TENDRING’S ground-breaking Corbeau Seats Rally will return for the third time next year... and will be included as part of the prestigious British Rally Championship.

The Clacton-based event, organised by the Chelmsford Motor Club, was the first to make use of a new legislation allowing closed road motorsport in England when it launched in 2018.

Organisers have been left revved up after being told it will be included as the only round of the British Rally Championship to be held in England in 2020.

Britain’s premier rallying series will feature six rounds in six territories next year, with events also visiting Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland together with Belgium and Ireland.

Tony Clements, the event’s director, said: “Our first closed road event received a great response from the rally crews and most strikingly from the people of Tending and Clacton who enjoyed a family friendly day out in the sunshine.

“We’re building on this to bring the headline British Rally Championship to the area as well as catering for our clubman competitors.

“The response from our partners and local communities has been fantastic and we’re delighted to bring a round of the prestigious British Rally Championship to the area.”

Mr Clements added that next year’s Corbeau Seats Rally in Tendring will feature a new spectator stage on Clacton seafront on the Saturday evening “to bring the rally to the heart of the local community”.

On the Sunday, competitors will undertake three loops of four stages on rural roads, which will again feature a number of designated spectator viewing areas and facilities.

Leading British Rally Championship driver Tom Cave welcomed Clacton’s inclusion on the calendar.

He added: “2020 has a good mix of events across the year and Clacton will be a brand new, unique challenge.

“As it will be the first time in the calendar, it will create new stages to compete on and new opportunities to take the BRC to a different part of the country.”

Chelmsford Motor Club said it has been working with Tendring Council on its plans for next year’s event.

Alex Porter, the authority’s cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said “Being part of the British Rally Championship is a real coup for the Corbeau Seats Rally and for Tendring - previous champions include household names like Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen.

“Becoming a round of the championship that has produced numerous World Rally Champions will mean national and international media coverage for Tendring and will encourage many more spectators to visit the area.

“We look forward to working closely with the rally organisers to bring another fun and safe event to Tendring for the third year.”

It is expected that further details about the rally will be released early next year.