FAQ & Background Information
What is a ‘stage rally’?
It’s a competition for road legal cars with safety and performance modifications. Experienced drivers, licenced by the Motor Sport Association are started one at a time, at 30 second or one minute intervals and are timed over the course. The competition takes place over a number of tests called ‘special stages’. The ‘special stages’ can be on roads or tracks closed especially for the purpose. The winner is the car with the least combined time on the ‘special stages’.
Is this new?
No, stages rallies are held across the UK every weekend in forests, rural estates and on MOD property. This will be the first rally in England to use closed public roads however these type of events have been running in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man for decades.
The five “special stages” cover a total of approximately 15 miles and the cars will travel over them three times during the day.
How will the closed roads be policed?
Using a combination of event rally marshals, security stewards and Essex Police.
How long will the cars be passing?
Although the roads will be closed all day the competing cars will be passing for approximately 1 hour, three times during the day.
Why do we need to close the roads all day?
To make the “special stages” safe we have to create a controlled environment to ensure that residents, spectators and competitors are safe.
Will residents be able to access their properties?
Yes, residents on the “special stages” will be able to access their properties during specific periods in the day.
Every resident on the “special stage” route has been individually contacted about the event and will be again during February. Each resident will be provided with a Resident Handbook which will detail the process and likely times for the access to their properties along with a contact details for their specific Stage Resident Officer who will be their direct point of contact on the rally weekend.
What is pre-event ‘scrutineering’ and the rally car ‘service area’?
Before the rally the competing cars undergo a series of safety and technical checks called scrutineering. During the rally, after each ‘loop’ of stages, the competing cars return to a central ‘service area’ for maintenance and refuelling. This creates its own ‘rally village’ area, which is interesting to view and normally attracts a significant amount of spectators.
What type of cars can take part?
The competing cars start as normal road cars but then undergo safety modifications and have to be registered and approved by the MSA. A wide range of vehicles from historic Ford Escorts up to the latest World Rally cars will be taking part. There will be 120 competing cars starting at 30 second intervals.
Spectating on the special stages
Spectators will only be allowed at designated spectator viewing areas. There will be a number of these along the competitive route and casual spectators will be directed to these. There will be security stewards at all other access points to the ‘special stages’ preventing spectator access. Full details will be available closer to the event on the spectator pages of this website.
The event has been working closely with local landowners to find suitable venues for spectator areas and ensure minimal disruption to the rural community.
Motor Sport Association and Insurance
The Motor Sport Association (MSA), is the governing body for motorsport in the UK and is responsible for authorising and administering motorsport in the UK. The MSA arranges third party liability insurance cover for all events, cover being up to £65 million per claim.
Chelmsford Motor Club
Chelmsford Motor Club is a non-profit making sports club that has events organised for its members, by its members. We have a membership that covers all of East Anglia and further afield. This event is being run by unpaid volunteers, just like most other local sporting events that run such as football, cricket, horse shows etc.
There will be approximately 1000 volunteer marshals, officials, competitors and service crews staying in the Tendring District over the rally weekend spending money on accommodation, fuel and food. That is in addition to the spectators we expect to draw into the area to watch the event.
Following input from residents, Chelmsford Motor Club can confirm that the following charities will be supported. The amounts shown are the minimum guaranteed from the organising club and will be supplemented by collections taking place around the rally itself.
Essex Air Ambulance £2000
Royal National Lifeboat Institution £2000
Riding for the Disabled Association £1000