The second film from 1979 sees action from the Lake District for the first time, with footage from the stage at Comb. I love this one. The scene is set perfectly with shots of the landscape and spectators making their way to their chosen viewpoints before stage and overall rally winner Hannu Mikkola comes flying round the right-hander before blasting out of the hairpin and back into the forest. Breathtaking skills from the all the top drivers. A slightly wonky Escort with no rear windscreen at 7:43 suggests a mishap earlier in the day fro driver Stuart Michael. Worth sticking with for the last couple of minutes as the view changes, both of the cars and looking down into the valley.
The third film isn’t great quality unfortunately due to the abundance of fog at Weston Park on that particular November morning, though it’s quite cool to see some of the cars (like the Stratos at 2:13) disappear into the mist. This film also captures several noticeable driver errors compared to other films (2:46, 3:24 and 4:17).
For the fourth and final film from 1979 we’re thankfully above the fog in the Welsh forests of Ceri. I think the gravel at the top hairpin must have been very loose as almost all the drivers struggle to carry much speed through that corner. Great views of the cars from on high though. I especially love the shot from 3:35 which pans out to reveal the mist in the valley below, and the long cuts which track the cars for several seconds like the one starting at 6:47.
Just three films left to go (unless there are more hidden away somewhere) from three events in 1980/81. The first is from the 1980 RAC Rally, this time from the stage at Swallowvallets which I believe is in the Forest of Dean. It’s fairly low down the running order, and indeed quite late on in the rally as a whole, so there’s not really any of the big names in this one. Still some good drifting through the fast right-hander.
Next up there’s footage once more from the double hairpin at Ceri, but this time on the 1981 Welsh International Rally, which once again drew several big guns like Ari Vatanen in his Ford Escort. There’s nice, high views of the cars at the start followed by some close-ups later on.
Finally, there’s one last visit to Sutton Park for the 1981 RAC Rally. Some good high speed footage here, including what I believe was the last appearance of the Stratos on the RAC, and indeed the first appearance of the car that would revolutionise the sport: the Audi Quattro. It is also perhaps worth noting the #4 Talbot Sunbeam (0:43), co-driven by current FIA President Jean Todt.
Great videos, Bob – my Dad was a timekeeper for most of the events in Kielder and the rest of the North-East from the mid-70’s on, and I know he has a hoard of old photos shoved in a dusty corner of the attic that I need to digitise one of these days.
It looks like that car in the car park is a Sterling Nova kit car. A Mark II, from what I can figure out from the page in the link.