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Flat-out action - Report: Chatsworth Rally Show 2010

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This year's event celebrated thirty years of the quattro, with a large display of historic Audi rally cars on the course.

There are various historic rally shows across the UK each year, but the best must surely be the Chatsworth bash, which this year took place on 5-6 June. Every year this fixture gathers together some of the most significant rally cars ever created, for a weekend of flat-out action; this time celebrating three decades of the Audi quattro.

While most of the metal was from the past three decades, older gems included Mick Darcey’s ex-Don Morley Healey 3000, which spontaneously combusted on stage, plus Andrew Cowan’s brace of Imps. Also on hand was Russell Brookes in his Talbot Sunbeam Lotus but one of the most fascinating cars on the course was Mick Strafford’s Vauxhall Firenza. Fitted with a 4.8-litre Chevrolet V8 and a ludicrous rear fin, the car looked as incongruous as it sounded.

Other highlights included Graeme Lawton’s ex-Guy Frequelin/Jean Todt Sunbeam Lotus and Steve Rockingham’s ex-works TR7 V8, while a stack of Group B monsters were in action throughout the weekend. Terry Maynard’s RS200 and Warren Philliskirk Metro 6R4 provided plenty of entertainment too, but most unlikely entry was Tony Worswick’s 308GTB, which only just managed to clear some of the sections on the stage, thanks to its limited ground clearance.

Biggest draw for many though was the special display of Audi Quattros, including several driven in period by Blomqvist, Rorhl and Mikkola. Sadly they weren’t exercised as thoroughly as some of the less significant cars, but for those who wanted to immerse themselves in history this was the place to be. Including examples of the original coupé, the E2 and the S1, the collection spanned the key Quattro era of 1981 to 1986.

The Rally Show isn’t just about historic machinery though; Subaru’s new works-supported Impreza was to be seen regularly flying through the air or kicking up dust around the course, while other moderns included Craig Breen in his Fiesta S2000 and Matti Rantanen in a Renault Twingo R2.

With some great action and the ability to get reasonably close to the action, Chatsworth was a great weekend; to keep tabs on what’ll be happening at next year’s do, log on to www.therallyshow.org

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