What’s in store for Buildbase Rally Escort at its first road race of the 2021 season this weekend?
Driver, Steve Ellison, is competing in the Three Shires event that covers roads across Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire on Sunday. But, never fear – the roads will be closed to normal traffic during the race!
This is the first time Steve has appeared in this rally event and has been seeded at 111 out of 150-plus rally cars taking part.
Ahead of this closed road race, drivers get a chance to view DVD footage of the route and get a feel for all the challenges they’ll face.
Steve said: “We get two runs around the route after doing the pre-race preparation. That means going through the stages twice on the day before the race and figuring out what’s a potential danger and where we can possibly go faster.
“Of course, we’re restricted to going at 40mph as the roads aren’t closed at that point.”
The 14-stage race covers 66 competitive stage miles in total and includes hills and at least two places where drivers will be navigating their cars through water.
“It’s going to be ‘full-on’ and we’ll need our wits about us. Some parts of the route are very narrow with high hedges on either side of the road. The navigator thinks it’s going to be fine, but until we do the test drive we won’t know the smaller details of the route.
“It’s a technical rally – with trees, ditches and fences along the stages – and we haven’t got the luxury of a run-off or spin-out zone unlike on a race circuit. But you just have to drive within your means.”
Steve’s most recent practice race in his historic Ford Escort MKII RS2000 was the SMC Stages in Anglesey in July, which involved racing timed stages on a rally circuit.
“It was good to be back behind the wheel,” he said. “We had one spin in the car which affected our results, but I was happy to be back out there, getting used to the car again.”
This week, ahead of the Three Shires event, Steve is giving the car its final checks – including some new tyres – and is likely to be taking it for a drive, just to make sure it’s ready for Sunday’s race day.
You can see Steve and Buildbase Rally Escort racing this season at:
September: closed roads rally at Three Shires
October: Cambrian rally, North Wales.
Follow Steve here:
Facebook: Buildbase Rally Escort
You Tube: Steve Ellison