Over the weekend 25th to 27th March, Low Wood Bay resort interrupted its normal steady-paced peaceful and quiet idyll of Lake District life to host the glorious and unique sights and sounds of 73 vintage and classic cars roar into life and set off on three days of historic rallying.
Credit: Rally the Globe and Sharp FilmsPrevious
Bentley Supersport at the start line of the 2022 Generations Rally
Talbot AV105 navigating narrow country lanes
Blue MGB GT riding by Buttermere
Red Porsche 356B exiting a shallow ford
Trio of classic cars on a lakeland back lane.
Frazer Nash-BMW 328 on the finish line with driver and navigatorNext
Created Tuesday, March 29, 2022, by Tim Ingle
This was Rally the Globe’s first ever Generations Rally, designed to introduce historic rallying to a younger generation, preferably alongside a member of the same family experienced in the sport.
The driver, navigator and car combinations that congregated at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa made for a colourful festival atmosphere, thrilling guests, the team at Low Wood Bay and visitors to the Lake District. Under vibrant blue skies in perfect Spring conditions, the hotel welcomed rally entrants from far and near, including twelve cars from mainland Europe and even a crew from as far away as USA.
The competitors enjoyed lunch at Low Wood Bay’s newly refurbished restaurant, The W, and a welcome from Rally Director, Fred Gallagher. After the necessary safety and compliance checks, the cars were off on the Northern Lakes leg of the rally. A gentle 108 mile start for the newcomers to the sport, passing Wordsworth’s Cottage in Grasmere and on towards Thirlmere and Helvellyn. The steep climb up and over the impressive Honister Pass provided stunning Lake District views – a perfect day for open top motoring. Buttermere, Crummock Water and Bassenthwaite were also note-worthy sights on this leg of the scenic northern lakes challenge.
However, this was not simply a scenic tour of the Lake District. Over three days driving, competitors tested their skill in ten Regularity Sections, where the goal is to complete the section as close as possible to the expected time-frame – a great driver/navigator bonding exercise. There were also seven speed tests on derestricted private land, so lots for a new generation of drivers and navigators to cut their teeth on.
The rally upped the ante on Day 2 with 207 miles of driving through the open roads of North Pennines & Yorkshire. The first challenge was leaving Ambleside on the aptly named Struggle and up and over the steep and narrow Kirkstone Pass. There were time trials and Regularity Sections aplenty, including Little Mell Fell, Lowther Castle and all the way over to County Durham with a stop for lunch at historic Bowes Museum. The open roads of Swaledale and Wensleydale eventually brought tired but exhilarated competitors back to Low Wood Bay for a well-deserved dinner, again at The W, with fabulous sunset views over Windermere.
Sunday morning dawned clear and even brighter than the day before if that was possible. The competitors set off on their last half day adventure. This time it was 81 miles in the Southern Lakes. Challenging twists and turns in Grizedale forests and along narrow lanes flanked by drystone walling. Not much turning room if navigators got it wrong! The infamous white-knuckle Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass gave way to picturesque Langdale Valley, and ‘home’ to the finish line at Low Wood Bay.
Congratulations to Steve and Alex Chick in their Austin Healey Mark I who were the Classic Category winners, and to Martin Hunt and James Galiver in their Frazer Nash car. After the obligatory champagne celebration, a satisfying lunch of traditional Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding was served up by Chef in ………., followed by the trophy presentations.
The team at Low Wood Bay waved goodbye to the tired, but exhilarated competitors who had enjoyed laughter, fun, challenges, the very best views of the Lake District. Lasting memories were created in a sport that is set to continue down the generations.
The Generations Rally certainly re-created the excitement and adventure of the golden age of rallying. Low Wood Bay eagerly awaits future opportunities to welcome all generations of car rallying enthusiasts to the resort.
“Every single person at Low Wood Bay involved in our event in whatever way, shape or form was absolutely fantastic, incredibly helpful, and always cheery.”Loren Price, Rally the World