Press Release 1

Scottish racing legend John Cleland has endorsed a new rally this summer that will resurrect iconic Borders stages, unused for over a decade.

British Touring Car Champion and rally driver, John Cleland

The Tweed Valley Stages rally will run on July 23rd, bringing back into commission the stunning routes of Elibank and Yair, last used in the late nineties.

These famous stages were driven by the likes of Ladies World Champion Louise Aitken-Walker, the McRaes and Roger Albert Clark but last saw competition on the McRae Forest Stages rally.
Around forty fast stage miles will be on offer for competitors and Cleland, who competed on them in a short rallying career, is sponsoring the event through Clelands Volvo and Jaguar.

The twice British Touring Car champion believes the rally could become a major draw for the area, economically, and may entice major series back to the Borders.
He is also delighted Elibank and Yair will be restored to the Scottish rally map, with several leading lights of the past honing their skills on its twists and crests.
"It is very important we reclaim these stages for rallying, said the 58 year old at yesterday's official launch in the Borders.
"I can recall thousands of spectators watching rallies here in the past. These stages are full of character.
"Scotland has produced world champions and we have young drivers who could be the next world champion.
"That is why it is vital people support occasions like this. Rallying brings an economic boost and I'd love to see the event work towards attracting quality championships to come up this far and use the stages on their rallies."

The event is a partnership between North Humberside Motor Club Ltd and Glenrothes Motor Sport Club Limited, the former losing its Yorkshire-based award winning rally as a result of Forestry Commission cuts.

The rally forms part of the Borders Rally Championship as well as the Fuchs Titan Race ANCC Stage Rally Championship and the Competition Car Insurance EMAMC Multi-Venue Championship 2011.

With the cost for competitors only £445, entries are expected to be high for the inaugural rally, with event HQ being Selkirk Leisure Centre and Caravan Park.

Clerk of the Course Ian James said: "There will be a central service point on tarmac at Selkirk visited more than once and on the day scrutineering is offered. Caravanning and camping is available next to the service area for those planning to stay over. We shall not bank any cheques until after the first closing date and any competitors that withdraw their entries prior to first closing will have a full refund.
"I remember competing in these forests over 25 years ago when there was an annual competition to see whether a team of Scots or a team of English took the team award. Hopefully with two English championships running on the event and one Scottish one we can resurrect the spirit of the friendly rivalry from yesteryear."

Event regulations will be available from next week on www.tweedvalleyforeststagesrally.org.uk.

For Further Information on this press release, please contact the Press Officer.

British Touring Car Champion and rally driver, John Cleland

 

British Touring Car Champion and rally driver, John Cleland

 

British Touring Car Champion and rally driver, John Cleland

Issued: 13 May 2011