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Three Castles Trial UK June 2002


We heard from the organisers of The Three Castles Rally about a new concept in Historic Rallying, as well as visiting the beautiful North Wales countryside in summertime.

"Until now the best classic rallies have been travelling adventures, often long and always expensive. The Three Castles Trial aims to provide this excitement in a new three-day event based in a single centre.

"You'll enjoy a compact daytime format with around 1,000kms (625 miles) of competition based on a proven combination of elements. Up to ten road regularity sections will test teamwork and accuracy in the car and a wide variety of up to fifteen handling and manoeuvrability tests at various interesting private venues like racing circuits, stately homes and airfields will give the more sporting drivers the chance to show their mettle.

"There'll be no rough roads or night sections. The Three Castles will be spectacular and challenging, yet affordable, non-damaging and within everyone's grasp, whatever their classic car. We'll take you along the seldom-rallied by-ways of the Lleyn Peninsula, across Snowdonia's mountain passes, through forests, around lakes, to the quiet lanes and open seascapes of the ancient Isle of Anglesey, home of the last Welsh kings. The Three Castles? You'll start from majestic Caernarfon, pass proud Harlech on its rocky eminence, and finish by the sea at romantic Beaumaris.

"You'll see it all on long summer days when the scenery is at its best, enjoying comfortable accommodation and private dinners in great company. Join us in June, for an unforgettable classic motoring adventure."

Where it starts

"In and around Edward I's mighty castle at Caernarfon, scrutineering and documentation will take place during the afternoon of Wednesday, June 12th. Easily reached from most parts of England via the A55 Expressway along the coast, or from Ireland through Holyhead, Caernarfon makes an ideal base and rally HQ will be centred here for all four nights of the rally. After formalities are complete, you'll check into hotels and everyone will gather to enjoy a Reception and Welcome Dinner in the Ballroom of the Celtic Royal, the leading hotel in Caernarfon and Rally HQ, where many will undoubtedly choose to stay."

Day One - 13th June 2002.

"On Thursday 13th, the start will take place in front of Edward I's majestic castle, where the Prince of Wales' investiture was held in 1969. From here, up to 80 competitors will set off for a 210 mile first day centred on the remote Lleyn Peninsula. There'll be handling and manoeuvrability tests on private ground near Caernarfon to get the action going, picturesque road regularity sections on the Lleyn Peninsula's back roads during the morning, more special tests at secret locations and a time control at Criccieth. A loop south then takes us past Harlech Castle, from where a run down to Barmouth, a halt for lunch (included) nearby and further special tests and regularities bring the event to its furthest point south for the day. In the afternoon, we journey back through the western part of the Snowdonia National Park, with great views to be had and more regularities and tests to enjoy en route back to guarded parking in Caernarfon."

Day Two - 14th June 2002.

"Our second day begins with more tests on private land near Caernarfon, before the route strikes south and east across to Betws-y-coed ("cottage in the wood")then loops south over the impressive mountain roads near Penmachno and through Bala, to a lunch halt (included) overlooking beautiful Lake Vyrnwy. After a break here to enjoy the surroundings, we go west to Dolgellau, then zigzag northward via Porthmadog and enjoy new Snowdonia vistas on our way to ancient Anglesey (Ynys Mon). We cross over into Anglesey in late afternoon across Thomas Telford's majestic Menai Bridge, built in 1819-26. After an enjoyable 220 miles or so today we plan to finish with a test or two during a brief visit to Anglesey, to which we return for a full day tomorrow. Rally HQ remains at Caernarfon."

Day Three - 15th June 2002.

"The Trial restarts with up to 195 miles in prospect from Plas Newydd, home of the Marquess of Anglesey. From here, a twisting road section leads us past Aberffraw, home of the ancient Welsh Kings. Among the special handling and manoeuvrability tests we plan to include this morning will be one at the clifftop Anglesey Racing Circuit and more tests at RAF Mona and Anglesey Showground. Then it's on towards Holyhead, near where lunch (included) will be taken by the sea at picturesque Trearddur Bay. After lunch a series of scenic road regularity sections accompany more tests as the pace quickens a little, before a road section that will lead crews back along the coast to magnificent Beaumaris Castle, where the event comes to a close with a finishers' awards presentation. In the evening, we are planning a memorable farewell barbecue and awards ceremony with plenty of good food and drink. You'll depart after a good night's sleep on Sunday."

Who and what can enter

"Vintage, post vintage thoroughbred or historic cars of a model first made before 1st January 1968 and post-historic cars of a model first made before 31st December 1974 are eligible - no special modifications are needed. Each competitor must be a member of an invited club and must hold a basic MSA Clubman competition licence - normally issued without medicals or other formalities. If this will be your first rally don't worry; we'll help you with both these simple requirements and the cost of the licence for both crew members is included in your Entry Fee. Information will be included with your Entry Application Form."

"The Three Castles Trial is the brainchild of classic rally competitor Ian Crammond. Supported and guided by the Motor Sports Association, governing body for all motor sport in Britain, he has joined with a team of experts led by David Whale, formerly Regional Organiser for North Wales on the RAC Rally of Great Britain, to create both a new event and a new classic rallying organisation. The sporting team has extensive experience at all levels, gained in organising roles on the RAC Rally as well as at club level. The event is organised officially through Britain's largest and best-known one-make car club, MG Car Club. It is supported by Wales Development Association, the Wales Tourist Board and the Councils of Anglesey and Gwynedd, through those territory we pass. We want to be the best. From results to recovery, from scrutineers to support services, top names abound in the team. You'll meet friendly, helpful rally officials committed to giving you an excellent experience - you really will feel the whole rally is one family. Each competitor will receive official rally clothing. You'll benefit from a brand new help service. Someone, no doubt, will be very grateful that we have the best in recovery crews, headed by the inimitable Tony Fowkes. And that's just a beginning..."

Please note entries close on the 30th April. The route and details are subject to change so please contact the organisers (below) for the latest news.

For further details contact Event Director: Ian Crammond or Entries Secretary: Sarah Lambert

For more information on entering, eligibility, routes and regulations please look at the website of The Three Castles You will find the necessary forms to download there.

Top photo by kind permission of Mike Johnson/John Brown shows the rare Denzel, driven by Peter Denzel, son of the maker.