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Thu 15 Sep 2022

Rallying royalty celebrated at Rallyday

Britain’s rallying heritage will be celebrated at Rallyday on Saturday, with some of the sport’s most successful metal from down the decades attending the Castle Combe event.

One of the features of Rallyday this year is a celebration of 25 years of the World Rally Car, along with the usual Group A and Group B finery. 

Among those attending is Colin McRae’s former co-driver Nicky Grist, who brings his own ex-Carlos Sainz Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD. Grist will share the car with three-time British champion Matt Edwards. 

Grist, who also called the pace notes aboard Juha Kankkunen’s Celica in the early 1990s, purchased the car in 2018 and spent 18 months restoring it to its original glory. 

“Rallyday’s one of the really big days of the year,” said Grist. “It’s a great time to come and see the fans, to catch up with people and, of course to watch some of the sport’s best ever cars in action.

“Driving my Toyota is something I’m really looking forward to. The ST185 Celica is a car which has some amazing memories for me – it’s the car I was in when I won a WRC round for the first time (alongside Kankkunen at the 1993 Rally Argentina). 

“I look forward to seeing plenty of people around the track and in the paddock area. There’s always lots to talk about and this year will be no different,” he added.

Among a whole host of legendary rally cars is one of only five Ford Escort RS1700Ts in the world and an ex-Hannu Mikkola Audi Quattro E2. 

Both cars belong to DirtFish owner Steve Rimmer, whose company is sponsoring the event for the first time. Rimmer said: “Rallyday is an event really close to our hearts at DirtFish. We’ve been there on the day on lots of occasions with Ian [Gwynne, BGMsport] and I’m delighted to be able to offer some support this time around.

“I love to see these incredible cars out and being used; it’s one thing to stand and look at the Audi – and it’s an amazing piece of rally history to look at – but the goosebumps come when the engine is started. That’s what Rallyday’s all about for me.”