Saturday, 28 November 2015

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RAC rally boost for Brampton's economy

Dozens of historic rally cars roared through Brampton to cross the finish line of this year’s Roger Albert Clark (RAC) Rally.

RAC RAlly photo
Carlisle mayor Ray Bloxham with the chequered flag at the finish

It was the second year the event had visited the market town and a crowd of dedicated supporters last night brought a much-needed boost to the local economy.

The event aims to recreate the atmosphere of rally driving from years gone by and first across the finish line was Steve Bannister, from Malton in North Yorkshire, together with co-driver Kevin Rae in a Ford Escort MK11.

He said it was extra special to have won on the race’s 10th anniversary and added: “It has been a difficult day today.

“We had a four-minute lead so we had to try and pace ourselves. The ice was bad in places. Brampton and Carlisle is great – everybody makes us so welcome.”

Spectators had travelled from all over the country but one enthusiast had travelled all the way from Australia.

Pierre Abell, from Coffs Harbour near Sydney, said: “I’ve come to the world rallies but when I heard this was on I came here as well. I love the villages and the little places. The people are friendly enough.”

Jeff Garnett, a 40-year-old from Bolton in Lancashire, said he had followed the event for a few years and he liked the way it recreated the historic aspect of the motorsport.

He said: “We come back every year – we love it. It’s good getting around but there is a lot of mileage.”

Councillor Heather Bradley, Carlisle City Council’s economy portfolio holder, said attracting the event to Cumbria was recognition for Brampton and important for the local economy.

She said: “It helps to raise the profile of Brampton and the surrounding area and Carlisle as well.”

David Moorat, the chairman of Brampton Parish Council, said that it would bring business to the town centre and added: “This is the second year we’ve been able to help with the finish and we feel very honoured.”

CarlisleMmayor Ray Bloxham was on hand to wave a chequered flag as the cars crossed the finish line before they headed back to Carlisle.

He said that he thought it was a “remarkable event” and added: “I know people who have said they have never been to Brampton before but, because of this event, they will keep coming back and that is a plus for tourism.”

Mr Bloxham said that it was an achievement to get the event back for a second year and he looked forward to seeing it again for a third or even fourth year.

City council leader Colin Glover said it was good that the wider Carlisle area was being recognised and it was not just about the city centre.


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