International rally organiser Rally Round hosted its inaugural Rally Novice Training Day in the stunning New Forest at the end of March with around 32 enthusiasts attending the one-day course.
Held at the luxurious Lime Wood Hotel, Lyndhurst, the delegates were greeted by dense fog as they drove through the New Forest to the sweeping drive of the hotel. Hot coffee and pastries awaited in ‘the scullery’ which would be our classroom for the morning.
Well-known rally route designer and clerk of the course Kim Bannister introduced the Rally Round team in attendance and gave a run down for the day before handing over to his wife Nikki for an ingenious lesson in good communication between driver and navigator.
Sitting back-to-back, each pair had two sets of blocks – one built and one loose in a bag. Giving directions but without peeking, one person gave instructions while other attempted to build a replica of the built blocks. A great ice-breaker!
It was then back to Kim for a lesson on how to read tulip maps, navigational skills and timings as well as the various types of tests they may face on rallies.
Once all the basics had been taught, it was over to mechanic Karim Demynn to talk about the importance of car selection, preparation and the necessary maintenance skills required to keep crews on the road.
After a delicious lunch, it was time to take to the roads for the first practical exercise of the day. With the fog now cleared and replaced with stunning blue skies, the crews started their engines, in a mix of vintage, classic and modern cars.
Armed with stopwatches, trip meters, a road book and even a last minute amendment, the crews headed off to their first check-point.
Most arrived – eventually – and there were only a couple of crews who were only just still speaking. But by the second run, the crews were a lot more confident and made good time.
After an afternoon driving around the roads of the New Forest, each delegate received a certificate along with a copy of Rally Round’s book The Introduction To Vintage and Classic Car Rallying.
As the day came to a close, many chose to stay and chat with their fellow rally goers in the lounge area as they all browsed the brochures for the forthcoming events. We hope to see them all on the road again soon.
Want to get into rallying? Keep a look out for our next Rally Novice Training Day or get an early start by buying a copy of the Rally Round’s book here.
Rally Round offers amazing adventures all over the world and has a full calendar up until 2021 and beyond. It creates unique events that combine the passion for historic motorsport with the adventure of global travel.
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