The biggest rally in the North of England proved to be a massive success at the weekend, based at its new home at Myerscough College.
Myerscough’s state-of-the-art Motorsport Centre proved to be the perfect choice for hosting the Central Service & Scrutineering, as well as the start and finish, and closing ceremony, for the Legend Fires North West stages, a rally comprising of 50 stage miles over 12 special stages, of which approximately 35 miles were on closed public roads across the borough of Wyre. Following the change in the Road Traffic Act Legislation in 2017, the rally became the first special stage tarmac rally in the North of England to take advantage of the new laws allowing use of the public highways for motorsport.
Myerscough had a significant presence throughout the event, with students and staff acting as marshals and other event staff, as well as a number of cars competing in the event itself. Meanwhile, the campus itself was completely transformed with cars and pit crews working throughout the day.
So proud of @My_Motors @MyerscoughColl students & staff for their incredible hard work, professionalism, positivity & teamwork preparing #rally cars, servicing cars, marshalling, preparing ceremonial stages @Legendfires @northweststages pic.twitter.com/4TwGxXItBY— Alison Robinson (@AlisonR11050511) March 23, 2019
The rally began with a ceremonial start in Garstang town centre, before a full day of competition for a 120-car field on Saturday, followed by a winner’s ceremony inside Myerscough’s International Equine Arena, which had been transformed for the occasion, complete with a podium and customary champagne.
Belinda Oldham, Head of Motorsport at Myerscough College and University Centre said: ''The organising committee have worked tremendously hard to get to this point and with the combination of closed roads and private venues it was a fantastic event for both competitors and spectators.
''The College continues to offer students experiences of working at prestigious events on the motorsport calendar in addition to their course studies and this is a big opportunity. We’re pleased to be able to continue to offer these unique opportunities to Myerscough students as part of their enrichment.’’
''Occasions like this give the students crucial real life experience on events where they'll be working alongside potential employers. The students will get to experience, first hand, a major event and such experience looks great on their CV when they apply for jobs within the industry.’’
Alison Robinson, Chief Executive and Principal of Myerscough College, said: ‘’It’s been an absolutely brilliant team effort by all the motorsport staff and students over the past week preparing and servicing our Myerscough rally cars for our customers, setting up the ceremonial start and finish ramps, marshalling, general operational and safety support for the event.
‘’Their positivity, professionalism, friendliness and sheer hard work has been nothing less than inspirational. Every one of our College drivers and navigators plus North West Stages team members I have spoken to has told me that I should be incredibly proud of you all and I truly am.’’
Dave Read, Event Director, said: ‘’The event is now in the history books as the second Closed Road Rally in England and the first in the North.
‘’This was a massive learning curve for everybody, not just us organisers but the authorities, emergency services, the residents and local communities. Thanks to everyone at Myerscough College, the staff and students, who not only welcomed the event into their home but put so much effort into the event.
‘’The choice of Myerscough College for the rally headquarters was a really a bit of a no-brainer. Geographically it’s bang in the middle of the action with stages to the west and stages to the east making it the ideal location for central servicing on the day.
‘’The College also boasts a rally heritage having a long-established motorsport department with stage rallying a core element of their activities and a number of lecturers having strong links to the sport. It has long established links with a number of Lancashire based Motor Clubs who have been instrumental in the organising of the event for many years.
‘’By bringing the rally to Myerscough and engaging with staff and students that in itself provides valuable educational benefits providing first-hand experience of the running of a major motorsport event. All in all it’s a win, win scenario for both the College and the rally organisers and is the start of what is hoped will become a long-term relationship.''
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by Dave Salmon