Sunderland to host Roger Albert Clark Rally

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A CAR rally is being given a bump start as it prepares to launch in Sunderland.

The new-look Roger Albert Clark Rally will drive into Wearside later this year.

With support from the city council, it is being managed by Sunderland Live and will begin and end in Sunderland, with headquarters based in Seaburn.

Rally manager Colin Heppenstall has been able to give the race a fresh look, adding new stages, thanks to the new setting.

He said: “We’ve always moved the host city on a regular basis and the time was right to refresh. We are very grateful to everyone involved at Sunderland for their enthusiastic co-operation and for their eagerness to welcome the event to Sunderland.”

The race will be based around the Seaburn Centre, which will be rally HQ for examination, documentation and awarding prizes.

Herrington Country Park is also expected to be the setting for a spectator stage.

The rally will start in several stages on the evening of Friday, November 28, before two days of rallying on Saturday, November 29, and Sunday, November 30.

Initial route plans include covering 90 miles on Saturday with a route heading as far west as Kielder Forest.

Sunday’s stages will be centred on the Kielder complex, before the finish in Sunderland from 6pm.

Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’ve got major sporting traditions here in our city and a strong automotive industry. Now, hosting the Roger Albert Clark Rally, we have a major motorsport event and everyone can see part of the rally with this stage at Herrington Country Park.

“The organisers say it’s going to be a spectator spectacular and I’m sure it will be”.