Rally the Globe has returned to the open road once again with owners of pre-1977 vintage and classic cars taking part in the recent Cloverleaf rally tours of Yorkshire and Scotland, which took place in June and July.
The the not-for-profit Club’s last road event took place no less than 16 months ago. The Southern Cross Safari, which took place in East Africa in March 2020, was a fitting end to the season which entered a period of enforced hiatus. Now with restrictions easing, the organisers and particpants can look forward to an exciting series of rallies once again.
Set in the spectacular scenery of Yorkshire and the west coast of Scotland, the Cloverleafs were a welcome return to classic and vintage car rallying. While competitive Tests and Regularity sections were included to dust off both driving and navigation skills, the emphasis was always on putting smiles back on faces rather than the saving seconds on the stopwatch. To that end there were no individual winners, however special team prizes and Spirit of the Rally Awards were presented.
The Cloverleaf format included four days of outstanding driving based around three nights accommodation at the same luxury venue. Entries were limited to Rally the Globe members, with a maximum of 12 crews per event.
“After the recent global frustrations, we were super-keen to start running events that would meet whatever protocols might still be in place this summer,” explained Fred Gallagher, the Club’s eminent Rally Director. “To that end, we focused our efforts on home soil and on finding suitable spots which offered both the safety of sole occupation as well as easy access to some of the UK’s greatest driving roads.
“The original plan was to run one of these in Yorkshire and one in Scotland but, because of the extremely large number of entries we received, we decided to run both a second time thus ensuring everyone could get an overdue run.”
Cloverleaf 2021 attracted a wonderfully eclectic entry of cars. Joining the ever-popular 1920s Bentleys, Porsche 911s, Datsun 240Zs, Aston Martins and Triumph TRs were less known motoring icons from yesteryear, including an AC Aceca-Bristol, Maserati Indy, Austin A90 Westminster, Jaguar Mk1, Citroen DS 23 Pallas, Talbot AV105, Rover P6 and Ford Escort Mexico. A couple of notable American cars were also on the roster: a Chevrolet Fangio Coupe and Chrysler ’75 Roadster.
The two Yorkshire Cloverleafs were held on 11-14 June and 12-15 July and were based at the idyllic Yorke Arms in Nidderdale just 25 miles from Rally the Globe’s headquarters in Leeds. The first afternoon’s action commenced in the beautiful stately splendour of Bowcliffe Hall and the rally finished three days later with lunch at the Michelin starred Angel at Hetton.
In between the picturesque route through the Yorkshire Dales and over the Yorkshire Moors, participants were treated to the wonders of ‘God’s own country’. The scenic drive took drivers and co-drivers past the famous Ribblehead Viaduct, Wensleydale Creamery, the Tan Hill Inn (Britain’s highest pub) and the magnificence of Castle Howard.
Staged north of the border, the other two Cloverleafs took place on 22-25 June and 19-22 July and proved to be equally spectacular. The events were centred at Laudale House in the vast 13,000 acre Laudale Estate on the Scottish west coast’s remote Morvern Peninsula.
Once all the paperwork was completed, a lone piper set competitors on their way from the beautiful village of Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond. This time the memorable 76 hour driving adventure featured the famous ‘Rest and be Thankful’ climb, the awe of Glencoe, the wild beauty of Ardnamurchan peninsula (the most westerly point of mainland Britain). The route also took in a trip to the epic roads and landscapes of Mull via the Corran Ferry… all en route to a five star conclusion at Cromlix House – the luxury hotel owned by tennis star Andy Murray serving up an ace finish to an ace event.
“Everybody was just delighted to get back out onto the road again and loved every single minute of both events – the feedback has been absolutely tremendous,” reported a delighted Gallagher who was equally pleased to see the Rally the Globe team back in the saddle. “It’s hard to imagine that the UK has any better driving roads than those that thrilled us in Yorkshire and Scotland and, perhaps more importantly at the moment, the camaraderie was just as excellent.”
Club Chairman, Graham Goodwin who participated in two of the Cloverleafs, was one of the many to heap praise on the excellence of Gallagher’s crack team. He lauded: “Planning and staging any rally is difficult but to do so many in such a short space of time, and in the current climate, is a truly fantastic achievement. These events were the perfect tonic we all desperately needed.”
With its events not back on the road once again, Rally the Globe is now gearing up for a return to Scotland in September before the reintroduction of more intrepid international fixtures later in the autumn. The longer and even more spectacular Highland Thistle Rally will take place from 2-7 September andincludes five days of awe-inspiring driving through the glens and mountains. Starting and finishing in historic St Andrews, the 1,250-mile journey travels through Scotland’s most iconic landscapes with a standout overnight halt in the rugged splendour of the Isle of Skye.
The following month’s Carrera Italia offers ten days of stunning driving through the majesty of the Ligurian Alps, Italian Lakes, the Dolomites and Tuscany.
“A very limited number of places are available on both the Highland Thistle and Carrera Italia,” reported Gallagher. “However, following the huge success of our Cloverleafs, it’s fair to say that excitement is building and interest in those few remaining spots is predictably strong.”
Rally the Globe Calender (2021-2023)
- 2-7 September 2021 – Highland Thistle Rally
- 2-12 October 2021 – Carrera Italia
- 25-27 March 2022 – Generations Rally
- 24 April-5 May 2022 – Carrera España
- 13 June–3 July 2022 – Ypres to Istanbul Challenge
- 25 September-1 October 2022 – Vintage Dolomites
- 28 January-24 February 2023 – Road to Hanoi Marathon