One of the most popular events on the British rallying calendar has seen its new name and format widely praised by the motorsport fraternity as the Phil Price Memorial Woodpecker Rally launches ahead of the 3 September event.
Supported by Presteigne Tyre Service and Phil Price Rally School, the forest stage rally has been renamed in memory of the highly regarded rally driver and coach Phil Price, who sadly passed away in 2021.
Organised and promoted by Sixty and Worcestershire Motor Club, the rally will also see a return to its popular base of Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire after being forced to run behind closed doors last year due to the pandemic restriction in place.
Held entirely in the Radnor forest complex last September, the rally will now go back into the much-loved Haye Park forest and with the addition of Radnor, will offer over 44 miles of competitive action for crews.
Opening its doors last week, the rally has already seen the maximum number of entries received as a host of competitors strive to contest the ever-popular rally which can finally return to full strength for the first time since 2019.
The event has also attracted several top-flight championships in 2022, with the Fuchs Lubricants British Historic Rally Championship making the trip for the first time. They will be joined by the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, Pirelli Ravenol Motorsport UK Welsh Rally Championship, Seacon UK English Rally Championship, Welsh Historic Rally Championship, IPS Paints Rally Challenge, ANWCC Forest Stage Rally Championship and HRCR Stage Masters Rally Challenge.
Graham Hopewell, Clerk of the Course is delighted by the response to this year’s event.
“The organising team are very happy indeed to see such a positive response to the Woodpecker Rally this year, especially as we dedicate the event to the memory of Phil Price,” he says.
“Phil was well known for his Rally School which still runs today and along with Presteigne Tyre Services, wanted to commemorate his work by re-naming the Woodpecker in his honour, which of course we are delighted to do. I`d like to thank Vaughan Allcock at EventSigns for his support as title sponsor over the years and we are excited to see the rally return to its roots in 2022”.
Supporting the rally for the first time, Phil Price Rally School’s John Caine is honoured that the rally has taken Phil’s name.
“The legend maybe gone, but his legacy continues” he says.
“We have strived hard to continue the rally school to the highest standard, especially after such a hard couple of years for everyone! It’s great to see his spirit is still very much amongst us all in the rally community, now with the Woodpecker being held in his memory. I know his wife Sheila is thrilled to have such a tribute to Phil. I look forward to a growing relationship with the Woodpecker team! – I just hope I can do Phil proud on the day!”
Arguably the spiritual home of the Woodpecker Rally, Ludlow Racecourse will once again house the pre-event formalities on Friday 2 September, as well as hosting the rally start, mid-event service and finish celebrations the following day.
Spectators will also be welcomed back into Haye Park and Radnor Forest after a year away, with the chance to catch the action at a variety of locations during the day.
More information will be released closer to the event and updates will be posted on the rally’s social media and website feeds.