the chance for fans to get up close and personal to the cars and crews, the town will also welcome the winners back later in the day for the now traditional champagne spray and finish celebrations.

The highly-regarded event marks the 76th running of the rally, thought to be one of the longest-running motorsport events in the country and will take in classic stages in the Castle O’er, Ae and Twiglees forest complexes during an action-packed day of flat-out competition.

Joined by competitors in the KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship, HRCR Northern Historic Gravel Championship and Army Land Rover Challenge, crews from across the UK will be traversing some of the finest special tests in the country which have been specifically chosen for their smooth nature and durability.

Previous winners of the event include World Rally Championship legends such Colin McRae, Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist. Dumfries driver David Bogie made history in 2021 by winning the event for a record-breaking seventh time, piloting his MINI JCW WRC, winning by almost a minute.

The organisers are delighted to be able to welcome spectators back into the forests this year, with the opportunity to catch the action on three out of the six stages during the day.

Clerk of the course, Jonathan Lord and his team have been working hard to create an event worthy of its long-running history.

He said: “The organising team have been working very hard behind the scenes to create a fantastic event for crews and fans alike and we have made several changes from last year thanks to the feedback received from competitors.

“Our recent route survey and changes to the format of stages have ensured that we only use some of the best quality forests available to us and they are in prime condition to welcome our crews to the amazing forest roads our region offers.

“It will also be fantastic to welcome spectators back into the forests to add to the atmosphere of this year’s event.”