Mintex Rally Yorkshire is set to return on Friday 8th and Saturday the 9th April, with a host of historic rally cars taking part in stages at the Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate, Church Fenton airfield and at the Odsal Stadium outside Bradford.
The weekends motorsport action recalls the legendary Mintex Seven Days Rally of the the 1970s, which was organised locally by De Lacy Motor Club. It was one of the toughest UK rallies, attracting drivers from all over the World, but as considered a more social weekend rather than an outright competition stage.
The new event revives the spirit of the original Mintex Rally and is one of a series of historic rally car demonstration events run by the Lombard Rally organisation, which has been staging these events across the UK since 2018. Lombard Rally organises these special motorsport events for historic rally cars, many of which are too valuable to be driven on competitive rallies, or whose drivers no longer want to drive at full competitive speeds. It is a fantastic watch for motorsport fans, who get the opportunity to see some iconic historic rally cars in action.
This years Mintex Rally Yorkshire will be based at the Cedar Court Hotel, Harrogate. First run in 2019, recreating parts of the iconic Mintex Seven Dales Rally from the 1970s, based at the Principal Hotel in York, a return to Harrogate was thought more authentic as many rallies were based in period Period rally cars, whether from the 1980s like the Metro 6R4 or Renault Clio, or older like the Toyota, Saab or Escort from the 1960s and 70s, will be the focus of the event.
The cars will line up on display at Cedar Court Hotel on the Friday evening, with a traditional rally forum, meet and greet and a Buffet Dinner part of the evenings entertainment.
The event will then depart on Saturday morning to the former RAF Church Fenton airfield, which is now Leeds East Airport. The cars will take part at the morning’s activities at Leeds East Airport Church Fenton, which was used in period. There fans can watch the rally cars undertake six laps of the circuit. Church Fenton will also be the spectator base for the morning, with a separate entrance for spectators to a dedicated area, with the possibility of VIP Hospitality viewing spot from the control tower balcony.
Gates open at 9.30am and the first cars are due at around 10.00am. The runways and perimeter tracks around the airfield make for both great viewing for the spectators and an interesting driving experience.
Lunch will then be held at Harrogate Rugby Club, before the route continues north to other military and stately home venues used in period by the Mintex Seven Vales Rally, before returning in the early evening to the Cedar Court Hotel. The cars entered will again be lined up at the Hotel and the concluding dinner will take place during the evening.
In addition to the entries, Star Drivers will take part including Yorkshire Legend Bob Bean and former Swedish Champion driver Bror Danielsson will also join us.
The organisers welcome corporate involvement in April with opportunities available, but not exclusive to, naming rights to the whole event or sections of it, guest involvement at Church Fenton or other venues, including VIP guests on the control tower balcony, guests attending the Saturday evening dinner, advertising in the event programme, a branded car taking part or a ride in the co-drivers seat of a car taking part.
On the Saturday the motorsport action will also see the historic rally cars taking part in Mintex Rally Yorkshire tackle a short demonstration stage at Odsal Stadium, using the entry roads and the oval stock car track. After a short stop, they will tackle the same route again.
Fans will be on the look out for Yorkshire legend rally drivers Bob Bean and John Midgley, who will be driving a Ford Escort and Porsche 911 respectively. They will be joined by other amazing cars recalling the ‘Golden Years of Rallying’, such as Austin Healey 3000, Minis, Saab 96, Hillman Imp, Lancia, Talbot Sunbeam, many Ford Escorts and others. The first car should arrive soon after noon.
Special spectator packages will be put together over the coming months and more details about the event can be found on the Mintex Rally website.