Youth-focused rally makes a flying start

Friday 09 June 2023

Regularity rally organiser HERO-ERA are celebrating a successful inaugural ‘Rally for the Ages’, which took place with a capacity 90 entries on June 3.

Designed to attract young enthusiasts to the sport, the event featured 18 crew members under the age of 15 and was won by father-and-son duo Jon and Jack Harvey (aged 15) in a VW Golf, ahead of the BMW 325i of Jonathan Shepard and 22-year-old daughter Imogen.

The event, based at the Bicester Heritage site in Oxfordshire, involved four regularities on public roads in the county and four tests at Heritage, which formed the start and finish point.

Unlike stage rallying, regularities don’t involve driving flat-out through special stages: instead, they take place mainly on public roads and come with the objective of testing the driver and co-driver’s skills at maintaining a precise average speed over a defined route. As such, virtually any road car can be used, provided it meets the specific entry requirements of the event – making them a popular and cost-effective form of motorsport.

In addition, the only license required for taking part is the free Motorsport UK RS Clubman License.

As an incentive to attract young crews to take part, HERO-ERA was offering a full entry refund for any crews with a combined age of less than 70. The youngest crew in action was the Starter Motor Ambassador team of Harvey Fox and Thomas Reed, sharing a Mazda MX5 with a combined age of just 38.

There were 180 crew members in total, with 55% of them being new to regularity rallying – many saying they would come back for more! An eclectic mix of machinery made it not only a varied entry in terms of vehicles, but seven countries were represented – with one team coming all the way from Vancouver Island in western Canada – giving the event an international flavour.

The event was also notable for its partnership with Coryton Fuels, who provided free-to-use suistanable biofuel for all entrants in an effort to keep emissions to a minimum. An impressive 70 of the 90 vehicles ran on the fuel.

Jonathan Jackson, Rallies and Cross Country Manager at Motorsport UK:

Regularity rallying is a fantastic discipline to have within rallying as a whole, and with initiatives like this, Motorsport UK is really pleased to be here today supporting it. It’s very popular and ever-growing as we’ve seen.

It’s a big thing for us at the minute within the UK rally strategy, to be looking at ways in which we can get more people into the sport, particularly younger people. So, initiatives like this are fantastic, because at Motorsport UK we really want to encourage youngsters into the sport.

HERO-ERA organises various regularity rally events throughout the year. Click here to visit its website.