Big Fun on the Little Rally

21 October 1999

1999 Toyota 132 Rally of Great Britain

The weekend dawned damp and misty, but there was a glint of sun low on the horizon and a rainbow in the sky. Ideal rally conditions, but this rally had a difference. The cars were Scalextric type, but the rivalry full scale.

A measure of the difference could be found in the road section lengths. Competitors would be required to compete on six different stages, the furthermost at least 50 yards away. Yes, yards. This was the first slot car Rally of Great Britain, an epic battle in 1/32nd scale fought out with the commonly known Scalextric cars.

Sponsored by Toyota, the rally was held on tracks that were a mixture of not only standard track – as used by many a ‘big kid’ in the spare room – but also custom-made layouts with mixed surfaces, such as a bog, and scenery that would put some railway layouts to shame.

There were three classes: World Rally Cars, Formula 2 and Classic. Many drivers entered all three classes, after all the cost of three slot cars is less than the cost of one tank of petrol for a real one. In the four-wheel drive WRC class, three Toyota Corollas lined up against an assortment of Ford Focus and Seat Cordobas. Yes, these mini motors have four-wheel drive just like the real thing.

Toyota Celicas were the fancied ones among the Classic cars with five entered against Lancia 037s, Porsche 356As, Renault Clios, an XK120 and Escort RS1600 making up the rest of the field. In the F2 class the Maxi Mégane was the favoured car with nine entered fending off the attentions of five Peugeot 306s and five SEAT Ibizas.

Each of the four legs was made up of six stages, allowing 24 chances to get it horribly wrong. The rally started on the ‘Hertfordshire’ spectator stage. Crowd control was not a problem as all were as still as only injection-moulded figurines can be. No barriers or run off areas meant that it was tricky to go fast and stay on.

Stage Two was a short run down (well, walk actually) to ‘East Devon’ and some fun in a disused gravel pit. Stage Three was back on the road and up to a quarry in ‘Leicestershire’, designed by the Melton Mowbray club. There was plenty of crowd-pleasing action due to the hair-raising lack of grip throughout, except on the grass surrounds 50 scale feet off the rally route. Thankfully the risk of damage is all the car’s and not the driver in this sort of rally.

Stage Four was down in ‘Somerset’ where there were real bogs, lots of water from the ‘overnight rain’ and a crocodile beside a stage! The real dangers to competitors were the big yumps, nasty adverse camber bends and a quarry with real rocks that did not move, although several drivers tried.

For those who survived Stage Four it was back up to another quarry in ‘Leicestershire’ courtesy of the Quorn club then a long haul up to ‘Scotland’. Here the twisty forest section without barriers was uneventful except for those who threw caution to the wind and thought the jump on the back straight could be taken flat out. A quick service followed in time to do it all over again.

The overall winner, by just over 45 seconds, was Phil Field from Herefordshire with his Formula 2 Renault Maxi Mégane. The two-day event was really based in a full size hotel in Nottinghamshire and run by 132 Racing who have previously run similar slot car British Touring Car Championships. For those who can’t wait until next year’s rally to have a go on the track, they can get along to the Auto Trader stand, also built and run by 132 Racing, at the London Motor Show in Earls Court from 22-30 October.

Prize winners:


1. Nick Picknell


SEAT Cordoba


2. Bob Bott


Toyota Celica GT4


3. Mervyn Palmer


Toyota Corolla



1. Phil Field


Renault Maxi Mégane


2. Mark Craggs


Renault Maxi Mégane


3. Andrew Meredith


Peugeot 306



1. Tony Baldock


Lancia 037


2. Matthew Tonks


Toyota Celica


3. Don Stanley


Lancia 037


Overall winner:- Phil Field (Herefordshire)

Renault Maxi Mégane



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Big Fun on the Little Rally


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