We’re delighted to report that the Hotel de France was one of the sponsors whose logo featured on the winning car of this year’s Jersey Rally. A key highlight in the Island’s sporting calendar.
The ‘Major Motorsport’ Mitsubishi, driven by Simon Mauger with navigator Brian Cammack, finished with a total time of 2:11:01.8. And just a mere few seconds ahead of their closest competitors. It’s the sixth time that Jersey born Mauger has won the rally.
Heralding from across the Channels Islands and the UK. The competing drivers take their cars screaming through Jersey’s leafy green lanes at speeds of up to 140 mph. High adrenaline action for all those watching and cheering them on. But the origins of the sport are a little more sedate!
How the rally got started
The first Jersey rally took place over 80 years ago in December 1935. All 33 entries set off for almost a Sunday afternoon drive as the local paper reported:
“The rally will consist of ten to twelve driving tests. The nature of these tests will be such that motorists with one or two years’ experience of driving should find little difficulty in passing them.”
Fast forward some forty years to the late 1970s. The Jersey Motorcycle and Light Car Club held a Daffodil Rally which involved roads closed in our Eastern parishes. A few months later a Spring session saw cars taking on the roads of the rugged North coast.
These races generated a lot of interest in the local community. Inspiring hope that something similar could become a regular fixture. The move got blocked because of a misunderstanding of what a rally actually entailed. The governmental person in charge at the time thought it was more akin to a scavenger hunt!
The Jersey Rally now attracts more than 170 drivers
The idea of a full rally was suspended for another five years. Until some keen and persistent enthusiasts got together with a detailed plan that was finally approved. This resulted in the first Jersey Rally, as we know it today, staged in late October 1983. And since then, the scale of the event has grown both in the number of stages and competitors taking part.
The current two day and night stage weekend format was introduced in the mid-90s. Each year, the event draws over 170 drivers and navigators. The same number of support crew. Around 300 course marshals. 100 or so officials and scores of spectators all join in the exciting autumn weekend of rallying.
Find out more about this annual event here.