Historic rally returns for Weston Park spectacle

The fast-paced thrills of the golden age of rally cars are returning to historic Weston Park this autumn – with a new stage to delight fans. 

Legendary drivers, night racing and a second historic venue will all be in the spotlight when the Historic Rally Festival drives back into Weston for a third year. 

For the first time this year, drivers will take on a stage at Hatton Grange in Shifnal, the historic home of the Kenyon Slaney family. 

Meanwhile Weston Park, on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border, will host both day and night stages, the rally service area and an explosive fireworks spectacular. 

The festival takes place on September 30 and October 1 and promises to be a real celebration of racing, the cars and their drivers. 

Spectators can stay in the heart of the action and enjoy a one-night stay at Weston Park. Bed and breakfast is £300 per double room and includes one night in a luxury room, a full English breakfast the following morning and weekend tickets to all stages of the rally.  

Jennifer Astbury, head of estate operations at Weston Park, said: “We are very much looking forward to building on the success of last year’s event, and having the service area at Weston this year is going to be a very welcome addition to the show. 

“It is very apt that this year sees the festival link with Hatton Grange, as it has very strong connections with Weston Park and our donor family, the Earls of Bradford.  

“Lady Mabel Bridgeman, the eldest child of the third earl, married William Kenyon Slaney of Hatton Grange and became a real “footballer’s wife”. As well as being MP for Newport, William has the distinction of scoring the first ever international goal for England when he scored against Scotland on March 8, 1873!” 

The ceremonial start of the rally will take place at Hatton Grange on the Saturday, when drivers will complete four runs through the rolling parkland and past the impressive Georgian house. 

The cars will then return to Weston Park for the night stages on Saturday evening and a spectacular firework finale. The service area will also be based at the park. 

Sunday will see a full day of action at Weston Park. One of the longest rally stages ever held in the park will feature the Tower Loop, one of the highest spots of the estate, with drivers then descending into the heart of the park and into the watersplash.  

The popular driver meet and greet will return, as well as a food and craft village, delicious street food, local ales and ciders, a fun fair and club area.  

Star driver Louise Aitken Walker will be back in the commentary box alongside Howard Davis and Mike Broad.   

Warner Lewis, from Rallying History, said: “We can’t wait for year three and are very excited about the Hatton Grange stages and bringing the service area to Weston Park. Not only will spectators see top rallying action from more than 70 cars, but they will have plenty of opportunities to meet the drivers and see the cars up close.”  

Advanced tickets for the UK’s only Motorsport UK-permitted multi-venue demonstration rally are on sale now. Early Bird prices, which start from £20 per person, are on sale.  

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.weston-park.com or www.historicrallyfestival.com  

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