See our detailed report of the last
international appearance of Lancia's world-beating Delta on the RAC
Network Q Rally of Great Britain... and Read about the amazing sport
Network Q Rally of Great Britain
The Network Q Rally of Great Britain is the Uk's biggest annual
sporting event with one million spectators, a television audience of
358 million in 182 countries (more than any other rally) and over
6,000 volunteer officials.
The 2000 event was the 56th since the event was first held in 1932
and the the 14th and final round of the 2000 F.I.A. World Rally
For the first time the rally was based in Cardiff, the Welsh
capital. The rally headquarters enjoyed exclusive use of Cardiff
City Hall, while the surrounding Cathay's Park hosted the overnight
'parc-fermes' where the competing cars parked during each overnight
halt whilst the drivers, co-drivers and support crews rested before
the following day's stages. The 2000 entry list included the world's
top rally stars with two British crews in the fight for the
The rally uniquely allows amateurs to compete on level terms with
the professionals. The rally covered 938 miles in four days, the
competitive part of the rally covered 237 miles on 17 timed special
stages, most of which were on forestry commission roads timed to an
accuracy of 1/10 of a second.
Within the complex rules and regulations of the F.I.A. only cars
which are homologated are allowed to compete in W.R.C. rallies and
when a car is out of production that car can only compete for a
further five years. This being the case, the 2000 event was the last
time that the legendary Lancia Delta Integrale was allowed in a
round of the W.R.C. , as this model ran out of homologation at the
end of 2000, and the Network Q was the final round of the
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Walkers Garage are factory appointed Integrale specialists for the
UK and entered two Group A, Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evolutions
into the rally.
Both ex-works cars built in Italy and brought to the UK by the
proprietor of Walkers Garage and driver of one of the cars, Steve
Smith. The cars were built by Lancia Abarth for Juha Kankunan and
Carlos Sainz respectively, then run in Italy by Jolly Club, the
official factory agent for rallies.
Steve has competed in rallies for many years and as well as being at
the front of the National rally scene, Steve successfully competed
on the Rally of GB three times before, finishing every time and has
previously won the prize for top amateur driver ( in 1990 ) and
finished in 20th place overall. In 2000 Steve was co-driven by John
Richardson who as well as being a co-driver is employed at Steve's
performance parts center.
The other car which Steve used to own was sold to Lancia enthusiast,
Rodney Bennet from Andover, who with his co-driver Rob Langley also
competed on the rally before.
The 2000 rally took place from 22nd to 26th November, starting and
finishing in Cardiff, with two of the special stages being run at
night in a super-sprint type format in a new purpose built venue.