2019 is just around the corner

5th December 2018

A year ago many of us were looking ahead to April 2018 as the Corbeau Seats Tendring and Clacton Rally drew closer.  It was to be the very first event in England to use the new ‘closed roads’ legislation, so earned the hashtag #firstontheroad.

So what was it like and what can we look forward to in 2019?

The rally took place on a glorious hot and sunny weekend that really took motor sport to the people.  East Anglia has a good amount of special stage rallying, often utilising old MOD airfields, so this means it takes place ‘behind the fence’ and out of sight.  This rally was to be completely different.

After months and indeed years of planning, working with Tendring District Council, Essex County Council and Parish Councils along the route it was finally time for the rally.  The UK motor sport community pulled-together to bring-in the huge number of volunteers needed to run such an event.

The weather couldn’t have been better for the weekend as crews set-up on Saturday at the service area on the grassy promenade overlooking Clacton Pier and the sea.  There was a wonderful atmosphere as locals and crews mingled in the sunshine, chatting away and looking forward to the event.  Most local people were pleased to see the event coming to Clacton with some just a little unsure of what to expect.

One of the first people I met on Sunday morning was co-driver Robin Nicolson who’d journeyed from a business meeting in John O’Groats the day before.  He felt he just had to be at the event.  Event Director Tony Clements, awaited the start and said “It’s simply awesome to be where we are today and to see the event get underway”.

Recently appointed Motor Sports Association (now Motorsport UK) Chairman David Richards was also at the start on Sunday morning to chat to crews, visitors and the TV crews covering the event.

As crews started returning to the service area after the first loop of stages a theme quickly emerged.  The stages themselves got a mention, but the overriding impression made was of the sheer number of people out at the roadside, smiling and waving at the crews as they passed.

The event had designated spectator areas and people who lived in the villages the event passed through were guided to safe viewing points too.  During the event Tendring District Council estimated over 6,000 people watched the rally in Clacton and the surrounding countryside.  Local businesses reported a valuable boost to trade.

Social media feedback from local people made it clear the event was a big hit with them.  Another theme was coming through, especially from those who hadn’t been sure of what to expect; it was how well organised the event was and how friendly and helpful the marshals were.  During a gap between stages, one group of marshals was even invited to join a barbeque at a resident’s garden party.

The rally saw a fantastic variety of cars take part, including the eventual winners Melvyn Evans and Sean Hayde in their Subaru Impreza, who won by just 12.5 seconds, after 15 special stages, from Hugh Hunter and Rob Fagg in a Ford Fiesta WRC. 

Winner Melvyn Evans said “This has been a brilliant day and to win the first closed road event in England was very special for us.  The spectators were amazing and with the event running like clockwork the organisers did an incredible job. Let’s hope this is the start of a new era for rallying”.

Indeed it is a new era and we now look forward to next year’s event on Sunday 28th April 2019.

Planning for the second running of the rally began shortly after last year’s finished and as before there is a lot of work going-on liaising with local communities.

We are looking to offer more competitive mileage for the competitors, an additional spectator area and various other initiatives to build on the success of the first event.

We’ll bring you more news every month from now until April, so please keep in touch through this page and by using the new hashtag #tendringrally

2019 Event Date Announced

25th May 2018

We are delighted to say the rally now has a date for 2019 – Sunday 28th April.

After the positive competitor and public reaction to the first closed road stage rally in England and a review of the event we are working with our sponsors and partners to plan the next rally.

Event Director Tony Clements said “Our first closed road event received a great response from the rally crews and most strikingly from the people of Tending and Clacton who enjoyed a family friendly day out in the sunshine. We’re therefore delighted to be planning the next event and to share the date now”.

Neil Stock OBE, leader of Tendring District Council, said he was excited to hear Chelmsford Motor Club want to bring back the Corbeau Seats Rally Tendring & Clacton next year: “The inaugural rally held this year, the first of its kind in England, was a huge success, and we are keen to see that success repeated” he said.

“As well as encouraging some 6,000 spectators, plus all those involved in the event, to come to Tendring, coverage of the rally provided a fantastic advert for our wonderful district. This undoubtedly provided an economic boost to the area, not least in the tourism sector on what would usually be a quieter weekend, so we would encourage that to happen again.

We look forward to working closely with Chelmsford Motor Club to develop and build on the success of last month’s event, and will continue to listen to our communities to take on board their input into the event planning”.

Further details of the rally will be available in the Autumn.

Interested to know more about motorsport?

25th April 2018

We know the event has reached many people who’ve not been close-up to Motor Sport before, so I here are some pointers to help you find-out how to get more closely involved yourself, whether as a competitor or volunteer.

The organising club for the rally was Chelmsford Motor Club which has its own website https://chelmsfordmc.co.uk/Home and Facebook page. It’s also part of the Anglia Motor Sport Club https://www.amsc.org.uk/ which encourages grass roots motor sport across East Anglia.

There are various types of motor sport at a grass roots level which you can start in, using a standard roadgoing car. Some entry fees as low as £10 for a day or even free for under 18s so there is sport for every budget. Many competitors in the rally will have started this way.

Information and helpful tips about the different types of motor sport are on the dedicated Go Motorsport website. This is where the governing body, the Motor Sport Association (MSA) has collated details about the different types of motor sport you can compete in, or join the huge number of volunteers (over 500 on Sunday) who make these events happen.

There are 750 motor clubs around the UK so wherever you came from you’ll be able to find one nearby. There’s a club finder section on the MSA website here (scroll down when the page opens) https://www.msauk.org/Clubs/Find-Clubs

Thanks again for your support of the rally; it will be great to hear from you to help you get involved too.


22nd April 2018

Melvyn Evans and Sean Hayde win the first closed road stage rally in England!


Souvenir Programme

21st April 2018

The event Souvenir Programme is available now from Rally HQ! Rally HQ will be open all day on Sunday 22nd April at the Clacton Bowls Club and the programme can also be purchased at both Spectator Areas for £5.