This was the heyday of road rallying; with the event being a round of the prestigious Motoring News Championship from the Colman’s first year of 1981 through to 1987 it attracted many famous rallying names, basking the Yorkshire Dales in the fruitful tune of full Group 4 Escorts for many years. Two locals, Ronnie Beecroft and John Millington almost made the event their own, winning or being in the top echelons for many years. When the road rally rules became more restrictive to allow residents a bit more sleep the Colman Tyres ceased to run as a road event. In 1991 it was resurrected as a Single Venue Stage Rally run at Manby, where it ran for the next three years but this was the last time the Colman ran in that form.
A lot has changed in road rallying since then, but what haven’t changed are the brilliant lanes this historic event took place on. Last year a passionate team at Ilkley & District Motor Club put together another event in the spirit of the old rally and in August 2015 brought the Colman back to life again. Judging by the reaction both before and after the Event, this was well received amongst the modern road rally community.
This year the same team has worked hard to build on that success and taking some of the same ideas have developed it still further into what we hope will be another cracking nights motorsport around the classic lanes of 'Colman' country. In addition to the superb lanes this year's event will also feature nearly 20 miles of loose surface roads on private land, which we expect will pose a challenge not frequently found on English road rallies.