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Early birds will catch the very best of the Wyedean Rally action

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

speed: Nigel Jenkins

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Ahead of Saturday's Wyedean Rally, motorsport writer Andy Sutton gives an introduction to the big race.

So how does this rally work?

IN SIMPLE terms there are three categories: the 1400s (the young guns), the historics (the old guns) and the open (the quick guns).

There are seeded places in each of these classes.

The first car will leave rally headquarters and start from Chepstow Racecourse at 8am and will finish from about 2.40pm.

The next crews will all leave the control at one-minute intervals. They will travel a governed road section to their first competitive special stage.

The crews then use public roads to link stage to stage. They are not allowed to speed, however they have a hectic day so please don't hold them up!

With a full entry list of 180 cars this spreads over three hours of action. Wherever you view seeing an early stage means you can see nearly all teams, as once action is underway retirements and accidents happen.

Every finishing crew must complete 45 competitive miles over seven special stages, plus non-competitive road mileage, which is all run by the Forest of Dean Motor Club (FoDMC) and other assisting local clubs.

Where to watch?

THE main heart of the action is within a five-mile radius of the famous Speech House Hotel.

Classic stages such as Sallowvallets, Serridge, Mailscot and the Speech House stage itself all offer superb viewing.

The organisers will hold onto the route details until the last moment so check out their website.

Who to watch out for?

THE first cars through will be the 1400s. These lightweight racers may be limited in cc but certainly not in performance as they scream to 9500 rpm.

There is Forest interest in this division with Lydney's Nigel Jenkins and Kevin Watkins in their Vauxhall Nova.

Former champions Cheltenham's Darren Pinchin and FODMCs Kaz Watts will be chasing in the Proton Satria.

Next up will be the Historic class, where all eyes and ears will be on Steve Perez and Paul Spooner in their Lancia Stratos. Gloucester's Roger Mathews and Paul Morris hold up the local flag with a wealth of experience.

In the Open class the favourites are Charlie Payne and Craig Thorley in their Ford Focus WRC, who will be looking to add to last year's victory. Gloucestershire Rally School chief Andy Gwynne and co-driver rally instructor Mark Watkins are in the Super Citroen Saxo 1600 kit car.

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  • Dae81  |  February 07 2013, 1:09PM

    Unfortunately this article is out of date before it was even posted. On Tuesday, Steve Perez said the Stratos will not be ready in time.