Grantham put on the map

A brand new international-status event based at Grantham has been introduced to complete the calendar of this year's Mobil 1 British Rally Championship.

A brand new international-status event based at Grantham has been introduced to complete the calendar of this year's Mobil 1 British Rally Championship.

The MSA Rally, the fifth of six rounds in the series, will take place on Saturday July 15, two weeks earlier than the traditional date for the Ulster Rally which it replaces in the championship.

The route covers three identical laps of tarmac stages, all within 25 miles of the host town in Lincolnshire. Total stage distance will be around 40 miles.

A special spectator stage will be held at Belvoir Castle, ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland, with other venues to be announced later.

Event organiser Malcolm Neill said: "We hope to create a festival atmosphere like that on some European rallies, with a very compact route and daylight stages.

"With the finish on Saturday evening, we may even be able to revive the traditional post-rally party, as everyone has Sunday to recover and make their way home."

Another boost for the championship today came with news that Korean tyre manufacturer Kumho is to sponsor the Scottish Rally, held this year on June 10 and 11, until 2002.

Meanwhile, this year's Network Q Rally of Great Britain will have a completely new look, as well as the most compact route of its 68-year history.

Instead of the Sunday to Tuesday format used in recent years, the final round of the World Championship will take place from Thursday, November 23 to Sunday, November 26, with just one televised special stage on the final day.

The rally is based at Cardiff this year and all the competitive action will be held in Wales.

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